Well-being was a universal theme in the Sage Partners (re)Ignite Growth webinars this past year. Our panelists expressed deep concern for the health and safety of their employees. Furthermore, our panelists faced unheard-of challenges to make their organizations “more personal and more human”. Creating a strong sense of community, whether for essential workers or remote workers, proved daunting. A new sense of purpose drove decisions: about different ways of working, about what work was to be done, and the very mission of the organization. In short, the well-being of employees and the business itself was threatened.
Well-being is often thought of in the context of an individual’s emotional state, mental health, positive mood, and overall satisfaction with life. The CDC defines wellbeing as “the presence of positive emotions and moods (e.g., contentment, happiness), the absence of negative emotions (e.g., depression, anxiety), satisfaction with life, fulfillment and positive functioning”. Merriam-Webster offers a more succinct definition: “the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous”. At Sage Partners, we believe that wellness applies to the health of both the individual and the organization.
Our panelists clearly had both dimensions in mind. They shared insights about: mental health of employees and putting values first; compassion and being more willing to tolerate failure; culture of trust; resilience; assuring employees that the organization was OK; community; slowing down, personally, to connect with people; and the need for connection. And they also emphasized: moving forward in the face of chaos; having the guts to make a change; upskilling young employees; and taking advantage of a crisis to seize new opportunities.
From the Sage Partners perspective, well-being is more than mental health. It goes deep into the culture of an organization. The well-being of employees is interlinked with the well-being of the business. Our clients are grappling with many serious questions as the pandemic slowly eases. Here are a few that need answers:
How much should the company continue to invest in measures to support well-being?
How will that investment be reflected and measured?
What will be the impact on performance, employee loyalty, and customer behavior?
How is wellbeing monitored along with other risk factors at the board level?
To what extent is well-being, in all its dimensions, on the agenda of the CEO?
In short, how can well-being be made fundamental to value creation?
Sage Partner Mimi Macksoud contributed this Sage Advice