For many, 2016 was characterised by disconnection and social isolation. A feeling that change was moving us ever further from our values and vision. Global uncertainty and upheaval did nothing to satisfy our need to connect to purpose and meaning. So what will your employees expect of you this year?
The concepts of employee engagement and wellbeing have become well-entrenched in our workplace vocabulary with talk of flexibility, wellbeing programs and boosting resilience. But with new language must come new intention and action. 2017 must be the year that this is taken to the next level, where words become outcomes.
How will this occur? Through a genuine commitment to embedding engagement and wellbeing as part of the organisational strategy. Not HR strategy, not WHS strategy, organisational strategy. This means a commitment from senior executives to include wellbeing in their compelling vision for the business and the ongoing motivation to tailor this vision to suit different demographics and teams within the business. This drive toward thriving people must make sense to teams and individuals, as one person's definition of wellbeing is not another's.
There needs to be a shift away from seeing engagement and wellbeing as something we 'do' toward something that we 'are', and taking ongoing pulse measures of engagement and wellbeing is one step toward this goal. Taking annual measures of engagement and wellbeing only serves to reinforce the external view of engagement. The more complex we make engagement, the more our people will disconnect from its importance (including their leaders' communication around it) and will further shy away from taking personal responsibility for their own wellbeing at work. If it's too complex, your people will switch off.