Our panel examines the emerging trends in workplace wellbeing and shares tips for helping workers feel appreciated, healthy, and engaged.
Chief Product Officer, BetterUp
Chief Executive Officer, Corestream
Founder, Virgin Group
How can employers encourage a culture of health and wellness within their organization? Why is this crucial to overall business success?
Gabriella Kellerman: Wellbeing is the bedrock of performance, in the sense that if we are not psychologically and emotionally centered, we cannot sustain peak productivity in the ways our organizations need. Managers have a critical role to play in supporting wellbeing by modeling their own commitment to it and showing care for the wellbeing of their employees. Some of our customers empower managers to invite their teams to workshops on wellbeing topics, which accomplishes three things: 1) the team gets some time to bond; 2) the team builds skills to support wellbeing; and 3) it demonstrates the managers commitment to this topic.
How can large organizations (who may be late to the party) offer a voluntary benefits program that is both scalable and robust?
Neil Vaswani: This is one of those instances where it’s better late than never! Some of the greatest challenges we have seen benefits teams incur is the struggle to scale their benefits offering, and — most importantly — do it in a sustainable way.
I would advise benefits professionals to take the time to speak with established voluntary benefits technology providers, specifically those that have already done all the heavy lifting and offer organizations the ability to reap the benefits quickly. Look for the administrative burden to be solved for you by your technology provider so that you can experience a true one stop-shop for voluntary benefits, including customer service for the employee.
Why is company culture so important for employee wellbeing?
Richard Branson: Too many companies are too keen to put multitudes of rules and regulations on their staff. Not only does this stifle flexibility, but it also suggests a lack of confidence in your team to do their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible. Give your people freedom to be independent, and your business will reap the rewards. I truly believe that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business.
Are there any initiatives or upcoming trends in the employee wellbeing space that you personally support?
NV: I would say that the transactional era is over. The big picture is that during COVID, employees took a pause and then hit the reset button. This pause and reset represented a period of reflection — on such a massive scale — where employees asked themselves and continued to ask: Why am I doing this?
It was a profound period of reflection that resulted in a cultural shift; no one wants to be a number, and no one wants to dedicate the majority of their time on this earth to just collecting a paycheck to make ends meet.
GK: The biggest trend is the fusion of initiatives around wellbeing and performance. It’s not logical to separate the two, any more than it is to separate a house from its foundation. The more we can help workers and organizations go after both of these as one, the better off they will be.
RB: First and foremost, I believe in flexible working. It is important that employers appreciate their employees’ work-life balance and give them the flexibility to work around their personal lives. We have embraced flexible working since 2013 and allowed our people to work from home or remotely, and stagger their working hours if they wish to. We trust our employees to work from wherever and whenever they like as long as they get their work done on time and to a high level.