I stumbled across this beautiful quote, that I’d like to share with you all and it goes like this –
“In a society that has you counting money, calories, pounds, and steps; be a rebel and count your blessings instead”
Over the last 12 months, we have been tested & challenged in unimaginable ways and we’ve emerged stronger than ever before because we embraced the idea of wellbeing as individuals & as organizations, in its truest sense. I’ve been part of the wellness journey for 2 decades now and I’ve been in complete awe of how communities have been coming closer together to create an everlasting impact. Wellbeing, for me, is just that – ‘By the people, for the people’.
Now, let’s look at the recent events that have transpired in the last one year.
The year that added many new words to our dictionary, where mask became the new tie, where ‘staying in’ was considered better than ‘staying out’, where virtual became the new norm and our homes became our sanctuaries. The year threw many curveballs at us, but on the flip side, it was the same year that reduced the carbon footprint, accelerated digital growth, gave us empowerment & flexibility, made people fitter, and most importantly, killed the Monday blues!
The pandemic has proven to be an unparalleled crisis with severe consequences to nations, societies, organizations, and individuals.
At the start of the pandemic, Human Resources played a crucial role in managing the response and has been the driving force in keeping the workforce engaged, productive and resilient. We witnessed wellbeing of employees coming to the fore in the last one year, be it transitioning to a remote setup or enhancing connectedness through technology. As we transition into 2021, along with sustainable business & talent priorities, organizations are safeguarding its employees by institutionalizing the immunization programme & orchestrating a powerful strategy to battle the pandemic.
As difficult as the first phase was, the crisis also introduced a rare opportunity for us to rebuild and take the lead in driving organizational resilience, thereby keeping the culture intact. We have unraveled through experience & discovered that there are 3 core fundamentals that organizations will have to embrace to counter the unpredictability of the future – Adaptability, Agility & Resilience. We will have to channelize all our energies in bringing this to fruition, cheek by jowl with the leaders who will set this in motion.
So, how do we navigate further? Here’s what I believe will help organizations accelerate their journey of wellness.
- Theory of 3 circles: Organizations should create a 3-tiered model which can help them navigate their journey of wellness.
- Self Help: As it is rightly said, during times of turbulence, one needs to put their oxygen mask first, and then help others. It’s a dual responsibility where organizations will carve out self-help tools & employees will leverage these, thereby taking charge.
- Micro Environment: We’ve observed that the top 2 reasons for employees to come to work are – the teams that they are part of & having a best friend at work. The objective should be to create an ecosystem conducive for managers & teams to work together.
- Macro Environment: The focus is on driving the programs on an organization axis where the core purpose is to build & strengthen a narrative around employee wellbeing.
- Impacting all day, every day: With the changing times, we will have to move from a silo-based approach of creating wellness programs for our users towards creating touchpoints shaping the day in the life of an employee, not just at work, but beyond.
- Digital: When it comes to wellness, organizations will have to jump on the bandwagon, and start creating consumer-grade experiences for employees leveraging the digital platforms. Digital Experience has to be built on 3 key foundations – it has to be fluid; it has to be intuitive & it has to have a soul that speaks the language of culture.
- AEIOU: The future of wellness is changing, and the transition towards the future must be smooth. I believe that the AEIOU framework is a good starting point. Awareness of the significance of wellness is going to be a key differentiator. Executive Sponsorship is pivotal in making any program successful; leaders should walk the talk & inspire their teams to follow suit. Innovation & constant creative thought process. An outcome-oriented mindset is a must, if we can’t measure, we’ll never know what we could have done better. And the most important of it all, keeping User at the center of all that we do.
As I close this, here are some of the things we all can do to stay well:
- Write a gratitude journal every day. Just 3 things you are grateful for in life.
- Have a best friend at work. It can be a person, a place, or your work itself!
- A sense of purpose drives happiness. Find your ‘why’.
- Believe in yourself. Wear your imperfections on your sleeve!
I recently read a book called Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant, where he talks about the joy of being wrong and I think this is more relevant than ever as we navigate our way and deal with uncertainty by coming together. As people champions, we must envision and strive towards creating a resilient and agile organization, keeping empathy at the heart of all that we do!