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Employee Well-Being

Experts Weigh in on Wellbeing’s Present and Future Imperative

Jake Flaitz

Director of Benefits, Paychex, Inc.

What is the business case for investing in employee wellbeing programs and benefits? 

Helping our employees to achieve their best state of wellbeing means that they’ll be at their most productive state of work. When we’re at our best at all areas in life, we do our best at work—this adds benefits to not only the employee, but to the employer as well.

What are some strategies companies can employ to prevent employee burnout and retain top talent?

Wellbeing isn’t just about someone’s physical or emotional health. It’s important that companies take a comprehensive view and focus on all elements—physical, emotional, financial, community (our work community and our outside of work communities), and career—to have a true impact.

How can employees establish work-life balance in a connected era?

This is one of the most significant challenges—the idea of work-life integration. Because of our connectedness, our life comes to work with us, just as our work comes home. We need to help our employees balance this by giving them the flexibility to manage priorities both at and outside work.

What should employers be cognizant of as Gen Z launches into the workforce?

For Gen Z, it’s all about the journey. They know where they want to be, but they take an interesting route to get there. They’re looking for the ability to do different things at work, and to be challenged. They want to have a voice and be heard. We as employers need to be open to that and embrace it. 

Joe Mozden

Vice President, DeVryWORKS

What is the business case for investing in employee wellbeing programs and benefits? 

Programs aimed at engaging talent and supporting growth across the employee lifecycle are a great investment for those who are aiming to win in today’s competitive hiring environment, reap the cost savings of employee retention, and enable improved performance associated with talent development.

What are some strategies companies can employ to prevent employee burnout and retain top talent?

First, forge a path for long-term employee satisfaction and professional development. For instance, investing in reskilling and upskilling shows that you value your current workforce. Strategize for programs that encourage talent to experience personal growth while also supporting business goals.

What should employers be cognizant of as Gen Z launches into the workforce?

Employers are competing for the attention of Gen Z talent entering the workforce now, plus need to earn their loyalty once they’re on board. Let’s find ways to help develop Gen Z, as a group of digital natives comfortable in the gig economy, and secure their skills as leaders we will need tomorrow.

Scott McCain

President, Paragon Home Resources

What is the business case for investing in employee wellbeing programs and benefits? 

Scott McCain: 70 percent of working caregivers experience work-related difficulties and only 47 percent maintain their jobs. 85 percent would welcome more information and resources from their employers. Paragon Home Resources is such a resource. 

What are some strategies companies can employ to prevent employee burnout and retain top talent?

SM: This is as much on the company management and culture as it is on the employee. Requiring or expecting employees to be accessible 24/7 may seem effective or just “the way it is,” but it is actually a sure race to burnout. Proper downtime requires planning and communication, which some managers don’t want to deal with. Reinforcing healthier expectations needs to start from the top.

How can employees establish work-life balance in a connected era?

SM: 34 million Americans provide unpaid care to an adult over 50 years old. 53% will leave their job. Paragon Home Resources is one of the few solutions to support these employees as it relates to finding senior living solutions and managing the transition. 

What should employers be cognizant of as Gen Z launches into the workforce?

SM: High schools and parents have generally failed to provide Gen Z’s with any basic education regarding sound financial management concepts. Many are starting off already with significant debt. Companies have an opportunity to fill this gap.

David Weir

President, WorkPartners

What is the business case for investing in employee wellbeing programs and benefits? 

Employers and their employees are under increasing pressure to improve performance, optimize efficiency and deliver value in today’s economy.  By developing a comprehensive strategy around building a happy, healthy, ready, and resilient workforce, employers can have a huge impact on health and costs.

What are some strategies companies can employ to prevent employee burnout and retain top talent?

Taking advantage of resources their employer already has—like tapping into their EAP programs—is a great way to start. But because we are so plugged in as a society, taking advantage of digital tools and apps that are available, like mindfulness or meditation tools, can help employees find balance.

How can employees establish work-life balance in a connected era?

Pay attention to your employees and provide them opportunities to vent frustrations and tension, and engage in healthy activities. Ensure your benefit programs and incentives are in line to help you create this balance, through things like flexible work schedules, job rotation opportunities, PTO, and wellness programs.

What should employers be cognizant of as Gen Z launches into the workforce?

Gen Z is always connected, never without their phones. They may go straight to work, looking for employer support for college. Children of the recession, they are looking for benefits and financial security. Creating programs that are accessible and relevant to them will impact their engagement.

Artis Rozentals

CEO, Desktime

What is the business case for investing in employee wellbeing programs and benefits? 

It’s been repeatedly proven that happier employees are more engaged in their day-to-day work, which inherently makes them more productive. The more productive the team is, the more profitable the business. So, essentially, happy and productive employees means building a successful organization.

What are some strategies companies can employ to prevent employee burnout and retain top talent?

It comes down to establishing a healthy relationship with the technology in your life—knowing when to lean in, and when to unplug. It’s equally important that the employer embraces the same view: you won’t have much luck unplugging if your employer demands one-hour email response times.

How can employees establish work-life balance in a connected era?

Companies are in a position to define expectations when it comes to work hours. At DeskTime, we allow employees to work hours that work for them—early risers come in earlier, and night owls can come in later. Our time-tracking software keeps tabs on everyone, so strict work hours aren’t necessary.

What should employers be cognizant of as Gen Z launches into the workforce?

For Gen Z, one of the most important aspects of work is striking the balance of flexibility and productivity. Having the freedom to define their own workday, while having the framework and structure necessary to thrive. Companies should then consider how they can provide self-defined flexibility.ES: Employers can address the age-related expectations of Gen Z’s by regularly surveying employees about their job satisfaction and health-related goals and responding accordingly.

Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP

Chief Medical Officer, American Heart Association

What is the business case for investing in employee wellbeing programs and benefits? 

A workplace wellbeing program that is comprehensively designed and fully -implemented can improve employee health and productivity. Programs and policies that are based on the latest scientific evidence—and are supported by senior leadership—have the potential to generate positive outcomes.

What are some strategies companies can employ to prevent employee burnout and retain top talent?

Adults spend more time at work apart from sleeping. Technology has created the potential to always “be on.” Evidence-based strategies to promote work-life balance include regular physical activity and getting enough sleep. Employers can also offer flexible work hours to accommodate employees.

How can employees establish work-life balance in a connected era?

Burnout is comprised of exhaustion, low work engagement, and low job confidence. Employees can lower their risk of burnout by regular physical activity and getting a good night’s rest. Employers can help by setting realistic goals and providing adequate resources for projects.

What should employers be cognizant of as Gen Z launches into the workforce?

Employers can address the age-related expectations of Gen Z’s by regularly surveying employees about their job satisfaction and health-related goals and responding accordingly.

Vicki Ravenel

VP Sales, EE Incentives

What is the business case for investing in employee wellbeing programs and benefits?

Enhancing workplace wellbeing and elevating positive work environments have been proven to improve employee productivity and heighten workplace engagement.  These measurable benefits result in better retention rates, attraction of higher quality candidates, and greater profitability than competitors with a less happy, healthy, and engaged workforce.

What are some strategies companies can employ to prevent employee burnout and retain top talent?  

Recognize employees frequently and meaningfully and publicly – for large and small accomplishments.  Statistics show that employees most often leave their jobs not because they are dissatisfied with their salary, but rather because they feel underappreciated.  A bad manager who never gives praise or positive recognition can be highly detrimental to an organization’s culture and employee performance.

How can employees establish work life balance in a connected era?

Although employers are not responsible for providing a work/life balance for their employees, they can help establish and foster a workplace culture that promotes time to recharge and empowers them to have more control over their work life.  Technology should help employees work smarter, not necessarily work constantly.  Burnout and exhaustion only leads to diminished productivity and stress over time.  A work organization should be a community with a sense of collaboration, allowing each employee to honor personal priorities as well as to celebrate professional achievements.

What should employers be cognizant of as Gen Z launches into the workforce?

Generation Z is the most diverse generation to date, 48% of which are non-Caucasian. Gen Z employers must be able to not only embrace diversity, but celebrate it!

Smartphones have been around since Gen Z were infants. They are the first generation to have smart technology available to them since they’ve been alive. They are incredibly technologically savvy and adapt very quickly. Regardless, they still place high value on interpersonal relationships and developing good people skills. In the workplace, they want to be coached and have daily interactions with their supervisors. Employers must be willing to develop these relationships on an interpersonal level in order to get the best out of these young professionals.  

Gen Z individuals tend to be a bit more pragmatic than their idealist neighbors, the millennials. Security tends to drive their choices as many experienced the great recession at a young age. Many are directly motivated by salary and employer health insurance coverage. Employers must consider the total rewards package and think in terms of pragmaticism and security in order to remain competitive with Gen Z professionals.

Staff, [email protected]

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