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The focus on employee well-being has increased in recent times, with the recognition that a happy and healthy workforce is more productive and beneficial for any organization. However, it is equally important to transition towards organizational well-being, where the company as a whole is functioning in a manner that promotes a positive work culture and employee satisfaction.
Today, we have two distinguished panelists with us to discuss strategies for transitioning from employee well-being to organizational well-being and the benefits that come with it.
Dinesh (APAC Recruitment lead - Thermo Fisher Scientific) shares his opinion:
Many organizations struggle with creating a healthy work environment and maintaining a healthy workforce. This is crucial for the longevity of an organization and to ensure that teams are productive. But how can we measure this? One way is to look at the longevity of your employees. For instance, if 70% of your workforce has been with the organization for over five years, it indicates that the organization is taking care of its employees' well-being. Another measure could be the positive reviews that the organization receives on platforms like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, or social media. The number of followers and external referrals can also be a good indicator of organizational health. Internal referrals, in particular, are a great data point to consider, as it shows that employees are eager to bring their peers and colleagues to the organization.
Additionally, the number of promotions and career development opportunities can also provide insight into the organization's health. In countries like India, where there is a competitive workforce that can excel in a global landscape, talent export numbers can also be a useful measure. These measures together can help assess the healthiness of an organization.
Praveen (SHE Lead, India & NM - Roche) shares his thoughts:
As a professional in the field of organizational well-being, I believe that a healthy organization is one where all employees feel engaged and connected to their work. It's important for employees to feel good about working for the company and to be eager to come to work every day. A healthy workplace is one where employees feel empowered and motivated to work towards the company's goals.
In my opinion, organizational well-being is a balance of physical, psychological, and social well-being. This balance is crucial for the success of the organization, as it promotes a positive work environment and allows employees to perform at their best.
When it comes to measuring organizational well-being, there are a few key indicators that can be used. A low attrition rate is a good sign that employees are satisfied with their work and the company culture. Additionally, the number of applications received for job openings and the quality of those applications can also indicate the health of the organization. Surveys and sustainability ratings can also provide valuable insights into the well-being of the organization.
Overall, promoting organizational well-being is essential for the longevity and success of a company. By prioritizing the physical, psychological, and social well-being of employees, companies can create a positive work environment that encourages productivity, innovation, and growth.
As a professional, I believe that a good leader should always walk the talk. Whether it's the top management, regional leaders, or team leaders, everyone should reflect the company's values and care for their employees, whether it's physical safety or psychological safety. This care should be demonstrated through their behavior, even in small things. Building a structure and approach to foster this culture of care is crucial, and we can explore this in more detail in future discussions. As a leader, having a clear policy, defined procedures, and a vision is essential, but it's equally important to demonstrate care and belief in the product. As a professional, I believe that this is the most crucial aspect of leadership.
Dinesh shares his thoughts:
I completely agree with Praveen's points on the importance of a leader walking the talk. As a leader myself, I believe that it's crucial to create a culture of inclusivity and diversity within the organization. It's important to treat all team members with respect, regardless of their gender, race, or ethnicity. Communication and openness among team members is also essential to maintain the well-being of the organization. As a leader, I make sure that I am accountable for instances where communication and feedback are not flowing freely within the organization. I believe that as a human being, I have my own blind spots, and there is always room for improvement. Therefore, I am always open to receiving feedback and making sure that I address it. It's essential to manifest what I preach and not just say it in board meetings or through PowerPoint slides. It should reflect in my behavior and actions on the ground, creating a culture of care and appreciation for all team members.
Praveen expresses his thoughts:
I believe that in order to sustain organizational wellbeing, it has to be structured. However, during COVID, I noticed that many organizations focused solely on mental wellbeing webinars as a quick fix. This became the flavor of the season, and organizations would jump on board without fully understanding their employees' needs. This approach is not sustainable in the long run.
To build a sustainable wellbeing program, we need to take a more structured approach that addresses the physical, psychological, and social aspects of wellbeing. It's important to understand what our employees need, and not just jump on the latest trend or buzzword. We need to put in the effort to build a structure that will enable us to identify what is really needed and what improvements are required.
During the pandemic, I noticed an influx of webinars on resilience, but it soon became irrelevant to our employees who were no longer confined to their homes. We need to be relevant and focus on what our employees require in terms of wellbeing, and this requires collaboration across departments. Each department should not work independently, but rather relate to each other and create an inclusive program that is relevant and effective.
A structured approach is essential for sustained organizational wellbeing. By understanding our employees' needs and collaborating across departments, we can create a program that will improve their physical, psychological, and social wellbeing, leading to a more productive and engaged workforce.
For me, it's really important to understand the needs of my organization when it comes to employee well-being. I may have a lot of resources available, but if they're not being utilized, then it's not helping anyone. As a leader or a board member, it's important to analyze our strengths and gaps and understand the desires of our workforce. This means customizing our approach based on the different levels and expectations of our employees. We need to address any gaps or desires they have and create tailor-made solutions that work for everyone. Burnout and stress happen when there's a gap between expectations and reality, so we need to understand why that gap exists and work to bridge it. We need to remember that we're dealing with human beings who are all unique and dynamic in their own ways, so a one-size-fits-all approach won't work. By doing an in-depth analysis and understanding our workforce, we can create programs and solutions that truly help and make a difference.
Dinesh shares his opinion:
The topic of mental health has become increasingly important in the past few years, especially during the pandemic. High-performing individuals have faced many challenges due to the pandemic and resulting mental stress. Humans are social animals, and the lack of social interaction during the pandemic has made it difficult for people to express their feelings and find support. Women, in particular, have had to manage work, children, and family life, often with little support. The pandemic has also brought a lot of additional work to some sectors, such as healthcare and clinical trials, resulting in increased pressure on employees. Organizations have responded by implementing Employee Assistance Programs, offering psychological counseling and mental health support. Despite the need for such support, it can be difficult for individuals to share their struggles, even with friends or colleagues. Some individuals have even refused their salaries, citing a lack of need due to the pandemic. While the pandemic has brought many challenges, the increased focus on mental well-being and the availability of support programs are positive developments.
Praveen expresses his thoughts:
I believe that workplace stress and mental health issues can have a significant impact on productivity. It is crucial to have qualified professionals available to address these issues. During a recent visit to an organization, I inquired about their approach to addressing the mental health of their employees. Although the intention was right, I found the technique to be inappropriate. Instead, I think it is essential to provide employees with access to trained counselors, which can be done through an ERP system. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of qualified counselors in India, with a ratio of only one counselor per 50,000 people. Therefore, it is necessary to create a platform where employees can access qualified counselors for emotional and mental well-being support.
I also believe that team managers should be trained to identify triggers and refer employees who need emotional support to the platform. Sensitization of managers to mental health issues can also increase productivity, and it is important for them to understand the benefits of addressing mental health in the workplace. Overall, I think it is crucial to prioritize mental well-being in the workplace by providing employees with access to qualified counselors and training managers to support their teams' emotional needs.
Creating a diverse and inclusive culture is crucial for fostering a wellbeing organization. It's important for me to make my team feel safe and valued in expressing themselves. Diversity is essential to achieving this goal. Additionally, it's not just about promotions and career development, but customizing individual development plans to align with long-term goals. When I invest in my team, they know that the company values them, and they become more engaged and productive.
Small gestures like acknowledging and appreciating employees' efforts go a long way in creating a positive work environment. Recognizing employees and thanking them for their contributions energizes and motivates them. It creates a ripple effect of positivity throughout the team and organization.
As a leader, it's important to stay aware of the market and the needs of the team. I need to be open to finding out what my team needs and what they expect from the company. Bringing healthy technology into the workplace can be beneficial, but I need to be mindful of the screen time and find ways to make it inclusive and connected.
During the pandemic, we had to shift our celebrations and find new ways to make our remote team feel valued. We started sending cakes to their homes on their birthdays and made their families a part of the celebration. We also asked teams to order food for their families during celebrations, and we covered the cost. These small gestures created a sense of belonging and engagement among our team, making them more productive and inclusive.
Praveen expresses his opinion:
There's a lot of engaging families, that's the most important thing and that's an incredible thing. In my opinion, it's important for companies to practice engaging families, as it helps connect the families to the workplace. For example, one organization celebrated Women's Day with spouses of all male employees at the office. During the celebration, the spouses were informed about their husbands' work and priorities, which helped them understand the demands of their job. This increased the spouses' understanding and resulted in more committed time from the employee towards their work.
I believe that it's crucial to involve the families of employees as it's not just about the employee but the whole family that is connected to the company. Any organization should involve the families whenever possible as it will create a better connection and ensure better well-being. For instance, during the pandemic, online doctor consultation became a convenient option for people who did not want to risk visiting the hospital. This avenue is still being offered by many organizations and companies, and it's a great initiative. The employees can easily connect with a qualified doctor and get consultation from the comfort of their homes, and it's a great tool for employee well-being.
Another strategy that I feel is essential for improving overall well-being is collaboration between different teams and functions in the organization. If a sales meeting is happening somewhere, the team can collaborate with other departments to ensure the meeting is relevant to the overall objective of the organization's well-being. The engagement activities should be connected and relevant to the overall objective of the organization, and if that is happening, it only helps to connect across the organization.
To build a better mental well-being system at work, organizations should involve employee families, collaborate with different teams and functions, and prioritize overall employee well-being.
Dinesh shares his thoughts:
As a leader, it's crucial for me to understand my workforce. That's the first step towards effective management. For instance, I understand the importance of diversity in the workplace and have taken initiatives to support diversity hiring. But it's not just about hiring, small things like having neutral gender washrooms in our facilities make a huge difference in creating an inclusive environment. We also have equipment in the washrooms and elevators for physically challenged employees.
Diversity is not just limited to gender or physical abilities, the LGBTQ+ community is another group that needs to be included. We have special washrooms for them and make sure that they feel valued and comfortable. To create an environment that caters to everyone, I need to think from a 360-degree standpoint and understand the needs of my colleagues and resources. I understand that different generations have different needs and interests. Millennials prefer more flexibility and remote working, while baby boomers prefer to work from the office. Even within the same profession, like dentistry, different individuals have different preferences. Some prefer to work from home and want the office application on their mobile phones.
To ensure the well-being of my employees, it's not just about providing them with multiple options. It's about how effectively they are being utilized. I regularly monitor the statistics and talk to my employees to understand their needs and preferences. I connect the dots and make sure that they align with the company's objectives. This helps in creating a culture that is unique to our company and makes everyone happy in their workplace.
In conclusion, as a leader, I believe that understanding my workforce is the key to effective management. Small initiatives like diversity hiring and neutral gender washrooms can make a huge difference. By catering to everyone's needs and preferences, we create a unique culture that aligns with our company's objectives and ensures the well-being of our employees.
Praveen shares his opinion:
I believe that inclusivity is a crucial aspect of any organization or industry. However, I also recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to diversity and inclusivity. Each organization has different objectives and demographics, and it's essential to assess the situation carefully to determine the best course of action. While there may be some general guidelines that can help promote inclusivity, it's crucial to tailor these strategies to fit the specific needs and circumstances of the organization.
In conclusion, one approach that I have found effective is to create a women's division within the organization. This can help provide a safe and supportive space for women to voice their opinions and concerns. Additionally, it's crucial to gather feedback from individuals in all categories and take their suggestions into consideration. This feedback can help provide insight into how the organization can become more inclusive and better address the needs of its employees.
Ultimately, creating a culture of inclusivity requires ongoing effort and commitment. It's essential to regularly assess the organization's progress and make adjustments as needed to ensure that everyone feels valued and respected. By prioritizing inclusivity, organizations can foster a more supportive and productive workplace for all employees.
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