What is Wellbeing?
Wellbeing encompasses all the ways people think about and experience their lives. Gallup and Healthways define and measure wellbeing in terms of five elements:
- Purpose: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
- Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life
- Financial: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
- Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
- Physical: Having good health and enough energy to get things done daily
Millennials and Wellbeing
The idea that success requires toxic stress levels and a diet of caffeine is being fundamentally, challenged. Millennials have made their demands clear – they value wellbeing over finances. GoldmanSachs in their 2017 research note that for Millennials, wellbeing is a daily, active pursuit. They’re exercising more, eating smarter and smoking less than previous generations. They’re using apps to track training data, and online information to find the healthiest foods. They are more socially conscious then ever before. According to research conducted by Jamie Gutfreund, chief strategy officer for the Intelligence Group millennial work demands reflect the wellbeing mindset:
- 88% prefer a collaborative work-culture rather than a competitive one.
- 74% want flexible work schedules.
- 88% want “work-life integration,” (which isn’t the same as work-life balance, since work and life now blend together inextricably.) and finally,
- 72% would like to be their own boss. But if they do have to work for a boss, 79% of them would want that boss to serve more as a coach or mentor.
Millennials are, in essence, “venture consumers,” Gutfreund says. They’re not looking to fill a slot in a faceless company, any more than a good venture capitalist is looking to toss money at a faceless startup. They’re looking strategically at opportunities to invest in a place where they can make a difference, If you can provide a purpose, a career path and the ability for younger generations to blend work, with present life – then you will be in hot demand.
Why You Need Wellbeing Policies
The hard facts are that Millennials and their wellbeing demands will be 75% of the workforce in 2025. Generation Z are expected to be even more concerned about wellbeing than their predecessors. Its seriously time to reflect on whether Millennial demands are being met in your workplace. Remember, they are the job-hopping generation (60% say they are open to a different job opportunity) so if you aren’t meeting their requirements, your competitor will.
Wellbeing isn’t just a younger generation fad. It has been proven, time and time again, to directly impact business bottom lines. I write about this comprehensively here.
Finally, focusing on employee wellbeing, isn’t a bad thing. We’ve created “cities that never sleep”. Due to tech advancements we can work from anywhere, 24/7. Since the global crash, many of us tried to be robots. As a consequence we have severely impaired our health. I’ll leave you with a few stats from the UK:
- Average cost of sickness absence each year = £1,500 per employee
- UK annual cost of sickness from mental ill-health = £8.1 billion
- Average number of days lost to stress, anxiety or depression = 24 days per case
Find out what your annual business cost of ill-health is here.