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Do We Need to Return to Wellness?

Emma Tekstra > Corporate HR  > Do We Need to Return to Wellness?

Do We Need to Return to Wellness?

Employee Wellbeing has been baked into the talent agenda for over a decade now. The term “wellness” had been jettisoned to ensure we were incorporating broader aspects of what employees were looking for and what would lead to engaged and productive workers.


Wellbeing typically includes dimensions such as Physical, Emotional (or Mental), Social and Financial Wellbeing with an employer trying to address all these aspects of an employee’s environment. In some cases it includes a fifth dimension along the lines of “Career” to emphasize the employee’s need for purpose and fulfilment in their professional life.


Now we are using the term Employee Experience as either part of the Wellbeing mix or as the new umbrella term under which wellbeing falls. This is a lot for an HR leader to deal with and requires adding more and more policies and programs usually with associated vendors to manage. Going even further, employee experience often brings additional factors such as ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) incorporating terms like Social Responsibility, Social Justice and even Climate Change.


Can we take a step back for a moment and consider where this train is leading? It is too much for HR leaders to cover off on all these items well and to what end? How does a social justice agenda improve the bottom line? They are distracting from the one issue that affects everyone every day and has the single biggest impact on their life – Health.


By Health I simply mean mental & physical health. What is going on inside their own body? Are they in pain? Can they think straight and manage their life? Do they have the energy to perform their job well? Are they taking time off due to sickness or doctors appointments?


Your health affects your productivity, your creativity and nearly every other contribution you make to your employer. A manager in poor mental health, or simply sleep deprived, can affect the engagement, motivation and health of the whole team. The health of a loved one can also affect your working life in one way or another.


I’m not saying these other aspects of the employee’s personal experience is not important but when someone is in good mental and physical health they are going to be far more resilient to problems in other areas and a better employee. If we make Wellness the focus, everything else might just take care of itself.

Emma Tekstra
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