Not long ago, I had a conversation with a Chief Human Resource Officer, and here’s what she said to me: “Wellbeing is the cornerstone of our talent management strategy.”
I looked at her and said, "Wow, that’s a really strong statement. I’m curious, can you tell me a little bit more about why wellbeing is so important for your talent management strategy?"
She replied, “First, we have to create a workplace culture that is going to allow us to attract the kind of people that we want to have working here. If we can’t get them to come and work here, we can’t meet our business objectives.”
She continued, “Once we get the right people here we have nurture them, we have to look after them, and we have to look after their wellbeing from multiple dimensions. If we don’t support them to be their best selves and to be productive, we can’t meet our business objectives. For the long run, we need to create a workplace where people enjoy coming to work, where they want to stay. If we don’t create a place where people want to stay, we can’t meet our business objectives.”
I looked at her and said “I’m convinced,” but the question becomes how do other business executives look at this? Do they feel the same way?
Successful business professionals understand talent management. They know they must attract and hire the right people, they must engage them and support them to be productive while they’re at work, and, finally, make sure they stay. Otherwise, they can’t meet their business objectives. But, it’s no small challenge. Effective well-being strategy takes work, so how does it become the cornerstone of a talent management strategy?
The Gallup organization has been doing research on wellbeing for a number of years, and they’ve developed a five-dimension model: physical, money, connections, community, and purpose.
Physical (or Energy) Wellbeing
When we think about wellbeing, we often think about how much we eat and how much we weigh, the amount of sleep that we get, and how much we exercise. This is what Gallup calls Physical Wellbeing. But there is so much
more than simply “physical” when it comes to what makes a person feel whole and balanced.
Have you ever felt stressed about money? Most everyone has at some point. Your employees probably have as well. The role money plays is a very big deal in our lives, and yet, when we think about a whole generation of kids that are coming into the workforce steeped in college debt, or individuals who are aging and struggling to save for retirement, it becomes clear that money can be a great barrier to wellbeing.
Relationships are fundamental to us as human beings. There was recently some research released by Harvard University based on a 75-year study – you read that right, 75 years – and what they found was that relationships are core to us as human beings. Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.
Community wellbeing is about when we feel safe where we live, and we have connections to that community through how we volunteer, for example, or through belonging to faith-based organizations. Those connections we have in the community help us feel that we belong.
The last dimension is purpose. How do you feel when you get up in the morning? Are you driven to go and do things? Are you feeling motivated, or are you drained by what you do each day? Our purpose is deeply important for who we are and how show up in our lives.
To achieve business objectives, you must have a workforce that is motivated by the work they are doing, and they have to feel connected to something bigger than themselves. These five dimensions give us a pathway to be able to do that. Richard Branson got it right when he said, “Clients don’t come first. Employees come first. If you look after your employees; they will look after the clients.”
You can start by embedding wellbeing in the values of your company culture. When you do this, it becomes ‘what we do every day here’. This approach helps managers and leaders, connect wellbeing to the everyday experience for the workforce. As senior leaders and managers, your goal is to achieve business results. You can’t do that without an engaged, productive workforce. Consider wellbeing as the cornerstone of your talent management strategy.
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