Wait, it’s December already? Again?
We might feel this way year after year (and some say it’s not just a feeling, there’s actual science behind it), but there’s one thing that doesn’t change when a new year approaches: our resolution to take better care of our wellbeing, body and mind.
My guess is that your employees feel the same way and as a company, you can help with some words – or concrete plans- of encouragement. In the third and final part of our Ask the Experts Series, Luca Solari¹ and Karl Simons OBE² share their biggest learnings from 2022, challenges and opportunities for 2023 and how you can help your workforce get a head start on everyone’s top new year’s resolution.
In early 2022, Forbes identifiedhybrid work as one of the top ten HR trends for the year ahead – and they got it right.
Eighty-three percentof employees around the world prefer a hybrid work environment and 63%of high-growth companies have implemented a “productivity-anywhere” workforce model. According to our own State of Work-Life Wellness report, employees value flexible working practices almost as much as salary and wellbeing benefits.
Companies who choose to implement work-from-home (WFH) or work-from-anywhere (WFA) policies do encounter a few challenges, such as asynchronous communication between teams, employee socialisation and data security – but these can be addressed with the right tools and training. On the other hand, hiring talent across the globe, seeing gains in employee productivity and having the opportunity to implement more equitable workplace policies are some of the benefits companies see when implementing hybrid work. It’s no surprise that flexible work environments are here to stay.
Flexibility and hybrid work [model] were not a consequence of the pandemic, but an outcome of a long term trend in organising corporations. The rapid evolution of technologies created the conditions for a seamless transfer of information across organisations. A major consequence of this is the ability companies [now] have to reorganise when operating under external constraints. This allows individuals and teams to function through spontaneous order, a [much] more adaptable coordination mechanism. – Luca Solari
[The pandemic] made working from home socially acceptable. This is a massive leap forward for the world of work and will enable companies of the future to operate in a much more flexible way that provides their employees with a better work-life balance. – Karl Simons OBE
In fashion, sometimes it’s best to just let some trends go. In the world of HR, it’s good to keep an eye out for alltrends, keeping your company up-to-date, and your people happy.
According to Gartner, HR leaders across the globe have ranked their top 5 priorities for 2023:
- Leader and Manager Effectiveness
- Organisational Design and Change Management
- Employee Experience
- Future of Work
These priorities were driven by past and current challenges faced by companies, such as rising inflation, scarce and expensive talent, and global supply constraints. And there’s also new expectations from employees impacting talent attraction and retention: flexible work environments, shared purpose, wellness benefits and person-first experience.
Most Human Resources management (HRM) is [currently] focused on individuals and the internal categories they fit under (i.e. performance, role, etc.). However, performance is ever more connected to how multifunctional teamsand multirole individualsfunction. HRM [needs to] embrace the idea that all practices should be radically redesigned along these lines. Hire focusing on team belonging and [evaluate] performance at a team level. – Luca Solari
With rising inflation, 2023 will be dominated by the cost of living crisis(CoLC). HR leaders will see this at the top of their trend list of areas upon which to focus – [and] wages are not increasing to keep pace. To counter this I believe HR & Health & Safety professionals should be working in unison to develop a bespoke tactical plan, to specifically educate and support their employees on the steps they can take and what the organisation is doing to support them both mentally and physically through this escalating crisis. – Karl Simons OBE
Number One Priority: Employee Wellbeing
We all know by now that employee wellness programmes are a must. Forbes ranked employee wellbeing as the #1 trend for 2022and againfor 2023. On top of this, our own researchshows that wellbeing benefits are the second most important aspect for workers when considering a role. So it’s not a matter of ifyou should offer a wellness programme to your workforce, it’s about how.
If you’re intrigued by what a robust wellness programme can do for your employees (and your company), we’ve got not only one, or two, but sevenbenefits of investing in employee wellbeing:
- Increased productivity
- Improved team relationships
- Better employee engagement
- Improved talent attraction and retention
- Improved employee morale
- Decreased presenteeism
- Lowered risk of disease
What do you say we turn this trend into a concrete plan for 2023 and beyond?
Employee wellbeing has been institutionalised and is now part of an ongoing [HR] agenda – I cannot imagine this being reversed. Companies have understood that it is a relevant component of the employee [benefits] package.
However, most companies are taking a conservative approach and focusing on the perceived economic value of [wellbeing] benefits instead of aiming at exploring new opportunities. The lack of measured outcome is often one of the reasons why this happens, but I hope analytics [can] help. – Luca Solari
We are witnessing a revolution in the way organisations are looking at their benefits offering for their employees. This is the single biggest thing I am asked by leaders of companies, in wanting to understand how they can improve their physical and psychological health and wellbeing support packages on offer for their people both inside and outside of work. – Karl Simons OBE
And what about our advisors’ wellness resolutions for 2023?
Luca Solari: I will work on the [balance] of my time. Time is an essential resource, actually is the basic resource of life, so it requires to be accurately managed.
Karl Simons OBE: For me it’s not about changing my entire lifestyle but the small steps I take over the months, towards nutrition and exercise, can make a big difference in how I feel.
That’s a wrap on our Ask the Experts Series! Thank you for being with us and we hope you enjoyed all the great insights our Senior Advisors shared with us over the last months. Stay safe!
¹Luca Solariis a professor at the Milano University, as well as a company consultant and founder of Orgtech. He provides advice to top managers on how to enact strategies through powerful people-centred initiatives, coaching and mentoring.
²Karl Simons OBEis an experienced Non-Exec and Executive Director with over 30 years of employment experience, having worked internationally across all continents and in numerous critical industries. He is currently the Chief Futurist at FYLD, an AI Technology company.
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.