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    July 6, 2023

    The Healthy Organization Framework: Who Doesn't Want a Healthy Organization?

    Connecting productivity with overall healthy work culture - not just individual employee health and well-being - should be a top priority for any organization’s leadership. It provides the framework for a more productive organization. Many companies talk about their employees being their most important resource. However, the focus on keeping them healthy is usually not at the same level as business challenges like data security or finding ways to innovate more quickly. There is often not the same commitment of budget and resources. There are key learnings from those companies that are more successful at having a healthy work culture that any company can benefit from understanding. It all comes down to the business case: creating a healthier work culture to reduce burnout and turnover costs and contribute to a stronger bottom line.

    Case Study:
    A national design company recognized that they had a lot of employee burnout in their organization. The C-Suite leaders decided to invest in finding out why and committed to finding solutions that would drive positive change. Here are some of the specific action steps they took to create a healthier work culture:

    • They had every employee take the Gallup Strength Finders evaluation. It showed that they had a high number of employees that had “achiever” in their top five traits. That means that they would not “turn off” without their manager making it clear that’s what the company wanted.
    • The leadership also did an in-depth evaluation of work cycles throughout the year, as a company and by department.  

    These two steps helped the company do better leadership training to ensure managers were allowing for recovery/downtime for their team members. They put in place a leadership project plan that included accountability by managers to track both the managers and their team members' time off. Leadership made it clear that no employee taking PTO should be on phone calls or scheduled meetings during that time. Allowing employees to take real time off was what leadership wanted and expected. Managers that didn’t follow through were held accountable.

    The company also made is clear that “recovery time” was key to the company’s success and that they understood the connection between growing the business and employees being healthy and resilient. The CEO publicly stated at every town hall meeting for a year that he wanted every employee to take all their time off. He also modeled this by taking his own vacation and not calling in or participating in meetings during that time. These actions sent a clear message to his own c-suite team that he trusted them to run the business while he got his needed recovery time. The company even added two additional PTO days for employees to be taken right after their peak season in each department.

    These and other initiatives resulted in less turnover, more quality candidates coming into the company, a stronger bottom line, and more trust in leadership. The increased trust in leadership was tracked through a third-party independent, anonymous survey. The results of the survey, including any recommended changes/improvements, were shared with the entire workforce.  

    What You Can Do
    There is no one “right” solution that applies to all companies to create a healthier work environment. It should be specific to your company culture, budget, and demographics.

    • The first step is acknowledging there is a challenge and then evaluating the impact it is having on the company financially.  
    • The second step is evaluating what you already have in place and are paying for. If you aren’t getting results, it’s time to consider a better solution.  
    • The third step is making sure everyone in the organizations sees employee health and wellbeing programs and initiatives as a key component of the company’s overall success, not just “nice to have.”  This usually requires ongoing communication and reinforcement.
    Leadership training at all levels that has clear messaging around health and well-being for themselves and those they lead can help move the company towards a more productive and effective way of getting work done. It can mean better engagement in the health and well-being programs and services you are providing. A culturally specific solution, with the needed investment of time and resources, can result in a much stronger bottom line over time and reduce burnout. What will your company do to create a better framework to support a healthier workforce for 2024?

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