A Future Ready Approach
The forte of a successful organisation ventures beyond obvious barometers such as growth numbers and balance sheets alike and places top priority on its stakeholders and their holistic well- being. Be it employees who work tirelessly to build the business or the ecosystem of vendors and local communities who support the business or customers who decide the fate of any brand. A people first philosophy is the way ahead for organisations willing to weather trying times and emerge resilient. This approach finds increasing relevance in the current context as the unprecedented crisis fuelled by COVID-19 has disrupted businesses and is scripting a new normative. Empathetic leadership and compassion towards all stakeholders will enable companies to hold fort. At the core of this approach lies a simple focus on “For All Well-Being” which indicates the overall well-being of all stakeholders. And this singular focus alone could push up productivity levels manifold, bolster profits and emerge as an absolute game changer for an organisation to clock growth.
Becoming future ready today has become an indispensable component of several forward-thinking organisations and the holistic proposition aimed at “For All Well-Being” seems to auger well these harbingers of change in reform. The need to empower employees is important and thoughtful brands are innovating every day to clock rapid strides of progress. Be it policies with an increasing focus on inclusion or allowing more flexibility, the intent is to support employees at a time when they need it the most.
Well-Being an Integral Part of Business Strategy
As a business approach, the idea of overall well-being needs to spread itself thick and factor in overall mental well-being of employees as much. While safety and hygiene remain top priority with the current situation and frequent sanitisation coupled with social distancing rules the roost, an impetus to ensuring psychological wellness can go a long way. Unhappy and disgruntled employees can wreak havoc on an organisation’s internal culture while a content workforce, can bolster profit margins and productivity by several folds. Recent research has also testified to the fact that happy employees are 13 percent more productive and work faster. Programmes aimed to promote mental wellness are gaining ground and even amidst the quarantined times, quirky, creative ideas are being worked upon by numerous organisations to keep their employees happy and connected. A wide range of activities from online dumb charades to wellness sessions to sessions that address daily challenges faced by employees, the innovative ploys to help employees buck up could be a long, lingering list. Add to that a healthy mix of flexible working hours, easy provisions for remote working and silent hours that necessitate keeping aside professional calls and mails, and all of these are contributing to a better work-life balance among many employees
A transparent system along with an easy to approach leadership coupled with policies that cushion employees against difficult circumstances prove to be a win-win solution for fostering employee loyalty. Besides, a leadership that is willing to listen and extend support in times of need is bound to win absolute trust and confidence of employees, thereby creating strong brand advocates and champions, which can go a long way in giving a boost to corporate reputation and brand equity alike. Moreover, an added emphasis on sustainable best practices such as leveraging natural light or treating fresh air, absence of AC ducts and carpets that are cut out on dust can tie into the narrative of overall well-being very well and enable the organisations to reap long term benefits.
Sensitivity and Empathy- The Way Ahead
Similarly, an organisation that remains sensitive to the needs of its customers is a clear winner in galvanising consumer confidence and mitigating reputation risks. With the snowballing momentum of online media, customers’ accolades or grievances can make or break brand reputation. Hence a swift and agile grievance redressal system in place is an imperative. Likewise, organisations can never function independent of local communities and hence taking them into confidence is a must. Any activity aimed to better their living standards and ensure their overall well-being, be it skilling programmes or concerted endeavours to help them with education, relief measures amidst crisis and so on can help create organisations an army of natural advocates who can make a major difference in repurposing the brand identity for a brighter tomorrow. Vendors and third-party suppliers, too, remain a crucial touchpoint. It is only when all stakeholders are made part of an organisation’s growth story, there is surely no looking back, given how growth and well-being are but collective pursuits.
Understanding, sensitivity, trust, empathy, and compassion form the tenets of an approach centred around achieving the overall well-being of all stakeholders. The need is to create unquestionable trust and harness confidence among employees, customers and communities and assure them of a future that is safe and secure. This shall not only boost their morale but can have a telling impact on an organisation’s present and future. And how better than ensuring a singular focus on “For All Well-Being.”