In the second installment of the Council’s Post-Pandemic Workforce series, PwC experts Christine Randazzo and Kim Jepsen provided an overview of well-being and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Well-being is no longer a nice-to-have,” Randazzo said. “It’s a business imperative.”
According to PwC research, the pandemic has magnified and exacerbated workforce priorities and struggles. Even before the pandemic, burnout was common enough that it was identified as an official medical diagnosis, and nearly one-in-five U.S. adults reported experiencing a mental illness in 2018.
“There’s been a microscope placed on well-being as business leaders have seen and experienced for themselves the day-to-day struggles people are experiencing in the pandemic remote work environment. It’s been really difficult to bring our best selves both to work and our personal lives in light of all the challenges going on around us.”Christine Randazzo, Partner, PwC
Just 38% of respondents to PwC surveys said their work environment is safe and enables them to be their best selves. Only 20% said their employer helps them manage stress and focus on creating mental wellness.
PwC’s Well-Being Learning Project found that well-being is more than a benefit. Companies that make caring for their team members a priority find that it drives better business outcomes. Randazzo said dimensions of employee well-being include:
- Understanding that a commitment to healthy behaviors is more important than choosing the “right” habits.
- Inclusive leadership and teamwork create an environment that enables well-being to thrive.
- A corporate priority on promoting healthy habits yield positive business benefits.
- Technology can be used to boost well-being.
Companies can focus on key building blocks to make well-being an integral part of the organization’s structure, Randazzo said. This includes addressing ways of working and behaviors, communication and education, active participation from leadership, tailoring approaches to different employee demographics and locations, and involving employee input in creating the strategy.
“Start small. Make it a skill that you’re developing and practicing for a few minutes each day until positive behaviors are habits that prioritize well-being, energize the team and promote wellness across physical, mental, spiritual and emotional dimensions.”Kim Jepsen, Director, PwC
First steps towards developing a program and creating a culture that values well-being include taking care of yourself, having an open conversation with your team, and working as an organization to understand the needs and challenges of your people, Jepsen said.
Post-Pandemic Workforce Series
Kevin Broom, Director Communications and Research, writes about the Council’s sector-specific best practices and leadership. Click here to subscribe to the Council’s newsletter, which highlights industry practices, workforce development, Council activities and more.