by Sugar Fernandez
In the past two years, humanity has faced successive challenges that have caused us to reevaluate our way of life. Employees, in particular, are rethinking the meaning and purpose of what they do. Supportive business leaders are finding more ways to demonstrate care and compassion to their workforces in these challenging times. In the process, workplace cultures are becoming more human-focused. After all, employee experience is not just about the technicalities revolving around a job. Employees are human beings in need of multi-dimensional support to thrive in their workplaces.
As Jane Miller, president and chief operating officer at Gallup, simply puts it, “People want to work for a company that cares about them.”
With so many uncertainties, it has become more important for companies to establish efficient employee support systems. It is crucial that leaders know the needs of their staff and address these as workplace cultures evolve. Various surveys and studies suggest three key areas in cultivating a human-focused workplace culture: job fulfilment, flexibility and wellbeing (sleep).
While money is very important in one’s career, it may not be enough for an employee to stay in a particular job. In PwC’s 2022 Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey of 52,195 workers across 44 countries and territories, job fulfilment closely followed pay or financial rewards as the most important factor in retaining employees.
Leaders play a very important role in ensuring job fulfilment among staff. In a human-focused workplace, leaders are called to lead with both competence and empathy — to practice human leadership. It is, therefore, crucial to equip leaders on how to establish open communication with their staff and to genuinely show support as they instil a company culture that encourages work productivity and satisfaction.
To boost job fulfilment, it is also imperative that employees know that they play an invaluable part in the company’s progress and successes. This can be done through transparency and by involving employees in making visions for the company and in setting goals to make these visions into reality.
Flexible work setup is becoming a trend and might be here to stay for good as human-focused workplace cultures emerge. Based on LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2022, employees enjoying time and location flexibility are 2.6 times more likely to report being happy and 2.1 times more likely to recommend working for their company. A separate survey by Gartner also shows that 55% of employees are high performers when provided with flexible work options.
However, flexibility comes with challenges. One is maintaining a shared culture amid a lack of proximity. For this to happen, healthy social connections among employees need to be strengthened. Team building activities, online or online, are powerful tools to keep your staff feeling connected and to foster culture sharing. Fitness classes like yoga, pilates and boxing also promote social connections through common interests.
It is also almost impossible to implement flexibility across different industries and job requirements. In fact, in PwC’s survey, 9 out of 20 employees cannot work remotely. Leaders have to ensure that employees, whether they’re working onsite, remotely, or hybrid, are given equal attention and opportunities for development. A strong sense of connection and open, safe communication between leaders and staff would be essential to establish a system to avoid (feelings of) work-arrangement discrimination.
Wellbeing – Sleep
While wellbeing may seem to be a personal thing, several studies already suggest that it affects workplace productivity. Here’s an excerpt from LinkedIn 2022 Global Talent Trends describing wellbeing in human-focused workplace culture:
Companies are recognizing that the key to their own success starts with fostering a culture that prioritizes the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of their employees.
Today, employee well-being starts with care, compassion, and trust. It requires empathetic leaders who embrace and model flexible work arrangements and don’t glorify working on weekends and 1 a.m. emails. True well-being means companies are adopting new strategies to support employees’ mental and physical health and ensure they have time to recharge.
Wellbeing comprises several pillars that have to be developed to optimise one’s productivity. However, if there is one thing that you’d like your employees to focus on, it probably would be sleep. Yes, you read it right – SLEEP.
In a recent report, Smiling Mind and KPMG identified sleep quality among the three priority areas to improve mental wellbeing. CSIRO cited in its most recent Our Future World report that people are sleeping more but less well. More specifically, 6 out of 10 Australians have reported having at least one symptom associated with insomnia in 2019.
To highlight and promote the importance of sleep, Sleep Health Foundation is even launching the first Australia-only Sleep Week, which will run from the 26th of September to the 2nd of October.
Workplaces around the globe are fast-evolving. As human-focused workplace cultures emerge, Holistic Services Group is here to support you and your staff along the way. Contact us to learn about our workplace wellbeing workshops, fitness classes and other services available for on-site and online delivery.