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How will your organization bridge the gap in employee wellbeing?

As pandemic regulations and realities rapidly shift, and our doors begin to reopen, your employees need more support than ever. But even though it feels like we’re finally seeing the horizon and hearing answers to questions that have kept us awake for over a year, we’re all wounded by the impact of COVID, social injustice, and lingering uncertainty.

With no set protocol, organizations are faced with making decisions that will keep their people’s health and physical safety a priority. But what about their emotional and social needs? Our latest research reveals a staggering 1-in-3 employed Americans are struggling with Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) factors like food, housing, and/or financial security today. And when 70% of all physical and mental health outcomes are dependent on these factors, the role organizations play in helping their people achieve a healthy emotional and social bottom line is critical.

There were cracks between the wellbeing tools employers offered their people and what their people expected long before the pandemic threw us into turmoil. But like countless other things COVID accelerated in the last 15 months, the cracks widened into large gaps, and now organizations must reconcile this divide quickly to avoid becoming another statistic in the great resignation.

However, this gap isn’t one of apathy — it’s one of root-cause awareness. When 2-in-3 business leaders report their company’s wellbeing initiatives fall short in supporting their people’s needs, it’s obvious that a new approach is necessary to address the unique needs of your people. One that individualizes and destigmatizes the process while accounting for the personal and social determinants foundational to emotional wellbeing that have been overlooked by traditional employer offerings.

Organizations need to move their wellbeing strategy from a sideshow solely focused on broccoli and treadmills to something central to your core employee value proposition, focused on new wellbeing outcomes: meaning, purpose, connection, authenticity, inclusion, and growth.

How do you move from traditional wellbeing to one that truly meets your people’s unmet needs?

  • Be aware of burnout drivers and address these drivers.
  • See employees as individuals and help them address unmet, essential needs like food, housing, childcare, and eldercare.
  • Cultivate and activate each person’s sense of purpose, connection, and ability to see work as a path to greater fulfillment.
Dr Bob Carr's prescription pad

Kumanu Chief Medical Officer Robert Carr, MD, MPH, FACPM, is here to help leaders through the great transition. This month, he focuses on how to bring positive, infectious energy to your team.

Be aware of your emotions and energy during this transition:

Peter Drucker once wrote that: “Your first and foremost job as a leader is to manage your own energy and help manage the energy of those around you.” Easier said than done. The quality of energy and shadow you cast greatly influences those you lead. The energy from your own fitness and health not only supports your ability to make things happen and get things done but affects your mood and how people experience you. The energy you use in human connection and relationships helps your team feel valued, included, cared for, and listened to. The energy of passion, meaning, and optimism connected to your team’s individual and shared purpose and values enables a future all can believe in.

Are you managing and recharging your energy in an intentional way that supports your why? Your purpose? Are you aware of how your emotions affect your actions and how those actions affect others? Is this aligned with your intention?

Tip: Spend a few moments to reflect on the quality and quantity of your personal energy. Think about where you draw your own energy from and what are some of the ways you can build in more time to recover and recharge. Consider some of these ideas:

  • Take brief but regular breaks at specific intervals throughout the workday – whether at home or in the building, leave your work area! As little as several minutes can allow you to disengage and recharge!
  • To defuse negative emotions, take several deep abdominal breaths. Exhaling slowly for five or six seconds induces relaxation and recovery.
  • Fuel positive emotions by expressing appreciation to others – write a handwritten note, send an email, or make a call. The more detailed and specific, the more the impact for both you and the receiver.
  • Try to start your day on the most important priority, before email and returning messages. Working on what matters most with your highest quality of energy is a good habit to grow.
  • Reflect regularly on your ‘why’ — your purpose, and be intentional about your actions. Try to live your values in your daily behavior and regularly reflect on how well you were able to do this.

Resources

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What does the new wellbeing experience look like?

Join us to learn how to offer more of what employees expect today: authenticity, equity, and programs centered on social and emotional wellbeing.

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Getting to the root of emotional wellbeing at work.

Thought leaders and researchers at Kumanu, analyzing a nationally representative sample of U.S. workers gathered by The Harris Poll, developed a new model for employee wellbeing better aligned to the root causes of workforce wellbeing today.

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Employee needs have changed. Has your wellbeing strategy?

Wellbeing is changing. For good. Join us to learn how to offer more of what employees expect today: authenticity, equity, and experiences centered on social and emotional wellbeing.

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Transform your inner critic into your strongest ally.

In this PurposeCast, Dr. Strecher and Ethan Kross will share compelling stories of Chatter’s disruptive nature, from baseball’s Rick Ankiel to TV’s Mr. Rogers.

What are we sharing this month?

  • Fierce healthcare: Less than a third of employers think their well-being, caregiving programs have supported workers through COVID-19 
    Read more
  • Harvard Business Review: 5 Questions to Help Your Employees Find Their Inner Purpose 
    Read more
  • Gallup: How Philips Views a Leader’s Role in Mental Health at Work 
    Read more
  • Researchers find link between exercise and a sense of purpose in life 
    Read more
  • Healthcare Leaders Media: Payer Leading Social Determinants of Health Program in New Jersey
    Read more
  • Conference Board: The Reimagined Workplace a Year Later — Human Capital Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Read more
  • BMJ: Covid-19 pandemic and the social determinants of health 
    Read more

Dive deeper with Kumanu

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Purposeful Overview

The Purposeful Experience delivers more than a point solution and goes deeper than an app. Our team of wellbeing, communication, and program design experts support you every step of the way, creating a solution that is highly configurable, provides real-time insights on metrics that matter most, and integrates into your culture.

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Resourceful Overview

A first-of-its-kind solution to recognize, activate, and measure essential needs, Resourceful works with your existing programs to recognize and activate your people to their fullest potential.

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