Investing In Our Assets

For decades, accountants have categorised employees as a liability due to salaries and unpaid leave. Far from being a liability, the greatest asset any business has to be its workers. And like any asset, your people need to be invested in. One way we can start this is to change the way we view wellbeing. By prescribing health and wellbeing programs to your employees and not for them you are treating them like a liability not an asset. If you really want to protect your assets you will do things for them not to them.

Wellbeing and work

When we know work is a big influencer on an individuals wellbeing and people are one of the organisations biggest assets does it not make sense that we provide cultures and experiences for our people that enhance their wellbeing instead of depleting it?

Wellbeing programs should form the support mechanisms to help in areas we can’t change like Mary from accounts having to care for an elderly parent, Van from IT who commutes two hours to get to and from work and can’t find time for any exercicse or Matt from the contact centre who works shifts and struggles with sleep on the night shift. In these situations targeted programs can be extremely powerful. On the contrary providing Michelle from legal with a mindfulness session to combat her regular 12 hour days, tight deadlines and heavy work schedule isnt really going to get to the heart of her issues. This approach puts the onus directly at her feet and sends a message that she is a liability and not an asset. 

Healthy cultures

Nothing determines business success (or failure) more than workplace culture. This is especially true with employee health and wellbeing, where bad culture can sabotage even the most well-designed programs. By supporting individual and team resilience, and by making small shifts to organisational life that enhances wellbeing, employers can improve their effectiveness and contribute to a healthier overall culture for social change.

The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred a call to action for organisations to really focus on wellbeing — not just to invest in wellbeing programs that sit to the side, but to think about how to integrate wellbeing into the work itself. Good health is about so much more than breaking bad habits or not being sick — it should be about helping people be their best selves in all aspects of their lives, both in and out of work.

Holistic wellbeing is more than just grouping together wellbeing dimensions

When we think of holistic wellbeing we need to think of more than diet, exercise, mental health and sleep. Holistic wellbeing should also include the systems people operate in, how we treat one another and whether our basic needs are being met. 

Organisations that provide a clear mission and vision, offer meaningful work, and actively seek ways to help people integrate their personal and professional lives will reap the benefits of retaining energised employees who are equipped to bring their best selves to work each day.

Employee experience matters

One way of achieving this is to create positive employee experiences that include listening to your people, having open and transparent communication, supporting development, creating space for peer to peer support and supportive leaders.  An important first step in creating a positive employee experience is understanding your people's moments that matter.

If companies hope to see any positive ROI from improving employee wellbeing, workplace cultures must be the foundation for programs, the employee experience must be positive, people will need to hone their core capabilities and we need to bring wellbeing into the flow of work itself. 

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