An interesting workplace wellness survey was recently released " The Corporate Playbooks Used to Combat Organizational Trauma (And Why They're Not Enough)". Conducted by HmntCntrd the study's objective was to determine how many corporations are actually responding to the trauma their employees are experiencing over the last few years and what specific approaches, if any are being used.
The complete report is available to read here.
The results, not that surprisingly, determined that even companies well-intended on putting in place programs to address the stressing workplace environment are still tending to use yesterday's "same ol" thinking and approaches. Rather than addressing the real pain employees are facing, it seems these latest batch of employee wellness programs are really focused on keeping the business running as efficiently as possible and are not that focused on actual employee wellbeing at all. The study also found that in many cases "the solutions, frequently celebrated by organization leaders as support for employees, were just as harmful as the problems they were meant to address."
The irony of this conclusion is that bettering employee wellness almost always results in better overall business results. So why is it that managers in charge of people and culture are not able to be effective in introducing solutions that help employee wellness?
Perhaps it's a simple fact that too many business are quick to dismiss employee pain, much like an athletic coach who expects their players to get back in the game despite having a physical injury. To make the issue even more complex is the realization that identifying stress and general un-wellness is much more difficult that identifying physical pain. Not to mention most employees don't feel comfortable approaching their employer with problems, especially if they are mental or stress related.
So what's the solution? It's clear that business leaders, in particular those in Human Resources or People and Culture roles need to adjust their take on their businesses "return on investment" and move some of its calculation variables further away from actual production and profit.
If employers place their people ahead of their business they will likely start to uncover a lot of truths that currently lie beneath their current view of how effectively their business is being managed. Not doing this and simply trying to put a solution in place before understanding what you're actually trying to solve seems like a pretty clear effort in futility.
In order for new solutions to be effective they need to balance how fast employees produce with how healthy employees feel. The study clearly shows that this imbalance exists and will continue to until new areas of employee wellness are first realized and then adequately addressed.