Article: Report: Who's responsible for employee well-being?

Strategic HR

Report: Who's responsible for employee well-being?

The "Care to Do Better" report recently released by Accenture highlights strong expectations that employers are responsible for making their employees better off, and suggests a model for doing so.
Report: Who's responsible for employee well-being?

78 percent of workers strongly believe that their employer is responsible for helping them become net better off, according to a new "Care to Do Better" report released by Accenture. But only 50 percent of C-suite leaders feel the same way. Still, the gap is narrower than it was before the pandemic: back before COVID-19, just 35 percent of C-suite leaders thought that employers were responsible for meeting workers' needs.

There is a business case for this belief, though. The "Care to Do Better" report also found that while average company revenue in 2020 is projected to fall by 4.7 percent, companies that actually help their employees become better off can potentially see revenue growth of 5 percent.

So what exactly do organizations need to do to make their employees better off?

The report proposes following a "Net Better Off" model covering six dimensions:

    • Emotional and Mental: feeling positive emotions and maintaining mental wellness

    • Relational: feeling a strong sense of belonging and inclusion and having many strong personal relationships

    • Physical: being in good physical health and equipped to take on normal daily stresses

    • Financial: being financially secure without undue economic stress or worry and having equitable opportunity for future economic stability and advancement

    • Purposeful: feeling that one makes a positive difference to the world and that life has meaning and a greater sense of purpose beyond oneself

    • Employable: having marketable, in-demand capabilities and skills that make it easy to obtain good jobs and equitable career-advancement opportunities

According to the report, 64 percent of a person's potential, defined as their ability to use their skills and strengths at work, is affected by how much better off they feel across these six dimensions. Furthermore, all these dimensions correlate strongly with how much trust people have in their employers.

The report also suggests a set of "sweet spot" practices that balance business performance priorities with people priorities:

    • Enable continuous learning

    • Listen to what people need, and provide it

    • Use technology to enable flexible work

    • Champion workforce well-being

    • Set and share people metrics, and be transparent and accountable about them

These practices drive a wide range of positive workforce behavior, from recommending their employer to others, to putting in more effort at work, and even being more able to adapt to change. But they are still not well adopted, with fewer than 20 percent of organizations claiming to lead in any of them.

What this means, said Himanshu Tambe, Accenture’s Talent, Organization & Human Potential Lead for Southeast Asia, is that CHROs have plenty of work to do to find ways of improving the workforce's lot.

“The current crisis will pass and organizations that answer the call to take better care of their people will win in the future,” he said. “Our research findings reconfirm that the role of CHROs has become more important than ever. They are creating experiences grounded in care for people and concern for their communities while accelerating the performance of the business. Companies that can successfully elevate their people will be able to reinforce their businesses and unlock the full potential as we move into the post-pandemic world.”

In short, to make their people and thereby their organizations better off, HR leaders today need to shift their focus away from being organization-centric, to people-centric, and their own role from process execution alone, to a more strategic and outward-looking approach.

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Topics: Strategic HR

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