Employee Well-Being: A Guide For HR Leaders

Explore this guide for HR leaders to take employee mental well-being into account—from hiring and mentoring to policies, benefits, internal comms, and more.

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The Calm Team

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Feeling OK in a VUCA world

There’s a handy acronym that’s perfect for describing the world we’re all living in today: VUCA, the combination of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.

The term was first used by the US Army War College to describe the end of the Cold War, but it couldn’t be more relevant for the world of work that we’re all experiencing today:

Volatility is on the rise as the rate of change—and the number of things changing—increases in every industry.

Uncertainty hangs over life and work as the most predictable outcomes seem to be the only things that never happen.

Complexity keeps ramping up as our work becomes more interconnected, collaborative, and software-dependent.

And Ambiguity adds a smokescreen of confusion to it all. It’s hard to say what’s expected of each of us today, never mind next week. 

While living in these conditions may sometimes feel exciting, there’s no doubt it can also undermine our sense of well-being.

As an HR leader, or a people manager at any level, it’s increasingly important to take well-being into account when you think about everything from hiring, coaching, and mentoring to policies, benefits, internal comms, performance reviews, and employer branding.

So what is well-being? There are as many definitions as there are sources, but we like this simple one:

Well-being is our sense of satisfaction with our lives.

 

It includes subjective things—like how we feel about our own mood, morale, fitness, autonomy, or success—and more objective measures of our health, education, safety, and life prospects.

When thinking about employees, HR leaders often think about different types of well-being—including mental, physical, financial, and social. 

While a robust model for employee well-being keeps all of them in mind, this guide will focus on mental well-being, the most complex and least understood of them all (and, arguably, the one that employers, managers, and HR leaders can have the most influence over).

Why invest in employee well-being?

For HR leaders, the main reason for investing in employee well-being is quite simply because it’s the right thing to do. We spend a third of our lives at work and so our employers have a duty of care to take well-being seriously. 

Yes, there’s plenty of evidence that employees with a healthy sense of well-being are more productive and effective, stay longer with the company, take fewer medical days off, and work more collaboratively with their peers. Yet, for most HR leaders, the case for investing in well-being is based on human empathy rather than business Return On Investment calculations. 

For those who need it, the ROI is strong. The 2020 Health and Well-Being At Work Survey (from The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) reported the top three benefits of investing in employee well-being as:

  • Better employee morale and engagement
  • Healthier and more inclusive culture
  • Lower sickness absence

Any one of these would justify every employer’s commitment to well-being. But take all three and it’s an overwhelmingly compelling business case.

No wonder well-being has become an important part of so many companies’ employee value proposition.

“Employees need, and increasingly demand, resources to help them cope with mental health problems.”

— McKinsey & Company, Mental Health in the Workplace: The Coming Revolution

Mental health and mental well-being at work

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Work can and should be an important contributor to mental health and well-being. The International Labour Organisation identifies five kinds of experiences that promote mental well-being:

  • Time structure
  • Social contact
  • Collective effort
  • Social identity
  • Regular activity

But work can also be a significant source of the stressful experiences that can undermine well-being. And employees don’t leave the stresses of their personal lives at the door when they show up for work every day.

The causes of work stress

Work stress can come from a wide range of sources, including:

Organizational and role dynamics

Poor communication, a non-supportive culture, role ambiguity...

Career trajectory

Stagnation, uncertainty, job insecurity…

Lack of autonomy

Low participation in decision-making, lack of control over work

Relationship complexities

Isolation, conflict, lack of support…

Work issues

Work overload or underload, time pressure, lack of variety, inflexibility... 

Taken together—and set against the background of a VUCA world—it’s no surprise that mental health and well-being have moved up the agenda for so many HR and business leaders. 

“The nature of work is changing at whirlwind speed. Perhaps now more than ever before, job stress poses a threat to the health of workers and, in turn, to the health of organizations.”

— National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

The impact of work stress

Mental well-being problems undermine people’s happiness at work. They also make a significant impact on the workplace:

Clearly, a workforce with a high level of well-being will dramatically out-perform a workforce with low levels. It will also attract talent more easily and keep people for longer.

In a recent survey by Willis Towers Watson, mental/behavioral health was the top clinical area that employers planned to target—with things like organization-wide strategies; manager training; proactive stress and anxiety activities; and a fresh look at Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs.)

It’s easy to see why the global conversation on mental health is picking up pace and becoming more prominent around boardroom tables. Employers need to understand and embrace their role in helping alleviate stress and reducing the drivers of poor mental health at work.”

— Michele Parmelee, Chief People and Purpose Officer, Deloitte Global

A burnout epidemic

Burnout is a psychological response to chronic work stress, characterized by feelings of exhaustion. Unlike the high-intensity experience of stress, burnout makes people feel depleted—feeling that the joy has been sucked out of work and life.

  • 77% of people experienced burnout at their current job.
  • 69% felt their employers weren’t doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout.

Deloitte Workplace Burnout Survey


The World Health Organization identifies three dimensions of burnout:

  1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  2. Increased mental distance from and negativism about one's job
  3. A sense of ineffectiveness

The causes of burnout are the same as the causes of stress listed above—overwork, lack of control, etc.—but experienced over a sustained period of time, with few opportunities to rest and recover.

Identifying workplace burnout

Managers often feel they can spot when an employee is experiencing burnout. And they’re typically right: changes in behavior, lower energy levels, and increased negativity are often too obvious to ignore.

But many employees can be experiencing burnout without showing the external signs—or their burnout symptoms don’t contrast as starkly with their normal demeanor.

To help with that, experts have developed questionnaires and graders that identify and quantify burnout or imminent burnout. The best-known of these is The Maslach Burnout Inventory, developed by Christina Maslach, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Listen to an HBR podcast with Christina Maslach called Why Burnout Happens

Reducing stress and burnout in the workplace

With burnout on the rise—accelerated by the pandemic year—employers are getting better at preventing, spotting, and responding to burnout. Managers are learning to:

  • Check in regularlyInviting employees to talk about stress and burnout
  • Dial-up the recognition—Making sure that work well done is celebrated instead of ignored or taken for granted
  • Offer mental wellness tools—Including group well-being sessions and access to platforms like Calm
  • Encourage breaks—And increase work flexibility
  • Increase engagement—Connecting people to the meaning of the work and its impact on others 

For more insight and advice on burnout at work, read the Calm for Business blog posts:

New ways to support employee well-being

Companies are investing in mental well-being by supporting specific initiatives, including:

Mental Health First Aid training

Short training programs that show managers how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. 

Professional well-being managers

More companies are hiring trained clinicians to work closely with the HR and Benefits teams to develop well-being programs, shape policies, analyze well-being, and promote best practices across the organization.

Integrating well-being as part of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion efforts

Employers increasingly recognize that underrepresented groups can face more well-being challenges than privileged groups. So there’s more well-being content in DE&I initiatives and vice versa.

“It's important not just to hire diversely, but to make sure that the people we hire are happy, feel like they fit in, and are appreciated.”

— Colin Jansen, Manager Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, The Kraft Heinz Company

Mindfulness and meditation programs

More and more companies are promoting the benefits of mindfulness and mediation at work, often offering digital wellness platforms as a benefit. 

Here’s how we define the two terms:  

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment on purpose, with kindness and curiosity. In being mindful, we cultivate awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in an accepting, nonjudgmental way.

Meditation is a way to train the mind and calm the brain by paying attention primarily to our breath.

Research has shown that both can be reliable ways to reduce stress at work. 

Several studies—including one published in 2016 in Biological Psychiatry—have shown that mindful meditation not only helps people deal with work stress but also changes people’s brains in positive ways that make them better able to handle stress in the future.

Digital mental wellness platforms

Tens of thousands of employers have turned to digital mental wellness platforms like Calm for Business as an employee benefit.

While existing EAPs act as safety nets for employees in crisis or those struggling with a diagnosed disorder, digital wellness platforms take a more preventive approach, improving mental wellness and resilience for all employees.

Digital platforms like Calm include a wide range of tools, from mindfulness and meditation to breathing exercises, stretching sessions, music, sleep aids, and more.

“We knew we needed to offer something to help support people’s well-being. A mental wellness platform was the obvious answer, because it’s digital, it’s easy to introduce, and the whole global team can use it.”

— Jennifer Aylwin, Director of Global Benefits, Nuance Communications

 

Learn more about Calm for Business.

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Job satisfaction and well-being

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Employee well-being isn’t just about navigating stress and burnout—it’s also about how people feel about their job as a whole.

Job satisfaction can be defined as the level of contentment and fulfillment one has in their professional life. Although contributing factors can be subjective, the non-profit 80,000 Hours conducted a literature review that distilled job satisfaction down to five key elements:

  • Level of engagement
  • Level of job mastery or skill
  • Sense of meaning
  • Sense of supportive relationships
  • Work that meets one’s basic needs

A great well-being strategy doesn’t necessarily take on the responsibility of meeting those criteria for all employees, but it does help facilitate them where possible. Here are some ways that companies can help support job satisfaction and employee well-being:

Creating a sense of autonomy and pride

Developing autonomy in the workplace can be a powerful tool for supporting employee engagement and happiness.

Autonomy at work doesn’t necessarily mean people working in isolation or without guidance. Rather, it’s about giving employees control over their own work process and output—and trusting them to make good decisions.

Encouraging a self-motivated, independent approach to work can go a long way. This study from the University of Birmingham shows that increased autonomy can lead to:

  • Greater employee well-being
  • More engagement with work
  • Increased intrinsic motivation 
  • Greater trust between employers and workers

For companies that tend towards micromanaging their employees, taking a more hands-off approach can be a bit daunting. But increasing autonomy doesn’t mean doing away with structure—it can be a slow, incremental shift towards fostering more employee independence. For most companies, any move away from micromanagement is worth considering—studies show it’s a massive factor in workplace unhappiness. 

Prioritizing professional development and career advancement

More than ever before, people are looking to expand their skill set on the job. In fact, they’re pretty much demanding it. A study conducted by Udemy showed that 42% of young workers considered learning and development as the most important benefit (after salary) when deciding where to work.

For managers and HR leaders, professional development is an opportunity to help their people progress in a meaningful way. Companies that prioritize it also end up reducing turnover, attracting talent, improving employee motivation, and strengthening productivity.

So, what does modern career development look like? Outbound skills training and industry events are two major paths, but many avenues exist within your organization as well, such as:

  • Cross-departmental training 
  • Soft-skill training
  • Mentoring
  • Implementing a Learning Management System

Fostering a connection to meaning in work

For hundreds of thousands of employees, job satisfaction means finding meaning in their work.

Many studies have shown that, across all age groups, most employees are willing to trade a percentage of their earnings for greater meaning at work.

Often finding fulfillment in work doesn’t involve a radical shift in the work itself, but rather a change in perspective. Companies can help encourage a sense of meaning for their people by:

Showing off the result of their work

Especially in larger projects, it’s easy for work efforts to be disjointed and disconnected from the final result. Publicly celebrating the finished product of all of those office hours can help rekindle motivation and make people feel valued.

Connecting work to the bigger picture

Demonstrate to employees how their work actually impacts the world (or at least a group of people). Help them connect with the greater impact of their efforts.

“Employees who envision the outcomes of their daily routines find more meaning from doing them. I am not just presenting a lecture as I teach, but preparing the next generation of business leaders.”

— David Ulrich, Author and Professor of Business,University of Michigan

For HR leaders and managers who work in offices, addressing fulfillment at work is especially important. An Emplify survey of 12,000 employees found that people who spend their days doing more desk-bound, knowledge-based work report lower levels of meaning when compared to hands-on, field-based workers.

Building a supportive culture

While not everybody works best in a social setting, most people want to feel like they aren’t totally isolated in their job—that support is available when and if they need it.

Companies shouldn’t depend purely on HR to provide that sense of support. Growing a sense of community among employees can help take the load off while improving motivation, productivity, and collaboration across the board.

The thing is: not all efforts to build a teamwork culture are equally effective. It’s the kind of thing that can’t be forced or designated, only helped along. Here are a few tips to help:

Start from the top

Teamwork grows best when leaders within the company demonstrate it through action.

Emphasize communication

Encourage casual conversation, informal meetings, and cross-department chats.

Have a solid sense of direction

A clear, common goal that people care about can help inspire a bond and get a team motivated.

Organize team-building exercises

Take the time to get to know the likes and dislikes of your team and give them a few options for bonding activities.

“Shared experiences help employees come together in ways that build meaningful connections and trust, help make a collective impact and provide opportunities for learning. Activities that provide a common purpose, remove formal titles, and inject the right amount of positive stress are especially effective at deepening relationships, a key source of fulfillment.” 

— Shannon Schuyler, Chief Purpose Officer, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Checking in with regular performance reviews and goal-setting

Performance reviews have gotten a bad rap. They bring to mind the unpleasant notion of a mandatory annual sit down and they’ve been the subject of some grim statistics: according to Gallup research, only 14% of employees strongly agree their performance reviews inspire them to improve. 

And yet people want feedback—and they want it often.

A Reflektive study showed that more than 90% of employees want their manager to address performance mistakes or development opportunities in real-time when they happen.

The same study showed that more than half of office professionals want performance reviews or check-ins with their supervisor at least once a month. And yet 69% of executives only conduct them once or twice a year.

Feedback can be an incredibly powerful tool for developing job satisfaction if it’s not relegated to a checked-off box. Leaning into it with a more frequent review rhythm can help give people a timely and relevant look at where they’re at and where they can improve.

With more check-in sessions, managers can help employees develop and track shorter-term goals—which can steadily boost motivation, or highlight where support is needed.


“Set and reset goals frequently. Companies that set performance goals quarterly generate 31% greater returns from their performance process than those who do it annually, and those who do it monthly get even better results. This means employees get feedback on a continuous basis.”

— Josh Bersin, HR Analyst and Researcher

Measuring employee well-being

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Even before the pandemic, mental wellness in the workplace was a growing issue. Now that it’s been severely magnified, we’re seeing a shift in how employers approach employee well-being. More companies are realizing that they have the ability (and responsibility) to help support mental well-being in their people.

Getting proactive by implementing wellness strategies, programs, and platforms, like Calm, is a great way to start the journey towards workplace well-being. And companies need to continuously measure employee well-being to see how support initiatives are impacting the organization.

By regularly measuring well-being, companies can better connect with how their people are feeling and get a sense of how different approaches to wellness support are succeeding or falling short. This kind of visibility is key for having employee support become an ever-improving process.

One of the most effective ways to measure employee well-being is the self-assessment questionnaire or survey. Designing a questionnaire can be challenging—but if approached in a thoughtful way, it can be a uniquely powerful tool for guiding organizations and helping your employees feel heard.

What to ask (and what not to ask)

A great employee well-being survey is somewhat of a balancing act. It covers a span of different areas, but isn’t overwhelmingly long. It’s structured, but allows for open-ended input. 

Ultimately, you want your answers to represent the reality of employee well-being in your organization. That starts with smart, strategic questions. Here are some things to consider when building out a questionnaire:

Get broad

A lot factors into well-being. Questions can cover a wide range of relevant areas, such as how employees feel about their own mental well-being, physical health, sleep habits, work-life balance, motivation, pressure at work, diversity and inclusion, company values, company practices, company support, managerial feedback, professional growth, job satisfaction, compensation, personal safety, harassment, and more.  

Aim for an accessible length

Instead of addressing every issue in a single survey, consider shorter, more frequent surveys to get the whole picture.

Don’t get too personal

Ideally, well-being surveys should stay anonymous. Questions shouldn’t risk revealing the identity of the employee.

Keep the first question easy

Keep it relatively light early on and let people build a bit of comfort and momentum before working their way up to questions that may be more difficult or sensitive.

Mix in open-ended questions

Open-ended questions can help employees express feedback that may not fit into closed answer options. Open answers can also inform future surveys by revealing important issues that may be missing from the question set.

How often to survey employees

Lengthy, annual surveys can be a chore to fill out, leading to incomplete and inaccurate data. Instead, consider the “pulse survey” style—short surveys conducted at regular weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly intervals.

When deciding at which frequency to conduct surveys, consider that employee well-being likely won’t fluctuate wildly in short spans of time.

That said, timely surveys in the wake of organizational changes, new managerial hires, or other factors that could cause a shift in employee well-being.

Choosing the right channels

Allow surveys to be filled out anonymously, via self-serve questionnaire platforms sent out through email. While it can be tempting to leave an open window for response times, it’s likely your people are busy and may leave it long to the point of forgetting.

Consider instituting a soft deadline or dedicating a chunk of open time in the workday for people to fill out the questionnaire. 

 

Training managers to foster mental well-being

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Employee well-being starts from the top—but middle managers make sure it remains a priority. Line managers are perfectly positioned to lead on well-being initiatives as they’re able to influence organizational policy while having a front-row seat of day-to-day operations. It’s key that your line managers learn the ability to spot potential mental health issues—and foster the skills to respond appropriately.

This reflects a big shift in expectations. Ten years ago, a manager might threaten an under-performing employee with disciplinary action. Now, leaders at forward-thinking organizations are taking empathetic approaches that foster growth, performance, and well-being. Here are three key skills your line managers need to help your people thrive:

Lending a compassionate ear

Line managers should make clear that it’s OK to not be OK—and that people can ask for help whenever they need to. In some cases, a conversation with a line manager will prevent a staff member’s mental health from deteriorating any further. At other times, a conversation with HR or a mental health professional will be necessary. This means it’s vital that your line managers are prepared to direct struggling employees towards helpful people and relevant resources.

Initiating the conversation

Employees who are feeling low might not feel able to report their state of mind—either because they haven’t recognized it as an issue, or they don’t feel comfortable doing so. That’s why it’s important that your middle managers are proactively looking out for the well-being of staff, as well as being open to those who self-report. Key signs of declining well-being to look out for include:

  • A drastic loss of confidence
  • Avoiding socializing
  • A sudden change in behavior, for example lower energy levels
  • A lack of attention to detail and care
  • Repeated physical illness

Being flexible

Train your line managers to focus on results, rather than time-keeping, physical presence, or perceived dedication. This should mean they’ll give their teams increased autonomy and flexibility in time management—so whether they need to start late or visit their therapist during core work hours, individual members of staff can moderate their stress levels in a way that suits them.

“It’s one thing to say, ‘Oh, we care.’ It’s another thing entirely to prove it through action, to actually live your values and your mission.”

— Colin Jansen, Manager of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, The Kraft Heinz Company

Read their story here.

Developing a well-being strategy

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The task of building a well-being strategy from scratch can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. Because, at the heart of it, you’re looking to solve and alleviate key well-being challenges for your employees.

It helps to begin by identifying any problem areas or barriers to well-being that may currently exist within your organization. From there, you can start building out a portfolio of solutions.

Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure that the management team is on board.

Getting buy-in from higher-ups

A lack of higher management buy-in can be a big roadblock to employee programs. An unconvinced C-suite is one of the key reasons why even a great well-being strategy fails. The second is a lack of employee involvement and interest—but we’ll get to that later.

It’s not just about signing off on it. You need your C-suite to actively advocate for your employee wellness initiative. To get management onboard with your well-being strategy plans, you need to be explicit about the proven benefits of such programs.

The good news is that there’s plenty of data about this out there—we covered this in an earlier chapter: “Why invest in employee well-being?”

In a nutshell, you’ll want to highlight the effectiveness of mental wellness programs:

  1. In terms of actually helping to bolster employee well-being, and
  2. In terms of the business case for it

Setting budgets and targets

Nobody likes nasty surprises. You’ll want to set clear budgets, expectations, and targets before you begin work on your well-being strategy.

Be sure to draw in other stakeholders at this point. It helps to cover all your bases and it will give you clarity on where there’s some flex—and where the hard limits are.

Setting clear targets and goals can also help you to gain more budgetary allowances. Even if you need to start small, having a clear roadmap with goals can help you secure a bigger budget down the line.

Planning for your new well-being program

With the preliminary considerations out of the way, you can now focus on planning out your new well-being program. You’ll need to:

Decide where you need to focus your efforts

  • What scope will your program cover? Will it be purely mental health-related?
  • What are the most pressing needs to address? What will your employees find most useful and accessible? (Handy tip: bring your employees in at this stage to get their views and opinions about this.)

Make a shortlist of viable tools and technology

  • There are millions of apps and tools available, but you won’t need them all. In fact, offering too many options can lead to information overload and decision fatigue—both of which are counterproductive to your aims.
  • You’ll want to find a handful of options that cover a breadth of employee needs. Look for solutions that offer a diverse range of content or multiple benefits. 

Set clear goals and desirable outcomes

  • Pin down meaningful, achievable goals for the next six months, along with rough longer-term goals (these can be flexible, but they should indicate the general direction you hope to go in).
  • Be careful not to lock yourself in while setting goals—it’s important to remember that the ideal outcome of these programs isn’t about pure usage numbers. It’s about employee mental wellness and well-being. That said, you will want to…

Determine measurable metrics

  • Think about different metrics you can use to measure changes in your people’s well-being. This can include periodic self-check-in surveys, program engagement metrics, number of sick days used, performance scores, productivity, employee turnover, and similar initiatives.

Be sure to get feedback from your employees throughout your decision-making and planning processes. You don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen—but you do want to make sure that your employees like the direction of things.

Implementing your new strategy

Once you’ve completed your strategy, the next step is to implement it. Rolling it out is only the first step. To maximize usage and effectiveness, you’ll need to make sure your employees are aware of the program, are interested in it, and know how to make use of it.

In the short term, you’ll need to think about how to:

  • Introduce the program to people
  • Get people to use and engage with it

For the longer term, you’ll need to consider how to:

  • Keep people using it—because they choose to
  • Measure ongoing engagement and effectiveness
  • Identify changes/tweaks that need to be made
  • Prevent the introduction (or return) of counterproductive policies

For more information on this topic, check out this blog:

 

Well-being programs, benefits, and employee assistance programs

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As the conversation around mental health at work continues to grow, it’s becoming clearer that there’s no one single path to well-being. 

In response to this, companies are gravitating towards offering wellness benefits that help support well-being in a multi-faceted way. That means programs, tools, education, professional guidance, and workshops that provide comprehensive, holistic support. It’s not just about sleep habits, happiness, stress management, physical health, resilience, financial education, confidence, and job satisfaction—it’s about all of these things together, and more.

Types of well-being programs

Digital, on-demand well-being platforms

Self-service apps like Calm allow people to develop healthy habits that benefit them both physically and mentally—all on their own time, with no stigma attached. 

Look for a platform that also provides robust support for the administrator—like dedicated account management, usage analytics, detailed reporting, and ongoing engagement support.

We cover the important factors to consider when choosing a mental wellness platform in our e-book:

Memberships and courses

These have grown beyond the classic gym membership. Companies can encourage their people to stay physically and mentally active through sport and yoga memberships, personal health coaches, smoking cessation programs, nutrition courses, skills training, and many, many more ways to enrich life away from the desk.

Employee Assistance Programs

EAPs are confidential, short-term services that connect employees with counseling and/or resources to overcome certain challenges. 

For more on employee wellness benefits, check out these blogs:

 

Navigating COVID: Remote work and employee well-being

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Employee well-being was already a primary issue for HR leaders before the COVID pandemic hit. When it did, the resulting upheaval rocked every workplace and touched every employee.

In a McKinsey survey of US employers, 90 percent of companies reported that the COVID-19 crisis was affecting the behavioral health and the productivity of their workforce.

Employer Perspectives on Workforce Behavioral Health and COVID-19, June, 2020

As many countries went into lockdown and companies switched to 100% work-from-home mode, HR leaders stepped up to the challenge—adding new support systems, increasing communications, investing in home office ergonomics, and bringing in new health and well-being benefits.

Today, instead of returning to completely office-centric work, many companies are adopting hybrid work patterns, with employees working from home, from the office, or from wherever they need to be.

For employers and HR leaders, remote and hybrid models present their own challenges for supporting employee mental well-being. HR and Benefits teams are rising to the challenges, promoting more flexible work, increasing mental health training for managers, running well-being-related employee surveys and check-ins, and creating space for talking about mental well-being at work.

“At Okta, we implemented a ‘Dynamic Work’ model, which gives our employees flexibility and choice around how they work. Employees can work from wherever makes most sense for them and can adapt their work schedule to fit their home life and other responsibilities. It’s working really well.”

— Natasha Vo, Global Employee Experience Program Manager, Okta

For more insights on supporting employee well-being in a post-COVID world, check out these posts: 

 

A new era for employee well-being

As recently as a decade ago, employee well-being issues were widely considered to be the employee’s problem, not the company’s. Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single major employer that still holds this attitude.

You might say we’re entering a kind of golden age for employee well-being. It’s not that any company has achieved total employee well-being—we all still have a long way to go. It’s because CEOs, boardrooms, and HR leaders are united in their commitment to employee well-being.

In every industry and all company sizes, there’s an inspiring range of responses to the rise in stress and anxiety that goes with such volatile times. 

It’s still too soon to declare any major victories—mental well-being can only be a journey, never a completed task—but the early signs are pretty clear: a top-down commitment to employee well-being does make a real difference in people's lives.

No company or HR team can make the world less Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, or Ambiguous. But every company and every leader can do an enormous amount to help employees cope with this VUCA world in a healthy way.

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