"Technology and HR have a vital role to play in bridging the disconnect between employees and employers concerning purpose and personal value at work,” echoed Neelam Vaswani, Head of Employee Health & Wellbeing at J&J Group of Companies India & ANZ, and Seema Ajwani, MD - Employee Relations, Policies & Statutory Compliances at Accenture. They engaged in a panel discussion on "Solving The Performance Puzzle With Personal Value Proposition" at People Matters TRWC 2023, alongside Dr. Nandini S, SVP & Group Head of Compensation & Benefits at Infosys.
Importance of well-being in the workplace
Neelam shared, “The focus is on empowering employees to be their best, emphasizing the entire ecosystem beyond competitive pay and benefits. The evolving work culture, with hybrid and remote options, necessitates building a comprehensive ecosystem of benefits, well-being, rewards, care, and love that caters to all generations.” Adding about the importance of well-being, she referred to Accenture's research on six fundamental dimensions including, emotional, relational, physical, financial, purposeful, and employable, saying
Addressing these needs significantly influences performance and business outcomes. Leaders can foster well-being by building trust, demonstrating personal examples of self-care, and activating a culture of care through frontline managers. Programs, policies, and initiatives should revolve around care, compassion, and empathy.
To this, Seema added insights into Accenture's well-being initiatives, including the ‘Care To Do Better’ research highlighting the six fundamental dimensions saying, “Notable practices include a platform called Nudge for financial guidance, emphasis on purposeful initiatives, and creating a sustainable and ethical workplace.”
Why are organisations now focusing on well-being?
Neelam explained the growing emphasis on health and well-being initiatives, with organizations allocating budgets for these programs saying, “The approach to prioritising spending involves assessing the organisation's stage of evolution and addressing both"what " and"how " aspects. When building a culture of love and care, the focus should be on the practical aspects, including processes, policies, and practices. Designing policies and programs should revolve around three key aspects:
- Addressing the unique needs of individuals and their families,
- Hyper-personalizing programs to meet critical life moments, and
- Communicating a genuine commitment to every employee's well-being.
Some of the examples to understand these aspects are:
- Flexible insurance and leave policies, providing choices aligned with different life stages.
- Inclusivity is another crucial aspect, considering the diverse workforce across generations, cultures, geographies, and orientations.
- Creating a sense of belonging and love within the organization requires understanding employees, and demonstrating care through training programs, celebrations, and leadership connections.
- Employee resource groups can also play a vital role in providing support. Moreover, a data-driven approach is essential, collecting data through program-based and holistic employee engagement surveys to understand employee needs and design experiences accordingly.
- New rewards model emphasizes pay equity, rethinking pay for performance versus pay for skills, shorter and more frequent reward programs, and a focus on well-being, flexibility, and transparent, data-driven communication to bridge the gap between employers and employees.