June 2022

Pulse Newsletter

Top thumb-stoppers this month

1. Gallup's State of the Global Workforce 2022: Key Findings

TL;DR: Only 21% of people are engaged at work, and it’s costing the global economy $7.8 trillion.

81,396 hours. That’s how much of our life we spend at work, second only to sleeping. “If we spend so much of life at work, how is life at work going? According to the world’s workers, not well,” states Gallup CEO, Jon Clifton.

The new State of the Global Workforce: 2022 Report released by Gallup last week says “employee wellbeing is the new workplace imperative.” As Gallup found, wellbeing and engagement interact in powerful ways. People who are engaged at work but not thriving have a 61% higher likelihood of ongoing burnout than those who are engaged and thriving. The stinger? Out of that base of 21% of people engaged at work, only 9% of them are also thriving.

We’ve all heard the famous adage – find a job that you enjoy doing, and you’ll never have to work again in your life. Clifton says, “it’s not true.”

Instead, employers must invest in the overall employee experience by treating their workers fairly, hiring better leaders, prioritizing wellbeing measures in exec dashboards, and prioritizing employee wellbeing as part of their employer brand promise.


2. Beyonce (and bosses) are burnt out

TL;DR: Burnout is raging at both ends of the org chart.

Worker perspective: Last week, Beyonce released “Break My Soul,” rapidly becoming the new Great Resignation anthem. The song taps into worker malaise that has helped lead to a record number of Americans quitting their jobs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in March, more than 4.4 million people voluntarily left their jobs, a monthly record; a similar number did so in April, the lasted month for which federal data is available.

What’s happening in the C-Suite? Nearly 70% of the C-Suites are seriously considering quitting for a job that better supports their wellbeing, according to a new Deloitte & Workplace Intelligence survey.

74% of bosses reported they’re “facing obstacles when it comes to achieving their wellbeing goals – and these are largely tied to their job,” according to Deloitte & Workplace Intelligence.

“What we found was that a majority [of C-Suite executives] want to do something about it [improving work/life integration], but they just haven’t done something about it. So, it’s been more talk and less action,” Dan Schawbel, founder of Workplace Intelligence, told Axios.

The cost of inaction: Not good. The C-Suite, burnt out themselves, significantly underestimates how much employees struggle with their wellbeing.

Both can agree: 68% of employees and 81% of the C-Suite say that improving their wellbeing is more important than advancing their career. But, again, it comes back to work as the barrier and the catalyst to achieving wellbeing. 83% of execs said that they will improve or expand their organization’s wellbeing benefits over the next two years. Smart move since only 61% of workers is satisfied with their company’s current offering. Yet, the C-Suite shouldn’t assume a health promotion program or wellness stipend will solve the problem; most workers expect their organization to challenge societal norms, support their holistic health, and be more future-oriented than ever before.

The lesson? Put your oxygen mask on first. According to the survey, 86% of executives say they’d welcome support prioritizing and understanding health and wellbeing. Prioritizing their wellbeing to be effective in helping others do the same.

Looking for a place to start? Check out our new guide, 5 actions HR can take now to prepare for an uncertain future or download our popular Wellbeing Strategy Toolkit filled with expert advice, client insights, partner offers, and more.


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3. The rise of the Chief Wellbeing Officer

TL;DR: We won’t solve current or future problems with the knowledge and tools we used in the past.

Last week AON introduced its first Chief Wellbeing Officer, Rachel Fellowes. And we are here for it. The popularity of this role in the C-Suite follows in the footsteps of Deloitte’s Jen Fisher, among others.

Curious about this role? We have all the details - check out ‘the Chief Wellness Officer: a new leader in the C-Suite’.


4. Yep, Gallup's State of the Global Workforce 2022: Key Findings again

TL;DR: Wellbeing at work isn’t at odds with anyone’s agenda.

In the overview of the survey results, Clifton goes on to build the business case for wellbeing.

As he explains, stakeholders love the idea of more respect and care in the workplace, but how do you answer the shareholder question, “how does this impact the bottom line?”. Well, as it turns out, it pays to have thriving workers.

According to Gallup, business units with engaged workers have 23% higher profits than those with miserable workers. Additionally, teams with thriving workers see significantly lower absenteeism, turnover, and accidents and higher customer loyalty.

The point? Wellbeing at work isn’t at odds with anyone’s agenda.

Building your business case for wellbeing? We can help; just let us know.

Still need more data points? Learn how Virgin Pulse can deliver a 162% return on investing in your people. See how Virgin Pulse has delivered for companies across multiple elements of health, wellbeing, and engagement in the Virgin Pulse commissioned a study by Forrester.


5. The summer's hottest benefit: wellbeing hours

TL;DR: More wellness with min or no monetary or productivity cost impact

Does it feel like your Friday LinkedIn feed is reminiscent of the excitement once reserved for snow days? (Ya, we are headquartered in Rhode Island). Well, it is for a good reason. According to data from ZipRecruiter Inc., listings offering summer Fridays are up 56% from last year.

“In a tight labor market with fierce talent competition, but also rising input costs, offering Fridays off in the summer months appeals to job-seekers, said Julia Pollak, ZipRecruiter’s chief economist. “The monetary and productivity costs for many employers are minimal to none.”

Virgin Pulse offers employees ‘wellbeing hours’ to be used each week to spend time on activities (alone, with friends and family, or just out in the communities we serve) that fill us up. See how Virgin Pulse employees spend their wellbeing hours and share your commitment to your wellbeing by using the #showusyourwellbeing.

PS, doing so will also get you into a drawing for Thrive Summit 2023 tickets to help you continue your wellbeing journey!

Need some inspo? Watch this Thrive 2022 keynote from Peloton instructor and motivational speaker Adrian Williams. It is guaranteed to give you all the motivation you need.


6. Employers prepare communications, benefits, and policy responses to Roe reversal

TL;DR: Equity, diversity, inclusion and access to reproductive rights are front and center due to Supreme Court's ruling
Mercer provided guidance if you are considering travel and lodging benefits, among others. They also share tips for communicating internally and externally by planning, leading with empathy, answering questions, and more.
Employer research ahead of the anticipated ruling: SHRM Research Instituted surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,003 HR professionals. Focus on DEI efforts, such as adding to employee assistance programs (EAP) topped the list. According to Gartner, via Bloomberg, in late May 60% of HR executives said they wouldn't offer any new benefits supporting reproductive rights. The same piece shares how high-profile companies are giving support to employees. It is clear this is an evolving topic with many considerations.
For employees, shared values matter more than policy positions found Qualtrics. The survey indicates employees what their organizations prioritize weighing in on employee wellbeing (44%), wages (35%) and 33% speaking out about worker rights and safety (33%).
"When it comes to divisive policy issues and debates, a shared set of meaningful values can be a good place to find some common ground," said Qualtrics Chief People Officer Julia Anas in the press release. "Every leader, employee, and workplace is different, but if we can all rally around the basics - integrity, respect, safety and wellness - it's going to enhance the employee experience and strengthen the organizational culture, even when we don't agree about every issue."


Employee Wellbeing Month

Join us in amplifying wellbeing by removing stigma, supporting employees globally, and ensuring accessible and equitable access to personalized health and wellbeing during global Employee Wellbeing Month 2022.