Boosting Employee Well-being: A Modern, Holistic Approach Wellbeing made simple

24th may 2023

Employee Well-being in the Modern Workplace: A Holistic Approach


In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conversation around employee well-being has taken center stage. While previously, employers might have been content with providing an annual gym membership or throwing the odd office party, today's leading companies are recognizing the need for a more comprehensive, holistic approach to employee well-being.

Future Workplace, a leading advisory firm, has identified seven key pillars of employee well-being that companies should prioritize. These pillars—Physical, Career, Financial, Social, Community, Emotional, and Purpose Well-being—represent a shift in corporate culture that acknowledges the full spectrum of human needs and experiences in the workplace.

Physical Well-being is, perhaps, the most traditional aspect of employee wellness programs. Companies have long understood the importance of supporting employees' physical health, providing amenities ranging from on-site fitness centers to subsidized gym memberships. However, the concept of physical well-being has expanded to encompass much more than just exercise. It now includes aspects such as sleep, overall lifestyle, and nutritional habits. For instance, PwC's Be Well, Work Well Habit Bank offers a variety of suggestions to improve physical well-being, such as standing up for short meetings, getting more sleep, and tracking what and when you eat.

Career Well-being has come into sharper focus as the pandemic has led many to re-evaluate their career trajectories. Companies are responding with policies that help retain employees while also catering to their evolving needs. Increased compensation, enhanced learning and development programs, and new internal talent mobility opportunities are some of the strategies being employed. In addition, online coaching and resilience training have been introduced to help employees navigate the massive disruptions caused by the pandemic and the subsequent shift to remote work.

A surprising revelation of the pandemic era is the extent to which employees' Financial Well-being impacts their job performance. According to PwC's 2021 Employee Financial Well-being Survey, financial stress is the leading cause of stress among employees, even surpassing job, health, and relationship stress. Recognizing this, companies are taking measures to alleviate financial anxiety among their workforce. One solution is offering an emergency savings account, which can be automatically deducted from an employee’s payroll.

Social Well-being is another critical pillar, especially as remote work has led to increased isolation among workers. Employers are taking note and creating new offerings to bring social experiences to workers, even as they continue to work from home. These initiatives foster a sense of community within the workplace and serve as a buffer against stress.

Another pillar is Community Well-being, which involves giving employees opportunities to engage with their local communities. Many companies have started offering paid time off for volunteer programs, enabling employees to contribute to their communities while also deepening their connection with their employers.

Emotional Well-being, particularly mental health support, has become a crucial priority for many companies. With stress levels reaching unprecedented heights since the pandemic began, providing mental health resources and fostering a supportive work environment is more critical than ever.

Finally, Purpose Well-being focuses on helping employees find a sense of purpose in their work. This pillar has gained importance as more and more employees seek meaningful work that aligns with their personal values and aspirations.

While these pillars provide a roadmap for companies, the journey towards holistic employee well-being is a continuous one. The need for flexibility and adaptability is paramount as we navigate an ever-evolving work environment. However, those companies that genuinely invest in their employees' well-being—recognizing them as whole individuals with diverse needs—will likely see increased engagement, productivity, and loyalty in return.