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How do organisations get wellbeing right?

The the latest Deloitte Gen Z and Millennial Survey confirms that stress and anxiety levels remain high, with burnout on the rise. What can organisations do to reverse this?

Burnout is one of the key concerns that Gen Zs and Millennials have about their future, with the Survey revealing:

  • Nearly half of Gen Zs (46%) and four in 10 millennials (39%) say they feel stressed or anxious at work all or most of the time.
  • Gen Zs and millennials are reporting increasingly high levels of burnout due to work-related pressures, such as heavy workloads, poor work/life balance, and unhealthy team cultures at play.
  • Over half of respondents acknowledge that their employers are taking mental health more seriously, and that their efforts to improve workplace mental health are having a positive impact. But mental health support and resources are still under-utilized, likely due to the societal and workplace stigma that still surrounds them.

Why have we stepped over the edge into a global wellbeing crisis? It’s easy to blame Covid, the change in the way we work, the economy; the truth is that we were well on our way towards this crisis before any of that. We were losing nearly 20 million days to stress and anxiety before lockdown was even in our lexicon.

So the big question for HR teams is how do we, as organisations, make a fundamental change and support people to be well?

We need to teach and role model 3 things.

1. How to be human beings

We need to teach people the difference between human being and human doing. Human doing is characterized as living in our thinking, worried what others thing about us, being past or future focused, and rushing from one activity to the next in an effort to solve our problems. A human being, however, knows the vision for their life, their values, a belief system, things that put them in our element, and are connected to their purpose. To stay well, we need to stay aligned to this core of who we are.

The sooner people can learn this about themselves, the sooner they can take action to align to their core.

2. What true ownership looks like

True ownership is not about creating a perfect external environment so we can all stay well. It’s not a set of rules and requirements: ‘you’ve got to behave like this’, ‘you’re only allowed to give me this much work’, ‘I have to have this much time off’. This creates a fragile environment in which to try and stay well. We need to empower people to take true ownership, so that they can create a life and role that allows them to live in a way that works for them.

3. Human leadership

Elke Edwards, Founder of Ivy House, says “If human leadership isn’t at the heart of any leadership, talent or career programme you’re creating right now, I think you’re missing a massive trick”. It’s human leadership that will create the culture that allows people to understand who they truly are, where they are working in their zone of genius, how they can bring their best selves to the role. That is what human leadership is all about.

If we want well humans, we have to recognise their human needs – community, security, variety, belonging, inspiration. And, we need to think carefully about how we use our physical spaces in the hybrid world – they are needed for people to collaborate, network and connect – not just sit at a desk all day having virtual calls that they could be doing at home.

With crisis comes change. You can make the choice to teach people this game changing stuff, and then create an environment where it takes it easy to stay aligned to this. But the ownership of someone’s wellbeing is 100% theirs, if they are empowered to step up and take it.

Watch our latest wellbeing event for more on how organisations can get wellbeing right.





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