How to Build Employee Wellness for Business Success
We’re in the middle of a well-documented phenomenon. Some are calling it the “great resignation.” Others feel it may be more of a “great reshuffle.”
No matter what you call it, companies are struggling to attract and retain workers. In August, 4.3 million Americans (nearly 3 percent of the entire workforce) voluntarily left their positions.
What has so many people asking themselves, “Should I quit my job?” On the surface, many are sick of working crappy jobs for stagnant wages and they’re using the current pandemic environment to demand more.
But there’s also something deeper and more personal going on. People are rethinking how and why they work. They’re seeking more meaning in their lives and - by association - in their careers.
They want room for more creativity. They’re burned out and exhausted from constant physical, mental and emotional stress. They want to grow personally and professionally, learn new skills and try things they’ve always wanted to do. They want to be treated like the well-rounded mult-faceted complex humans they actually are, not just another cog in the wheel.
Engagement + Creativity = Great Work
A 2012 Adobe survey of 5,000 adults from around the world revealed a “global creativity gap” in five of the world’s largest economies. The research showed 8 in 10 people feel unlocking creativity is key for economic growth and nearly two-thirds feel it's valuable for society. But only 1 in 4 feel they’re living up to their own creative potential.
Executive leadership teams give lip service at global town hall meetings to taking risks and fostering creative thinking but that doesn’t match most worker’s day-to-day reality. According to the Adobe survey, people spend on average only 25% of their time creating at work, while 75% of respondents said they’re under growing pressure to be more productive.
Engaged and creative employees are happy employees, and they are the key to getting things done.
A Gallup analysis of employee engagement statistics from the last three decades showed that organizations in the top quartile of employee engagement scores had more than 18% higher productivity and 23% higher profitability than organizations in the bottom quartile.
What’s more, a survey of 50,000 employees found that engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave a company.
Just think about the people you rely on to provide professional services in your life. Aren’t the best, most efficient, and reliable people the ones who also seem the happiest in their jobs? Don’t they have flexibility and room to be creative and think outside the box to help you solve your problems? Haven’t they been at their work and with their company for a long time? Wouldn’t you be sad to see them go?
Then why aren’t we spending more time and resources thinking about how our employees feel in their work? How can we even start to address this creativity and engagement gap?
The UX of Personal Development
Employees act differently when they can see their own personal progress and how it contributes to the bigger picture. That’s why we designed and built a platform that takes your company values and frames them around the work (and personal development) of your employees.
We originally built Design.org to help individuals create happiness in their lives. Now we’ve taken those same UX principles and technology to create a holistic custom approach to corporate employee wellness that empowers your team to do their best work.
It’s built on three fundamental principles of what we like to call the UX of Personal Development.
1. Prescriptive guidance for personal improvement.
“You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.” - Maya Angelou, poet and civil rights activist
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” - Yogi Berra, catcher for the New York Yankees
First, employees need to determine where they want to be in their personal and professional lives so they can see how to get there and track their progress.
Our carefully designed self-assessment reveals important insights about each individual’s current mental and emotional states. Employees set specific goals and evaluate where they are relative to those goals.
As they retake the assessment every month—which takes only 5 minutes to update—they can see and track their progress in real time. Additional questions can be added and customized to highlight company-specific values and emphasize focus areas for each individual employee or job role.
2. Daily communication and coaching to foster self-awareness.
“A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.” - John Wooden, Hall of Fame basketball coach
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” - Aristotle
Positive outcomes don’t just magically happen overnight. They take regular discipline, practice and coaching to take root and change habits and behaviors.
That’s why we plot the results of each individual’s self-assessment against our innovative Egg Framework. It maps an individual's progress through five stages of creative development: hope, belief, action, purpose, and happiness. It’s based on the idea that if you crack an egg to let a chick out, the chick will die. If you want the chick to live, you have to let the chick crack itself out of the egg.
Employees receive daily messages tailored to their specific needs and core company values. Starting with where they are in the Egg Framework, we send the messaging they need in order to develop the persistence and strength to escape their egg and unleash their creativity.
3. Encouraging affirmations for boosted morale.
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” - William James, the father of American psychology
“Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders - in that order.” - Simon Sinek, author and speaker
Positive affirmations are proven to improve traits such as stress management, physical wellness, and feelings of self-worth. More than just trite sayings on a poster hanging on a manager’s wall, consistent and well-timed affirmations can help employees break free from negative thought patterns, release fears that hold them back, and discover new habits and skills that can move them forward in their lives and careers.
Employees can choose from one of our curated affirmation packs (creativity, leadership, etc.) or create their own—sent at custom times and frequencies throughout the day. These affirmation packs are centered around the idea that our thoughts help create our happiness, and our happiness leads us to success.
Business success doesn’t necessarily lead to employee satisfaction and happiness. But employee satisfaction does lead to business success.
A Holistic Approach to Employee Wellness and Customer Satisfaction
As with everything we do at Drawbackwards, we approached the problem of employee wellness by first drawing backwards to the source of the problem. We’re in a world where it’s no longer enough to talk about the value you deliver to shareholders.
Employees expect companies to be accountable for their impact on the environment, the social structures they build and support, and how they approach the personal and career development of the people who work for them.
They also expect real-time custom communications that speak to their individual goals and needs, not just another company-wide email extolling the value of their benefits package or touting company values.
In response to those fundamental needs, we created an employee wellness platform and program that delivers positive affirmations and daily messages that align with company values while also speaking to individual motivations. And it can all be delivered through Slack, email text message or other workspace platforms that meet employees where they are throughout their day.
We’re consistently adding community and supplemental resources, too, including an online community group with a Design.org mediator and a library of activities to guide creative thinking in the workplace.
Our goal is not just to make your business more successful. We can do that with our standard UX/UI research, design and development services. Our goal with Design.org and this employee wellness platform is to ensure your employees have everything they need to succeed. Because there’s no more important contributing factor to success than happiness.
Ready to empower your employees to find their key to happiness?
Let’s talk about how we can set them up for success.