What really matters for wellbeing and, in particular, for sparking improvement actions?

What really matters for wellbeing and, in particular, for sparking improvement actions?

? Our research points to the importance of social connection.

The article (linked below) is a great summary by my colleagues Natalia and Steve. It focuses on the connections between wellbeing dimensions and explores what really matters for taking action.

THRIVING:
? We define the ideal state of wellbeing as one “where the employee is physically thriving, financially secure, emotionally balanced and socially connected.”

INTERCONNECTION:
? When you look at the links between those 4 dimensions, it’s clear that employees with high levels of wellbeing in one area tend to report high levels of wellbeing in the others.

✔ An effective way to improve wellbeing in any dimension is to take targeted actions in that specific area.

? But when employees combine actions in multiple areas, the benefits (in terms of wellbeing improvements) are larger still.

? In fact, employees who take actions in all wellbeing areas are three times more likely to be thriving (i.e., achieving high wellbeing levels in all dimensions) than those who take no actions.

SOCIAL IS KEY:
⚙ But what makes employees more likely to take actions? The analysis finds that levels of social wellbeing are a key catalyst to encouraging employees to take actions.

? As the figure here shows, employees who are “socially connected” are more likely to take action to improve their wellbeing in all dimensions.

A useful reminder of how important the social element is for sparking behaviour change.

Read the article here: https://buff.ly/3QkehYW

hashtag#WellBeing hashtag#EmployeeExperience hashtag#Connection hashtag#SocialWellbeing hashtag#Leadership hashtag#HR hashtag#EX hashtag#EmployeeEngagement hashtag#PeopleAnalytics hashtag#BehavioralScience hashtag#WTW hashtag#BehaviorChange hashtag#FutureOfWork hashtag#PsychologicalSafetyActivate to view larger image,

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How can you approach a topic like wellbeing holistically?

How can you approach a topic like wellbeing holistically?

This is our framework.

=> Employee wellbeing is more than programmes or initiatives.

=> It’s a shared mindset with aligned behaviours, enabled through leaders and managers.

=> Employee wellbeing becomes part of the culture when it is:

** Embedded in the employee experience

** Reflects organizational values

We think about 4 dimensions of wellbeing:

– Physical

– Emotional

– Financial

– Social

Our research reveals that organizations with higher levels of wellbeing achieve:

– Better business outcomes

– Higher levels of employee engagement

– Improved revenue

– Greater customer satisfaction

– Fewer safety incidents

Where can you start when you want to improve wellbeing?:

1. The first step is to really understand your current state by seeking insights from leaders, managers and employees. [I do lots of work here, including surveys and analytics]

2. The second step is to develop and design a strategy that is “fit for purpose” for your organization through analysis of gaps, priorities and opportunities.

#Leadership #WellBeing #EmployeeExperience #OrganizationalCulture #EmployeeEngagement #TotalRewards #Benefits #HR #FutureOfWork

Employee Wellbeing

This got a lot of attention when it first came out, but I’ve enjoyed looking at it again. It’s the report from the Office of the Surgeon General in the US on the condition of mental health and wellbeing at work. It talks about making workplaces “engines of wellbeing” through, e.g.:

Protection from Harm:

  • Prioritizing physical and psychological safety
  • Enabling rest and supporting mental health

Work-Life Harmony:

  • Providing more autonomy over how work is done
  • Flexible and predictable schedules

Mattering at Work:

  • Involving people in workplace decisions
  • Providing purpose and meaning in jobs

Connection & Community:

  • Ensuring inclusion and belonging
  • Fostering collaboration and teamwork

Opportunity for Growth:

  • Building pathways for career advancement
  • Ensuring relevant, reciprocal feedback

“Harmony” is an interesting choice of word.

There’s lots of new & interesting research on the importance of psychological safety.

I wrote in a previous post about really liking this focus on “mattering”.

Employees’ sense of connection is falling and leaders are worried about it.

Growth is an area that our own research shows is really key for a high-performance EX.

It’s a thought-provoking list!

https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/workplace-mental-health-well-being.pdf

#WellBeing #PsychologicalSafety #EmployeeExperience #OrganizationalCulture

EX Newsletter – Autumn 2022

@nickl4

Here’s the autumn edition of my newsletter. The days shorten, the temperature drops, the heating bills go up, and I’m a bit worried the content here won’t cheer you up. :-(


Two excellent articles have analysed data from social networks to measure employee experience. First up, Don and Charles Sull have mined Glassdoor to identify what leads to toxic work cultures. Their answer: bad leadership and poor work design. Second, a bunch of folks from MIT, Harvard and Stanford have explored LinkedIn connections to understand the effects of strong and weak ties on job mobility. Both are examples of analysing “passive data” in order to understand behaviour through networks (an area of growing interest).

https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/how-to-fix-a-toxic-culture/

https://mitsloan.mit.edu/press/a-team-mit-harvard-and-stanford-scientists-finds-weaker-ties-are-more-beneficial-job-seekers-linkedin


Talking of social connections, when I started doing research into engagement (all those years ago!) I never expected that isolation and loneliness would emerge as a key theme. But it is. In the UK, one-in-five employees feel lonely at work. Importantly, only one-in-ten would ever tell their manager about it. This article by Rachel Botsman (one of my favourite writers) is to the point.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-loneliness-work-something-we-should-talking-rachel-botsman/


Maybe what’s needed is more compassionate leadership. To that end, this paper by Mark Mortensen and Heidi Gardner looks at how leaders can show compassion without compromising on performance; in their words “being kind and high-performing”.

https://knowledge.insead.edu/leadership-organisations/how-show-compassion-without-compromising-performance


When it comes to changing culture, I found this article by Roger Martin very insightful. “Culture change depends on micro-interventions: small adjustments to the structure, dynamics, or framing of interpersonal interactions, applied consistently over time.” That’s something I agree with – lots of incremental changes that can add up to something big, even transformative.

https://www.strategy-business.com/blog/When-it-comes-to-changing-culture-think-small


I’ve been out and about presenting at conferences recently. It’s great to meet people in person. I’ve been talking about using analytics to better support employees in a cost of living crisis. I’ve also discussed wellbeing and the need to focus on organisational health and resilience. (Someone called this “the state of the world according to Nick” presentation, which I think is fair as I cover a lot of ground, from geopolitics to neuroscience!) Links to my slides from both these presentations are below.

People Analytics and the Cost of Living Crisis

Wellbeing and Resilient Agility


As always, let me know what you make of these articles, and feel free to share this newsletter with other colleagues and contacts:

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If by some horrendous luck you received this newsletter by both email and from Substack, just let me know and I will remove you from one or the other.

Take care and best wishes,

Nick

Talking About Inflation and Resilient Agility

From the SAP SuccessFactors HR Connect Conference

I’ve been out and about presenting at conferences recently. It’s great to meet people in person. I’ve been talking about using analytics to better support employees in a cost of living crisis. I’ve also discussed wellbeing and the need to focus on organisational health and resilience. (Someone called this “the state of the world according to Nick” presentation, which I think is fair as I cover a lot of ground, from geopolitics to neuroscience!)

Links to my slides from both these presentations are below.

People Analytics and the Cost of Living Crisis

Wellbeing and Resilient Agility

EX Newsletter April 2022

@nickl4

Here’s the latest version of my informal newsletter, containing a short selection of the very best EX articles I’ve come across over the last few months (so you don’t have to slog through LI or Twitter).

First up is a terrific HBR article by Diane Gherson and Lynda Gratton on how overwhelmed many managers are and what to do about it. In our data we’re seeing more and more evidence of manager burnout. It’s often a systemic problem that’s fixed by rethinking the role of people leader. There is some great advice in this piece: building people leadership skills, simplifying work, and job redesign. Related to this, I am working on a number of “Manager 180s” for clients at the moment that provide tailored developmental feedback to people leaders at all levels. It’s a great use of our listening platform (and often not part of a traditional “listening strategy”).

https://hbr.org/2022/03/managers-cant-do-it-all

I’m a long-time fan of Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore, the authors of The Experience Economy, one of my favourite books. I really like their latest article on transforming jobs to create more compelling employee experiences. Too much of the discussion about the Future of Work focuses on automation, cost-saving, and efficiency (the transactional side of work). It’s good to be reminded of the opportunity to invest in people, engagement, and trust (by transforming jobs).

This is an interesting article by Ayelet Fishbach on how moderate emotional discomfort can be a signal that you’re developing as a person. It often happens before you can actually detect the benefits of self-growth. In other words, short-term discomfort can be a sign you’re making progress towards long-term gains. Ayelet is author of the book “Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation”.

The final pair of articles are both reflections on what has happened over the last 2-3 years:

Here, Eric McNulty focuses on leadership. He sets out a simple process of “sensing-responding-adapting” in order to be agile enough to respond to uncertainty and shocks. I think it’s a very powerful (and simple) framework:

https://www.strategy-business.com/blog/The-best-way-to-lead-in-uncertain-times-may-be-to-throw-out-the-playbook

And here Gethin Nadin asks how you design employee experiences starting from the premise of needing “more conscious and compassionate workplaces”:

https://www.hrzone.com/engage/employees/employee-experience-and-the-rise-of-compassionate-capitalism

As always, let me know what you think!

Nick

Innovation & Wellbeing Are Top EX Concerns

@nickl4

I’m helping several companies at the moment review employee feedback from surveys and virtual focus groups and the like. On top of everything else, there are a couple of clear issues leaders are facing:

First, an innovation challenge. That might sound odd, given all the change & disruption of the last 18+ months. But a lot of those things were already in the works – they’ve mainly been accelerated. Breakthrough and disruptive innovation, which rely on collaboration and risk-taking, have been far harder to achieve. I think this is mainly due to organisations operating in a Survive State. There has been a narrowing of focus as a result. A key question for leaders is how to return to a more open innovation mindset and quickly.

@HBR

Second, a growing wellbeing concern. This is not a surprise, but the sustained slog of the pandemic really is taking a toll on all aspects of wellbeing: physical, social, emotional. As a result, some people have reconsidered their working life priorities. This re-evaluation combined with sustained anxiety is one of the dynamics behind the high turnover many companies are facing. Putting deep and culture-based strategies in place to address wellbeing challenges is critical in order to support people and minimise the risk of losing key talent.

@WillisTowersWatson

EX Newsletter Summer 2021

Here is the Summer edition of my EX newsletter; a selection of the key EX articles I’ve come across over the last few months.

@nickl4

Why Trust Is the Future of the Employee Experience

So much has been written about EX and making hybrid working work! But I really like this short and optimistic article by Gethin Nadin. “One of the biggest lessons businesses learned from the pandemic was that employees can be trusted. As we begin to recover and prepare for new ways of working, it’s critical for employers to sustain this trust and build an employee experience founded on autonomy and choice.”

https://www.hrzone.com/engage/employees/why-trust-is-the-future-of-the-employee-experience

Should HR Adopt the “Noise Audit”?

Daniel Kahneman’s new book Noise (about the variability of human judgement) has been getting a lot of press. In this short LI piece, Anna Tavis asks “What does it mean for HR?” and concludes “We may consider adding the “noise audit” to our organizational tool kit and revisit our relationship with algorithms as partners on the people experience journey.”

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/should-hr-adopt-noise-audit-anna-a-tavis-ph-d/

The Pandemic Did Not Affect Mental Health the Way You Think

This was a really interesting article in The Atlantic. The pandemic has led to real struggles for many people and many companies (also see below), but at the same time there has been an astonishing degree of resilience, which in itself holds key lessons.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/07/covid-19-did-not-affect-mental-health-way-you-think/619354/

The Great EX Stress Test

We have been busy with new WTW research. We have just published the results of a major external survey of employee experience. The pandemic has put many organisations under stress and we have looked at those companies that have been able to respond the best, because they have a transformative approach to EX. I have put some of our slides here if you’d like to see them (hot off the press!)

https://www.linkedin.com/smart-links/AQGVP983fY2w3w

I have also written a couple of articles recently: The first is about how UK companies have responded to the FRC changes on board oversight of employee engagement. The second is on why co-creation and involvement are at the heart of EX activation.

https://exleadership.com/employee-engagement/

https://exleadership.com/co-creating-your-employee-experience-strategy/

Any questions or comments or feedback, drop me a note!

Take care,

Nick