Employee Wellness

Well-being Beyond Flexibility

RSM is taking several steps to improve the overall talent experience.

By Ty Beasley

Organizations have embraced the shift towards more adaptable work environments, increasingly incorporating hybrid and remote work arrangements. In today’s tight labor market, flexibility options are table stakes for many employees. So is it enough to attract and retain top talent?

50% of employees identify work-life balance as the most critical factor in an “ideal job.” 

In a 2022 RSM survey, 50% of employees identify work-life balance as the most critical factor in an “ideal job.” This underscores the need for employers and talent leaders to take a proactive role in promoting well-being. To stand out with candidates and retain top performers, organizations must move beyond flexibility and prioritize the overall talent experience, with a particular focus on well-being.

Focusing on the Whole Person
HR leaders should remember that employees are more than just workers. They are parents, spouses, caregivers, friends, and more. To bring their best selves to work, they must be supported as whole people. This is especially important for millennials and Gen Z, who value employers who care for them as aspiring professionals and individuals with personal lives. Employers have the power to create a supportive environment that values and nurtures the whole person, not just the employee.

When considering programs and benefits, HR leaders should consider holistic well-being. How can the organization mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially support its people? It’s not just about employees but also their loved ones. If someone they care about is struggling, it will be difficult for them to perform at their best. Investing in well-being resources for the whole family, such as therapy or coaching services, can significantly impact employees–boosting their well-being and productivity.

RSM has made significant strides in expanding its well-being offerings in recent years. This includes the creation of a dedicated well-being team and local well-being champions. RSM’s employee network groups (ENGs) also provide a safe space to discuss issues, share resources, and get support for topics important to an individual’s personal and professional lives. The success of these efforts is evident in their popularity—more than 50% of RSM employees and 90% of partners and principals are members of at least one ENG.

Upskilling Managers
Supervisors, managers, and team leaders support employees well-being. Think about the saying: “People don’t leave a job; they leave a manager.” When the people manager construct is done right, employees perform better and are more productive and engaged. A 2022 Gallup study found that the manager determined 70% of the variance in team engagement.

Managers are often the first line of defense regarding well-being; they must identify when an employee needs support, be well-informed on mental health and well-being resources, and know when to escalate a situation.

Provide mental health first-aid training to managers. Educate them on what resources are available to employees. Make them well-being champions and ensure they are creating a psychologically safe team atmosphere. According to a McKinsey survey, an overwhelming 89% of respondents said they believe that psychological safety in the workplace is essential, while only 15% practice safe actions.

RSM is taking a fresh look at its managerial construct, ensuring it has the right people in the right roles with the proper training and support to aid employees’ career growth, well-being, and performance across RSM’s domestic and global offices.

Using Digital Tools to Enable Well-being
Digital tools not only automate and optimize talent processes but also play a crucial role in shaping the future of work by enhancing the overall talent experience. When HR leaders effectively align people, processes, and technology, employees’ lives are easier, improving productivity and reducing stress.

Talent leaders must focus on meeting their people where they are rather than fighting disparate systems and resources. Employees expect a user-friendly integrated digital experience. To optimize the talent experience, talent technology must be incorporated into the overall tech stack and strategy.

RSM is currently piloting integrations with Microsoft Teams to integrate learning and development opportunities into the workflow. RSM also launched a digital wellness platform to make it easier for employees to find and use its many benefits and well-being offerings and drive a sense of community through wellness activities such as team step challenges.

Understanding the Importance of Culture
When it comes to well-being, organizations can have the best benefits, offer flexible work options, and have many resources, tools, and training. Still, those things won’t matter if the company culture doesn’t support it.

Organizations must carefully curate their culture by defining the expected behaviors of every employee while being committed to uncompromising values. Culture is at the core of the talent experience. Ensure leaders demonstrate the correct behaviors and lead by example. Hold people accountable if they step outside the lines. Communicate these cultural elements at every opportunity.

RSM’s people are caring, curious, courageous, collaborative, and critical thinkers. These are the company’s “5 Cs:” the desired behaviors core to RSM’s culture, enabling its people to be great client servers, teammates, and leaders.

Nowadays, people want more than just a job. They want purpose and a place to grow. They want an employer who cares not just about how many widgets they make or people they manage, but about them as a person. HR leaders should ask themselves whether their culture measures up.

Ty Beasley is chief talent officer at RSM US LLP. 

Tags: June 2024

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