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Wellbeing: The Indisputable Superpower

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In recent years, there has been a growing concern about well-being in India, and the statistics paint a worrying picture. According to the Global Human Development Index, India ranks 132 out of 191 countries. The Global Wellness Index 2020 is similarly concerning, with India ranking 120 out of 151 countries, further highlighting the need to prioritize well-being in India. Mental health is another concern, with the National Mental Health Survey of India reporting that 1 in 7 people in India are affected by mental health disorders.

In response to these challenges, the Indian government has launched several initiatives, including the National Action Plan, Ayushman Bharat, National Tele-Mental Health Programme, and the OSH Code. While these efforts are a positive step forward, more work needs to be done to improve the well-being of Indian citizens. The responsibility for improving well-being falls on individuals, communities, and governments alike. It is crucial to continue working together towards the shared goal of a healthier and happier India.

Fostering Wellness in the Workplace

The relationship between Workplace Wellness and Workplace Culture is evident, with companies in the top quartile of the Culture and Wellness Index having a 14% advantage over those in the bottom quartile.

Our data scientists analyzed millions of data points across multiple industries and employee demographics to create a robust research-based framework. The team identified six key levers that form the Workplace Wellness Index™ and enable organizations to create physical and psychological safety for employees.

  • Responsible Leadership
  • Supportive Managers
  • Sense of Community
  • Autonomy & Fulfilment
  • Health
  • Enabling Work Environment

These six key levers in the Workplace Wellness Framework play a significant role in creating a culture of holistic well-being. Although the contribution of each lever may differ, they are all essential in fostering a positive work environment that prioritizes employee well-being. This positive work environment, in turn, motivates employees to perform at their best, contributing to the organization’s overall success. By acknowledging and incorporating each of these key levers, organizations can create a supportive and empowering work culture that promotes the holistic well-being of their employees.

The Journey From 2021 to 2022

Since 2021, the Workplace Wellness Index has had a 4 percentage point increase. This improvement results from Indian leaders demonstrating higher ownership in prioritizing employee well-being. In addition, employee feedback on Responsible Leadership has increased by 10 percentage points since 2021, reflecting this change in approach.

These efforts have resulted in the creation of an enabling work environment that supports employee growth and success. However, with the shift towards hybrid working, managers have found it challenging to provide adequate support to their teams across multiple working modes.

Additionally, organizations need help to maintain a sense of community among their employees, further highlighting the need for continued efforts toward creating a supportive and inclusive workplace culture.

Redefining Health Insurance

The health insurance policy in corporate India has undergone a significant change and expanded its coverage to include various aspects that address the employees’ current needs. Maintaining good health proactively requires regular health check-ups, and 58% of the Best workplaces provide this benefit to their employees. Employers consistently encourage employees to avail of this benefit by reminding them about it and promoting its usage.

Flexibility: A Non-Negotiable for Today’s Workforce

In today’s workforce, flexibility has become a non-negotiable expectation from employees, brought on by the pandemic. In response, organizations have had to redesign programs and policies to adapt to the new normal of remote work and hybrid working. Even field-based businesses have found ways to offer flexibility to their employees.

The best workplaces recognize the value of caregivers and provide options for career breaks, paid volunteering opportunities, and formal policies and programs to support their employees. While there is no significant difference between the Best and Other workplaces in providing paid sabbaticals, companies need to acknowledge the importance of allowing their employees to take a wellness break from work and recharge.

Workplace Wellness: A Distinctive Competitive Edge

Companies that prioritize a culture of holistic well-being among their employees have a competitive advantage when creating a culture of innovation. Such organizations also have employees who perceive the leadership to be more effective than those in companies that do not prioritize employee well-being. Specifically, employees in companies in the top quartile are 15% more likely to experience a culture of innovation and 14% more likely to perceive their leadership as influential than those in the bottom quartile. This highlights the importance of prioritizing employee well-being to foster innovation and effective leadership in the workplace.

The Magic of Fostering Wellness

Employee burnout has recently become a significant challenge for India, especially since the pandemic hit. It refers to a condition where employees experience emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion due to long-term stress and high work demands. This can lead to reduced productivity, poor performance, and even physical and mental health issues.

Various factors can contribute to burnout, such as inflexible work arrangements, limited control over work tasks, ineffective communication from management, and lack of clarity regarding job expectations and goals. The impact of burnout on an organization can be significant, and companies need to take measures to address it.

Studies have shown that companies with a high Workplace Wellness Index of around 90% experience a lower employee burnout rate of approximately 15%, while companies with a low Workplace Wellness Index of around 75% have a higher employee burnout rate of around 39%. Therefore, organizations must prioritize employee wellness to reduce burnout and ensure a healthy and productive workforce.

The Road Ahead

Well-being is of utmost importance for individuals, organizations, and the nation. Therefore, corporate India needs to take on the responsibility of Making India a Healthy Place to Work For All and make it an integral part of its business strategy.

Research indicates that providing health insurance, access to doctors, counselors, and regular health check-ups are now basic expectations at any workplace interested in creating a high-performing organization. However, these benefits may not provide a competitive edge as they can be easily replicated.

The real differentiator of the Best Workplaces is the role that leaders play in institutionalizing a culture of holistic well-being and role-modeling the right behaviors. These organizations consider well-being as important as any other business metric and create an enabling work environment that stands out. We urge all leaders across India to participate in this movement of Making India a Healthy Place to Work For All.

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