How To Build A Healthy Workplace For All
ABC International reports a 20% rise in their Workplace Wellness IndexTM along with a 25% growth in profits and 47% growth in revenue for the year FY22-23
This is our vision for Corporate India, and it is time that leaders across India Inc. prioritize wellbeing and assign it the same importance as any other business metric. It will be truly rewarding to see organizations report their wellbeing metrics along with other figures in their annual reports.
Our research shows that the leaders who have made wellbeing an integral part of their people and business strategy have a distinctive competitive edge over their industry peers. Wellbeing can be the single antidote to great resignation, burnout, and quiet quitting. The difference in the engagement indicators between companies that are in the top quartile of best companies in health and wellness versus those in the bottom quartile exemplifies this so powerfully. The difference in the employees experiencing burnout is 15% for organizations in the top quartile as compared to 39% in the bottom quartile.
The good news is that though the cost of not addressing wellbeing can run into trillions of dollars, the investment to proactively address this is not huge and starts with an intent to create a culture that nurtures holistic wellbeing.
These cultures are characterized by an environment that is consciously designed for all. Employees in such organizations experience genuine care, a sense of belonging, psychological safety and opportunity for development and growth. They are able to bring their whole selves to work, speak up, express their concerns, experiment with new ideas, and are inspired to give their best.
It is important for organizations to realize that in the current context, one cannot plan for initiatives, sessions or benefits based on the traditional way of looking at the demographic cuts.
There is a huge need for customization based on the requirements and preferences of different groups of employees. These could be based on generations, roles, gender, ways of working, work locations and time zones, life stage, additional responsibilities and the list can go on. Considering such a myriad set of variables has ensured that the one size fits all approach is an archaic concept.
The principles however can apply to all, and it is the way in which they are implemented that differs based on the business and people context, and also a determinant of the success and effectiveness of the program or benefit. For example, Flexibility is a ‘must have’ in the current time, irrespective of the business context or industry. However, the way to offer flexibility and the requirement of different people varies. Paid Sabbaticals, paid volunteering options, caregiver leaves / special working arrangements, are all examples of this. Similarly covering same sex partners in all benefits and insurance, gender reassignment surgeries, adoption leaves, etc. reflect the simple principle of using true Inclusion as a lens while designing these benefits.
It begins with a mindset shift where leaders role model the desired behaviours, clearly call out the non-negotiables and ensure that managers and team members are sensitized across the organization. Sharing stories and experiences of both achievements and failures openly creates safe spaces for employees express without the fear of being judged. Encouraging and rewarding the right behaviours helps to institutionalize the same as a part of the workplace culture.
Our data scientists identified six levers that come together to form the Workplace Wellness IndexTM and enable organizations to drive the outcome of creating a physically and psychologically safe place to work. This provides a framework-based approach to wellbeing as against a calendar of activities as per situational needs that are often reactive.
Responsible Leadership is the first, and the most critical lever that differentiates the best workplaces from others. Benefits and initiatives can be replicated by any organization through a commercial investment; however, the culture and leadership behaviours are what makes the organization unique and an aspirational workplace for employees. Health for All is the theme for World Health Day. Leaders of India Inc. can ensure that this is experienced everyday by their employees, partners, and other key stakeholders. As India aspires to become a trillion dollar economy, healthy citizens and workforce form the critical foundation of making it happen.
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