A quick summary:
- Staff wellbeing strategy is delivered from the top 👆
- Why C-suite executives must rethink workplace wellbeing 🧠
- How executives can improve their own wellbeing ✅
- How leaders can improve their staff wellbeing strategy 🏆
Your staff wellbeing strategy is central to the health and happiness of everyone in the workplace – including both C-suite executives and other employees. New research carried out by Deloitte has shown that 70% of C-suite executives are thinking about quitting for a job that takes their wellbeing more seriously.
As organisations race to implement a better staff wellbeing strategy, how do C-suite executives fit into the equation? Are these strategies inclusive of everyone, even at the top? We’re jumping into the data reported by Deloitte to make sense of workplace wellbeing for C-suite executives.
Staff wellbeing strategy is delivered from the top
Most companies have their own idea of what makes for healthy and happy employees. Whether their strategies are effective or not is another story. What we do know, is that wellbeing isn’t linear, and so the strategies in place differ from organisation to organisation.
The only similarity most organisations have is that C-suite teams are responsible for developing a staff wellbeing strategy. Leaders often come together to decide on appropriate actions, perks and incentives they believe will be worthwhile.
And although it’s built at the top of the organisational hierarchy, Deloitte has discovered that C-suite executives don’t feel supported enough. Like everyone else, C-suite executives are prone to poor health and wellbeing, and these new findings call for more to be done to support everyone.
The “Great Resignation” and the “War for talent” have proven that people just won’t wait around for workplace wellbeing, better flexibility or personalised perks. Failure to act now will result in immense departures – including some of the most critical team members at the very top.
Deloitte also reported on the close emotional stress suffered by employees and employers. The study found that one in three employees and executives are constantly struggling with poor mental health. While c-suite executives led in the “overwhelmed”, “lonely” and “depressed” category, employees led in “exhausted” and “stressed”. The surprising truth is that c-suite executives often overlook their team’s poor mental health while dealing with very similar problems.
C-suite executives must rethink their staff wellbeing strategy
It wasn’t just the wellbeing of C-suite executives that Deloitte highlighted in their findings. Their team also found that leaders have misjudged the poor state of health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Most notably financial wellbeing in the workplace. While 40% of employees reported “feeling excellent” or “good” about financial wellbeing, leaders assumed 81% of employees felt positive about it in the workplace.
Likewise, 59% of employees responded positively about their mental wellbeing, compared to 84% of leaders who presumed employee wellbeing was “excellent” or “good”.
Not only does this demonstrate poor communication, but it is also a dangerous misunderstanding that could result in employees leaving. This leads us to believe that many c-suite executives are oblivious to the lack of a staff wellbeing strategy in the company.
C-suite executives must rethink health and wellbeing. Communication must be improved, using surveys and questionnaires for a better understanding of team wellbeing. Leaders must also take a more proactive approach to their staff wellbeing strategy.
It’s simply not enough for companies to offer a bland list of benefits and perks that go underutilised and neglected by employees. They must listen to employee needs and react with solutions.
How C-suite executives can improve their own wellbeing
Let’s look at some of the ways in which C-suite executives can improve their own health and wellbeing in the workplace…
Plan your day efficiently
In most cases, C-suite executives are at the forefront of business progress – or at least the responsibility for growth lies with them. For this reason, the role of a C-suite executive can become extremely demanding, stressful and exhausting. Senior leaders should plan their days the night before.
This gives them time to focus on how they can tackle tomorrow’s tasks. Exec or not, we all know the pressure of trying to organise our day as it unfolds. By making a list and prioritising tasks, leaders can effectively make progress and stay on track.
Take mini breaks occasionally
Taking breaks away from a task can massively improve our focus and productivity. Unfortunately, many c-suite executives ignore this piece of advice. The truth is, we can only process so much information and problem-solving before we burn out. If C-suite executives want to strive further, and faster, they must take breaks throughout the day.
Consider the Pomodoro Technique – a time management strategy in which you break work into smaller intervals of 25mins. Although it sounds unproductive, it can encourage focus and dedication to get work done in a set timescale.
Avoid decision fatigue
If there’s one thing for certain, C-suite executives are required to make many decisions every day. This can lead to “decision fatigue” and the lack of good decision-making can result in poor performance across the business.
To avoid decision fatigue, C-suite executives should delegate certain tasks to other team members, or automate as much as possible. There are many tools available online for automating very mundane everyday tasks.
How leaders can improve their staff wellbeing strategy
When it comes to staff wellbeing strategy, what can C-suite executives do to improve this for everyone involved?
Listen to employee needs
In a world filled with noise from all angles, it’s hard to focus. Sometimes people can be in one conversation, while attending to another on LinkedIn, via email or by text. Our attention is scarce, and leaders need to focus on listening more to employee needs.
This is one of the best ways to better support employee wellbeing. Listen to the kind of perks, incentives and methods of support employees need, and act. Here at Heka, we have put together this resource to support employee wellbeing needs.
Create a wellbeing culture
Creating a wellbeing culture will have a knock-on effect on other facets of the business. From improving overall health and happiness to increasing engagement, productivity and more. Your workplace culture is a sustainable option for building healthier, happier employees – a long-term strategy, rather than an immediate, yet short-lived impact.
C-suite executives should look at everything from workspace design, to peer relationships, recognition and more. What kind of relationship do employees have with c-suite executives? How can leaders better support the growth and progression of employees’ careers?
It’s okay building a culture of wellbeing, and listen to employee needs, but your business must be people-centric. That means looking at every operation in your business, and acknowledging how people come first.
It’s a deep dive into how to motivate and inspire people to do their best work. It’s understanding that people don’t stick around in a job they don’t feel valued in. Employees have to come first for c-suite executives, and listening to their needs is just one example. The entire employee experience should be built to be fun, exciting and challenging.
The above list should be the beginning point of a better staff wellbeing strategy – one that considered everyone in the workplace, including c-suite executives. Employee wellbeing is more important than ever, and how you approach wellbeing is critical to a successful strategy.