Americans really are workaholics, according to a new poll of employed adults, with consequences for their own health, the health of others, and maybe the health and sustainable performance of their employers.
At the same time, employer initiatives have a notable impact on workers.
Stress remains the #1 challenge to employee health and well-being globally. What can companies do? Changing organizational culture, environment and policy is more impactful than adding programs -- and having to promote them to employees. Adopting the goal of “well-being in all policies” on a company-wide basis is one way to maintain ongoing, high-level focus on preventing costly burnout and regrettable turnover.
This could mean expecting managers to plan ahead and hire temporary workers to cover staff shortages. It means actively encouraging employees to take their vacation, and eliminating the expectation that they stay connected while on vacation. It may mean maximizing opportunity for family engagement, especially when offering support for employees to manage their well-being in a sustainable way – sleep hygiene, exercise and nutrition, financial wellness, resiliency. And so on.
As much as companies have already responded, the demands of work continue to accelerate and the challenge persists. Leveraging culture and policies in favor of well-being is essential to keep pace in the current climate.
For more information on changing organizational culture and helping employees manage stress and their health, see the Business Group’s toolkit, Managing Stress: Employer Strategies and Interventions or our issue brief, Seeing the Bigger Picture: Beyond Wellness to Well-being.