A Reflection on Wellness and Loyalty

I have been gathering and making sense of data in order to write a report describing the landscape of a wellness network we helped one of our clients establish throughout their organization. While our client is interested in the growth of the network, for good reason, I found myself more intrigued by the depth of connections, manifesting as relationships, formed through network building activities. 

We all know that people work for people, and having colleagues, managers and employers who care about you and your well-being is what breeds the kind of loyalty that encourages people to stick with an organization for a long time. As I reflect on the stories I was privileged to hear from the Ambassadors of Well-Being who have been serving their organization in its effort this past year, I realized just how personal the concept of well-being was to each one of them. Each one had a slightly different interpretation of what it meant to be well. Many of these Ambassadors were on personal well-being journeys in their own right - trying to get their diabetes under control, managing households with a chronically sick child, recovering from surgery, mourning the loss of a partner, meeting physical fitness goals, and getting their families’ finances in order – and those journeys were so very personal too. Complex and oftentimes challenges many felt they should already have under control, these journeys and where each Ambassador was on them, were not the kinds of stories business colleagues typically share with each other.

While a handful of my peers have worked for an organization for five years or more, most bounce from role to role. Spending a year or two here and a year or two there. There are a number of reasons for this constant transition, which we won’t delve into here, but many organizations are adapting by treating each person as if he or she is replaceable. The organization does not invest in getting to know its employees, and managers and colleagues refrain from learning what drives them and the barriers that may be getting in the way of the individual’s ability to do his or her best work.

While company loyalty is certainly not the primary stated goal of our client’s well-being initiative, I can’t help but wonder if the deep relationships formed as a result, will help to retain a workforce who feels like the people it works with both care and want the best for them? And while it is not a perfect world, I would also imagine that employees who believe that the people they work with have their backs, would be more willing to give it their all and persevere even when it seems like the grass may be greener somewhere else.

Kate @ sr4