Employee health is more important than ever
Every single respondent in our annual client survey, from professional sports to processing plants, teachers to transportation, said they’re planning to maintain or increase spending on their health and wellness offerings in 2023.
Events of the last few years have made us all think more about our health. In turn, leaders are continuing to prioritize the health of their employees. It is now clear that the right health initiatives can help in tackling some of the trickiest business challenges.
So, what are some of the people-challenges organizations face in 2023? And how might health initiatives help to overcome them?
Employees are checking out, if not burning out
Burnout has been a common part of the workplace lexicon for many years now, with incidents much increased by the pressures of the pandemic. And at another point within the mental health spectrum, many individuals are experiencing what psychologist Adam Grant calls languishing, just feeling, as he puts it, ‘blah’.
However we label it, employees have struggled through the last few years, and are continuing to struggle today. From a changing geopolitical landscape to economic shifts; from global health emergencies to political and societal changes. We have all experienced and are still experiencing significant stressors at both a global and local level.
What does this mean for organizations? Well, by now we have all heard the term ‘The Great Resignation’ often put down to employees being made unhappy or even unwell by work. More recently the trend of ‘quiet quitting’, doing purely what is stated in your job description, nothing more, has also gone viral.
So what can we do about it?
We can support our people through these challenging times by providing wide-reaching mental health support. In fact, our annual survey of health insurance consultants indicated that mental health support was the fastest growing area of interest for their clients.
Traditional support often exists in the form of an EAP – an offer of confidential, company-funded, counseling. This can be a valuable lifeline for those who are struggling. A complementary and vital additional offer for employees is the provision of informal, on-demand, virtual programming. This type of flexible support can reach everyone, whenever, wherever.
The good news is that we are seeing a steady decrease in the stigma associated with the discussion of mental health and the seeking of support – with sports stars and film stars alike sharing their struggles. Continuing to promote openness around mental health will be key to any successful mental health initiative in 2023.
New hires have new needs
The phrase ‘war for talent’ is nothing new, but what does seem to have changed in the last few years is the attitude of those seeking work, and the requirements they have for a new role.
One often cited reason for this is that the pressure of the pandemic led us all to more closely scrutinize our jobs and the impact they have on us. But there is another piece to the puzzle. A new generation of workers is changing the workforce – millennials continue to make up a larger percentage and Gen Z are now looking for their first roles.
Many individuals seeking work, particularly those of younger generations, have a different set of priorities when it comes to selecting their future employers. It’s not about pay or status, it’s about culture. If an organization doesn’t, for example, have a culture that prioritizes the health and wellbeing of its employees, it may quickly be shirked for an employer that does.
The tricky thing about culture is that whether you like it or not, it will create itself. And without great care and attention, the culture that is created may not be what leaders had in mind, or one in which employees will thrive.
Organizational culture is the collection of shared values, beliefs, and practices, that are both generated by and will inform the actions and attitudes of workers. A healthy culture is not necessarily one where people eat salads for lunch and take a walk at break time. It is a culture that promotes, prioritizes, and protects the health of its employees.
With some thought, we can easily weave the priority of health into the culture of our organization – from how leaders communicate at town halls to the subtle messages delivered by a manager, from running company-wide events to allowing individuals a moment for themselves.
Creating a healthy culture will not only engage employees within the organization but be a significant draw to those weighing up employers as they seek out a new role.
Anticipating digital health and wellness trends in 2023
These are just a couple of the many people-challenges organizations are grappling with as they head into the new year.
Our team at Burnalong is currently working alongside HR leaders, business stakeholders, consultants, and insurance partners as they plan for 2023. Working with proven strategies across organizations of all sizes, we are uniquely positioned to help address employee needs and establish a healthy culture.
Now is the time to re-write the impact of your digital health and wellness initiatives in 2023. To learn how we can support you and your employees, schedule a few moments with our team.