The future of work

Vivian Fong · 17 Oct 2022

The future of work

Great Resignation brought great insights and opportunities

As organisations and employees struggle to get used to the new post pandemic world as well as the Gen Z-led great resignation, across the market, leaders are realising that as remote working blurs the line between work and life, they must prioritise employee wellbeing to stay attractive and competitive among talents. 

The focus is also critical to developing company culture, resilience, and bond among the whole organisation. This refocus is in correlation with how HR promotes company strength, and how ESG or the sustainability officer works on meeting investors and communities expectation. It is a topic that deserves more attention and discussion.

Employee wellbeing support is no longer “good to have” activity 

“The Future Workplace 2021 HR Sentiment survey found that 68% of senior HR leaders (of which 40% were CHROs) rated employee well-being and mental health as a top priority. It’s no wonder this is a priority for HR leaders as the corporate well-being market is now estimated to be $20.4 Billion in the U.S. and is forecasted to grow to $87.4 Billion by 2026. - Forbes Business Council

Below we have three pointers that could help organisations launch wellbeing initiatives in a effective way:

Building on Employee Wellbeing initiatives: creating bonding relationship through a shared vision

Often when HR and other leaderships come into conflicts, it is because of them putting different weight on their own priorities. When it comes to HR vs. Sustainability Officers, we sometimes have HR controlling the “people budget” and sustainability officers requesting more budget to spend on social equities of the people. It is also not in HRs’ interest to be questioned on employees' wellbeing (physical, mental, social, financial).

  1. Reporting structure and company culture matters

“The success of corporate ESG initiatives depends very much on the leadership of the company, and internal corporate structures at the adoption stage.” - David Toh, CEO of NTUitive

The new generation of executives and employees demand more from the company, when it comes to being taken care of internally as well as how the company is taking care of the external world. When it comes to execution, how do teams communicate effectively with the executives in order to get buy-ins and kick start a high quality employee wellbeing program in concordance with the ESG initiatives? 

We believe that reporting structure matters.

How organisations deliver a wellbeing restructure or new solution is still a top down approach. The leaders of the companies have to be determined to create and implement a healthy approach in the entire organisation to then influence the rest of the org to thrive and perform their best.

We are seeing more and more Sustainability Officers or Wellbeing Officers report directly to the CEO all over the world. Apple hired their first Chief People Officer in 2017 who reports to Tim Cook directly. Alibaba also has a sustainability officer who reports directly to CEO Daniel Zhang. They are also driven by the Investors and communities expectation. ESG is becoming essential for companies to report, yet the data are private to each employee and should stay independent from the companies.

While not all organisations will be able to have an ESG department right away and will have to lay the responsibilities to the HR department, it is proven beneficial to have a mutually independent team/individual who leads the initiatives with intentional objectives to improve employee wellbeing. Another solution is to hire a 3rd party solution to improve engagements. 

The key is to find the common ground, and HR and CFO who control costs should understand that it is entirely possible to design, architect, and implement health initiatives among employees without adding any costs.

3. Find common ground through digital transformation

The essence of driving diversity and inclusion is not stopping in recruitment but going a long way to retention and development of your workforce - it is about meeting the diverse needs of your workforce.

When companies invest in their most valuable asset - the human capital, it is crucial to take into consideration that these are individuals with unique needs. A new mom who is balancing between work and childcare has completely different needs when it comes to employee benefits, versus a fresh grad guy who is particularly interested in crypto investments. 

How ESG and the HR teams can always align is to provide the top-of-class care for employees that is cost effective. Among Singapore SMEs, employee retention is ranked 2nd place among before revenue growth for leaders, there is an urgent need to improve wellbeing plans all around. The workplaces are multiracial and multigenerational, gender equality and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) are all being considered into companies' ESG scores. There is no one-size-fit-all approach to implement this. 

The first step of meeting the diverse needs is about understanding their needs.

One way is to look into digital transformation, with analysing tools that B2B2C wellbeing companies such as CHOYS provides, employers are able to have a 360 degree view on the entire organisation as whole, while avoiding any individual data disclosure.

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