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Employee Wellness

Handling Overwhelmed Employees

Nearly half a decade ago, Deloitte’s research highlighted how two-thirds of executives surveyed worldwide mentioned that handling
“overwhelmed employees” was an urgent need.1 Despite the urgency though, results on improving well-being have been surprisingly
poor. The wellness problem has reached epic proportions in organisations and more than 40 percent of employees experience high
stress in their jobs, affecting their productivity, overall health, and family stability.2
HR leaders recognise this as a key issue; and business leaders are also sitting up and taking note. Employees of course, are already
well aware of this. However, not enough seems to be done to fix the situation. In fact, the solutions to the wellness problem are akin
to putting a Band-Aid on a sword wound. More than $2 billion of venture capital has been invested towards wellness in the last two
years alone, to create swathes of videos, apps, and tools to measure, monitor, and coach on various aspects of wellness.
However, what precisely is wellness and what are the solutions that abound? Physical wellness, in the form of good nutrition and
exercise has been around for multiple years now. Large multinational organisations have experimented with concepts such as “paths
of least resistance” to help employees eat better.3
Deloitte invests in conducting free diagnostic tests to check the spread of “lifestyle diseases” and helps its professionals in taking
suitable corrective action.
Many organisations also invest in counselling journeys for their employees. Through toll-free numbers available to employees and
their families, support regarding mental health issues can be obtained.
Other initiatives that organisations focus on include financial wellness and counselling to invest better and stay debt-free, social
wellness to counter loneliness, creating a sense of purpose and engagement, and many others. However, instead of a piecemeal
approach, which is not doing much to address employee discontent, it would be worth investing in:

Exemplary leadership: Participation, not Celebrate flexibility: Set up “ways of working”:

Leaders need to walk the prescription: It would Encourage employees to Within individual teams, set
talk. If you are encouraging be great to take constant take time off, spend time up subcultures that help
people to create better feedback from employees with family and friends on employees in bringing their
work-life integration, but on what they want, instead personal occasions, and best selves to work.
leaders routinely hold of prescribing a “one-size- occasionally say “No” to
meetings or send emails fits-all” model to them. work commitments that
after work hours, it would be necessitate rescheduling of
counter-productive. personal priorities.

Wellness can be a huge dividend for an organisation if implemented well or a massive cost if we continue to pay lip service to the
wellness agenda. The choice is ours to make—we can choose to reap the returns of an engaged workforce aligned with our wellness
programmes, or suffer calamitous outcomes by ignoring this need.4

Parived Bhatnagar Sumit Singla

Director, Human Capital Consulting Associate Director, Human Capital Consulting


©2019 SJMS Associates