The pandemic, coupled with The Great Resignation, has made organisations aware that they need to deepen their understanding of how critical well-being measures are to the effectiveness and resilience of the workforce. Organisations are now recognising that well-being is essential to retaining top talent, reducing absenteeism and improving engagement.
The significance of The Great Resignation is that employee concerns were not just about money and bonuses. The majority of workers resigned because of a perceived toxic culture, perceived lack of recognition, mounting workload, chronic stress, working hours and poor leadership rather than just because of pay and benefits.
Major cultural concerns voiced by many during The Great Resignation were the lack of recognition, poor management, the misalignment of corporate values with personal values and the shift to working from home.
Addressing well-being concerns and transforming an organisation from a toxic culture to a sustainable and inclusive one is being done exceptionally well by organisations that have hired Chief of Wellness Officers (CWO). The effectiveness of CWOs is that they sit at a C-suite level which gives them a solid connection to leadership teams, the ability to assess well-being systemically and get funding and approval to make organisation-wide interventions.
Here are the three top benefits an organisation expect from hiring CWO:
A CWO can inform the leadership teams about which support services are available and which may require development to address the unique well-being needs of its workforce. Different teams within organisations frequently have various well-being concerns. This is why a one size fits all approach is often received as inauthentic by employees. CWO can deliver the resources needed to address unique team challenges. This aids in maximising the utilisation of well-being resources.
CWOs are well-positioned to ensure clear communication between the workforce and leadership.
Actionable and authentic communication between employees, managers and leaders has proven vital during unprecedented times. Difficult times have shown how important it is for leaders to receive accurate feedback on how their workforce is faring. This has proven even more difficult with remote working, which is why CWO are more important than ever, as they are positioned to make sure employees feel connected to the organisation’s leadership.
CWO is becoming a vital part of an organisation’s D&I efforts. A significant factor that drives a toxic work culture is exclusionary. A work environment where employees feel they can’t speak up or share their ideas or cliques form and exclude others. Exclusionary environments impact not just work performance but also an individual’s overall well-being. For example, a CWO can make powerful alliances with Heads of D&I and ESG to drive training and development that educates their leaders on how best relationships are formed and maintained throughout an organisation.
Another step organisations are taking is to hire an in-house or external coach to tackle individual and select team issues within an organisation. The benefit of in-house or external coaches is that they are personal transformation and performance management experts.
An in-house or external coach can effectively address negative emotions or behaviours. For example, a coach can improve the self-knowledge of their clients and lead them to a position where they feel better equipped to understand the roadblocks that sit in their path to success within an organisation. Coaching helps eliminate emotional roadblocks that a client might not feel they can address adequately through traditional HR wellness initiatives. The most common of these emotions are fear, feelings of inferiority or ‘impostor syndrome’, hesitancy, lack of confidence and guilt.
Coaching is very effective at providing a psychological ‘safe space’ for employees to feel authentically heard and supported by the organisation. Employees can express themselves freely knowing that the sessions are confidential and intended to unlock and maximise their full potential; this way they can sustain high-performance at work while creating optimised habits and behaviours to fulfil their work-life balance.
In-house or external coaches can enhance clients’ time to learn new skills. This can be beneficial to an organisation as it saves non-productive time, minimises the learning phase, and accelerates the time into the productivity phase. Successful application of a coach can be when an employee is moving into a first supervisory or people management role, or when an employee is newly appointed to a senior or unfamiliar position.
In-house or external coaches can specifically work to enhance the focus, productivity and creativity of employees. The principal focus and creativity methods look at improving mental health, helping employees set up a conducive work environment, helping to strengthen and enhance their support networks, and sticking to a tightly organised personal schedule.
A coach can work with individuals to enhance their creative potential and innovative thinking. For example, individuals that an organisation deems need more innovative and pioneering skills can use a coach to help open their minds through new systematic thought processes that combine, disassemble, reconstruct, and extrapolate from existing ideas to make way for new ones.
Organisations are now seeing how closely related well-being is to business performance and recognising that they need to implement authentic measures to improve overall culture. CWO and using in-house and external coaches are proving very effective at tackling the challenges organisations face where well-being and business performance overlap the most. In response to the issues such as The Great Resignation, the hiring of CWO and the use of in-house and external coaches are proving to be the most effective solution.
About the author: Charlène Gisèle is a high-performance coach and burnout advisor.