#SHRM19 Session Preview: Why a Comprehensive Well-Being Strategy Is a Business Imperative, and How to Make It So

Dr. Autumn Krauss is a Principal Scientist in SAP SuccessFactors’ Human Capital Management Research Team. In her role, she provides scientific support to SAP’s Well-being at Work Initiative focused on operationalizing a culture of well-being and purpose in organizations to enrich the employee experience and drive peak performance.

She was kind enough to talk with me recently about her upcoming session at #SHRM19:

On Workplaces that Work for Everyone:

Dr. Krauss:

“In today’s world, given the diversity of not just demographics but types of workers with different motives or interests in terms of why they come to work every day, I think about creating environments in organizations, as well as how jobs are designed, that allow employees to bring their full self to work every day and to achieve their full potential.

That looks different for every person, but companies have become more and more flexible in the nature of the design of their jobs as well as their environments to cater to all different types of workers.”

Well-Being and Employee Engagement:

Dr. Krauss:

“I think that, yes, the results for engagement continue to decline as a metric but the work that we’re doing at SAP, and what this session is really about, is about moving upstream. When we look at engagement as a metric, that’s in the rearview mirror of where we’ve already, in some instances, lost people as far as their level of motivation and commitment and identification with their company. When I think about a topic like well-being, I look at moving upstream to the employee experience on a daily basis, and how companies are supporting employees as whole people in the moments that matter most to them.

We need to recognize that we can’t start caring about workers when they come through the gate in the morning, or when they clock in. The boundary of work and life is so permeable at this stage that companies who recognize that these are people first and that their non-work lives certainly spillover to work and vice versa are the ones that are building environments and creating conditions where employees really can thrive at work.

Only through creating the business in such a way where the culture, practices, leadership behavior, and team dynamics are all set up in a way where employees feel valued and like they can contribute at their highest level will engagement metrics move. Well-being is such a lever for engagement. By focusing much more upstream and on the environment and work itself, you will eventually get better engagement.”

At Her Session:

Dr. Krauss:
“I really want to emphasize that there are two pieces to this well-being puzzle. One piece is very much individual well-being, and this might be the classic way that we think about this topic, which is that we want to serve up to employees resources, content, and tools that they could use for their own personal well-being. Often what this looks like is companies providing mindfulness training, gym memberships or some type of reimbursement for healthy lifestyle choices, or they’re running campaigns to try to get employees to focus on their personal well-being.

Alternatively, what I really want to emphasize in this session is the organization’s responsibility to create an environment where the nature of the work and the conditions, technologies, policies, and processes positively impact employee well-being.

When I’ve done my research, I’ve oftentimes heard from employees in response to the questions, “does the company care about you?” and “how do they support you?”, they are saying things like “Oh, HR says our well-being really matters and they offer us a myriad of activities, tools and programs, but at the end of the day what I really need is a manager who understands the challenges of my day-to-day work”, or “I need a travel policy that’s not going to have me flying red-eyes when I’m on the road”, or “I need to see through talent management practices that the people who take care of themselves get promoted – not the ones who are burning out because they respond to emails at night”.

What I want our audience to do is broaden their view of what well-being is and how organizations affect it and can improve it. To understand how it is really about the ways that a company supports employees’ experiences in key moments throughout their journey with the organization that is driving their well-being. We need to address those as well and not just give employees better resources to deal with their own personal well-being issues. It’s the environment and experiences we’re creating in companies that is ultimately impacting them.”

Session Details:

Ready to learn more? Be sure to attend her session! Here are the details:

Why a Comprehensive Well-Being Strategy Is a Business Imperative, and How to Make It So. LVCC N107-108. Wednesday 06/26/2019 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Workplace Application:

Integrate well-being into your people strategy in a way that is based in science and that leverages advanced technologies.
Most employees worldwide are performing below their potential because they aren’t engaged—imagine what that does to an organization’s bottom line. Business leaders are recognizing that the costs of unsustainable workforce practices are growing, while healthy workplaces have a significant impact on business results. Companies need precise, timely, detailed information about what employees really need and want in order to make the right investments to engage a diverse, demanding, dynamic workforce. This lively session explains how integrating the latest scientific findings and technological innovations can help improve the employee experience and increase health, well-being, engagement and, ultimately, performance.

Learning Objectives:

  • The latest research findings in organizational well-being culture and individual employee well-being.
  • How intelligent technologies (e.g., machine learning) can proactively deliver to employees personalized well-being recommendations and support.
  • How to integrate employee well-being into your human capital management practices, to build a strong and positive well-being culture.
  • How well-being is best integrated into your organization’s people strategy.
  • How to assess the maturity of your organization’s well-being culture and change readiness , which will inform your well-being strategy.

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