Wellness/Well-Being Encapsulates the Future of Work

Brandon Hall Group just launched its 2018 Wellness & Well-Being Study. So first, if you are involved in benefits, wellness or well-being in your organization – directly or indirectly – please take our survey.

Since we are starting this new research, I thought this might be a good time to revisit some of the predictions based on our 2017 research to see how well I did in anticipating workforce needs for this year. Here is what I wrote:

In terms of technology, there are well-being solutions that are already offered as stand-alone products, and well-being modules and add-ons exist for most of the major HCM suites. Those offerings will continue to expand, and the data and analytics garnered from those technologies will begin to be integrated with other HCM data to both measure effectiveness of programs, but also to provide insights into driving forces behind retention, internal movement, and diversity and inclusion. There are some legal barriers to using some of this data now, but state-level cases have already begun to clear the way for more ethical use of personal data for business-level decision making, which will continue into the next two years.

The legal question is still being sorted out, in both the U.S. and courts abroad, and certainly GDPR, which takes effect in May, will have an impact on the data gathered using this technology. So that is still an undiscovered area.

What is becoming revealed is the space where well-being and diversity and inclusion meet. Listening to Arlene Cash from Carolinas HealthCare during Brandon Hall Group’s recent HCM Excellence 2018, I was fascinated by their efforts to give real experiences to their employees to help them understand the impact that low income and low-income areas have on employees. Carolinas HealthCare set up activities like poverty simulations, bus trips to grocery stores in low-income areas, and group learning on cultural biases. It struck me that much of what was happening as part of their cultural competency outreach also involves a lot of key areas in well-being: social adaptation, financial well-being, and community involvement.

That’s part of what makes well-being so much more than the transactional activities associated with traditional benefits and wellness – well-being crosses over into what is commonly described as the “employee experience,” a concept that is all-important for today’s younger, more tech-native (but also somewhat more isolated) workforce. It is no surprise that well-being is becoming one the hottest topics in HCM at the moment. Nothing encapsulates the future of work quite like it.

–Cliff Stevenson, Principal Analyst, Talent and Workforce Management, Brandon Hall Group