As the chief people officer for The Clorox Company, Kirsten Marriner recognizes the importance of employee well-being. "Engaged people help deliver strong financial outcomes," says Marriner, who also serves as senior vice president for the corporate giant best known for its bleach. "We do this through our culture, and an environment that focuses on growth, and growing the right way."

Understanding wellness

Marriner says there are many aspects of well-being, including the physical and financial, along with career, social and psychological elements.

"One important contributor to happiness is the physical well-being part. We invest in employees from a health perspective through our health and wellness benefits. There are incentives for employees to complete healthy activities and incentives for delivering through health outcomes," she says.

Bringing out the best

Cultivating a culture that enables workers to thrive is essential to attracting and retaining talent. In addition to inclusion, promoting diversity allows companies to get the most from their employees. 

"It's when people can bring their very best every day, where they feel like they can bring their whole selves to work and be themselves," explains Marriner, who believes in giving employees an opportunity to challenge the status quo based on core values. 

Every employee should think and act like an owner, as well. 

"That's empowering — asking them to be accountable, to cultivate and generate and build on bold ideas that drive growth,” she says. “It's an opportunity to be 'all in'. When you feel like you own something, it's a more engaging, energizing and fun place to be."

Doing the right thing

It's vital to create a culture supportive of its business goals. 

Marriner says it's not just what you achieve, but how you achieve it. This includes treating colleagues with respect, leading by example, enforcing safety in the workplace and embracing environmental sustainability. Understanding the significance of social responsibility is also key.

"It's about how we think about interacting with our community and the world around us," Marriner says.  

Employers should consider offering employee volunteer programs, which are especially appealing to millennials eager to contribute their time and money to causes. 

Having a clear vision

Marriner says regardless of a company's size, it's vital to create a culture supportive of its business goals. 

"We first start with a clear business strategy,” explains Marriner. “We talk about it, and our people understand it. So, it's having companies be really clear who they are, what they stand for and how they plan to get there".

Business leaders must ensure staffers realize exactly what it takes to advance from one point to the next, so they can actively be part of the journey. "When you understand where you are today versus where you want to be, it's easy to put a plan together," she says.