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The new world of well-being

In the first of a series of articles, David Preston CEO of Realise surveys well-being and employee engagement in a post-coronavirus landscape.

For decades each generation has been labelled; ‘Baby Boomers’, ’Gen X’, ‘Millennials’ and now it seems we will have a new one to grasp; ‘BC’ or ‘Before Covid-19’.

No doubt the books and films covering this crazy time will be on us soon enough. However, one thing that is top of the list is the new dimension of employee well-being. In a world where contact with our employees is potentially minimised to Zoom chat, what and how we look after our employees has never been more important.

I spoke with a senior manager at an event agency who is currently furloughed. She mentioned how closely she was watching how the employer was handling the situation. Will their behaviour effect the future relationship they have? You bet. Will that relationship be enhanced by taking care of your employees? Absolutely. 

In the past few years, the role of an event manager has been identified as in the top five most stressful positions. Now, instead of the stress of managing events, we have the stress of not having any.

Which brings us to the concept of well-being. It’s a phrase that has numerous connotations. How do I feel? Am I living a healthy life? Have I mastered work-life-balance? A lot of these issues are focused around mental health, and the events industry has seen the launch of numerous initiatives, many of which are providing exemplary support to our colleagues at the moment.

Awareness of the issues has been around for many years, albeit under differing titles and banners. Companies have talked about ‘flexible benefits package’ for their employees, for example offering a choice of working hours to fit in with childcare needs, or providing reward and recognition systems that allow employees to earn point to buy goods.

More recently well-being has extended directly into the workplace with the introduction of offering such as Perk Box, which provides fresh fruit to encourage a healthy eating regime. Some companies allow or even encourage staff to bring their dogs to work. A combination of these schemes is offered by Juno, allowing employees to take control of their well-being.

Whilst these are great initiatives and go some way to providing a more balanced working environment, it is the employer who is in control.

So what happens if you reverse the process and allow each individual employee to determine what their needs and wants are to enable them to decide on their own work-life-balance? If the ‘guessing’ and ‘one size fits all’ approach is replaced with ‘here, over to you’, how might the relationship change between employer and employee?

The world is changing, which is why Realise have now created a dedicated team to bring new and innovative ideas to market for the benefit of the event industry. One of those is a radical new partnership to benefit employees and freelancers in the event industry.