in a time where the line between work and personal life is becoming increasingly blurred, the mental and physical health of a company’s employees has become the focus of studies.
Productivity is declining, boredom and disengagement (only 34% of American employees feel engaged by their employer) are spreading throughout the workforce. Employees are citing a poor work-life balance as the reason for this downward spiral. Fortunately, this trend can be reversed by companies supporting their employees, responding to their needs and implementing programs that focus on the health and well-being of their employees.
However, pure health programmes are not enough. Studies show that employee well-being has five elements: physical, social, financial, collective and occupational health. When these are met, employees are more engaged and productive, which in turn leads to more satisfied and loyal customers. Employees who feel that their company is investing in them work harder and deliver better results, regardless of the amount of time actually invested, as demonstrated by the now famous Microsoft Japan experiment last year. During the trial period, they started a four-day week and so were able to increase productivity by 40%.
In order to achieve the holistic well-being of employees and lasting change, many large companies around the world have started to add a new member to the “C-Suite”: the Chief Wellbeing Officer (the equivalent in smaller companies is the Feel-Good Manager). His task is to increase the loyalty and attachment of employees to the company, a factor that can be vital to a company’s survival, especially in times of crisis. The U.S. construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar was able to significantly increase its employee engagement, achieving annual savings of almost $9 million.
The CWO is responsible for developing a creative, holistic strategy that supports all employees. It’s clear that it is no easy task to find the perfect solution for a company. But it is worth the effort. Unlocking the full potential of all employees will help companies attract, retain and develop talent in the future
Source: Inspired by “Meet the new C-suite leader: The chief well-being officer” by Debra Young, Sheer Velocity LLC.
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