Health And Well-Being In The Workplace

Hande Genc

According to WHO (World Health Organization), health is central to human happiness and well-being. Healthy populations live longer, are more productive, save more resources, and make important contributions to sustainability, a better world, and economic progress.

Observation and careful analysis of evidence has always been fundamental to medical advancement. But the scale has changed: The world population has more than doubled over the past 50 years, and it is expected to exceed 9 billion people by the 2040’s (for workplace implications, visit the Workforce 2020 report). Now, massive amounts of patient data, including personal electronic medical records and extensive clinical research findings, must be consolidated and analyzed.

Using large sample sizes and more complete data sets, patterns that might previously have gone unnoticed can now be discovered. The need for in-memory platforms for processing high volumes of data in real-time is obvious. These platforms can conduct detailed analyses of hundreds of thousands of patient cases, each with hundreds of thousands of data points so researchers can gain answers in seconds rather than hours. The positive outcomes include more time for research, better quality results, improved treatments, and even preventive measures for the future.

While contributing to genomics for personalized medicine and gaining medical insights and enhancing care for cancer patients at SAP, we also focus on our own people with a specific pilot program: COPE™ – Corporate Oncology Program for our Employees  which also leverages the power of SAP technologies. The program helps employees facing cancer access innovative testing and information that can lead to better, more specific treatment options. We also offer many programs in locations tailored to specifically meet local needs.

Some examples related to the health and well-being experience of employees at our workplaces include:

  • Our Executive Health Program, which helps leaders understand the importance of health and become role models for their direct reports
  • Employee Assistance Programs, which offer confidential, expert advice on all life’s challenges
  • Webinars or on-site sessions on mindfulness, work-life balance, ergonomics, managing stress, parenting, and many additional topics

We define employee health and well-being more holistically than just physical health. It encompasses how people feel about their work and how to help them come to work every day as their authentic selves, how to ensure that they are treated with respect, trust, and empathy so they give their best every day to achieve their own personal fulfillment while also contributing to the company’s success.

While each individual remains responsible for his or her own personal health, the company is creating the conditions in which people can reach their full potential. We measure our Business Health Culture Index every year based on the feedback collected from employees. This index assesses the degree to which our workplace culture supports people’s well-being, work-life balance, and organizational health.

Focusing on our employee’s health is more important for us than ever in the era of digital transformation, which may be characterized by:

  • Constant change
  • Complexity
  • Uncertainty
  • Digital leadership (Leadership 2020)
  • Workload, speed, always “on”
  • Cultural challenges
  • Loss of control
  • Anxiety

All these characteristics may have a negative impact on well-being, productivity, and the innovation of employees at the workplace.

To overcome these challenges, here are some suggested areas to focus on while building a happy, healthy company culture:

  • Appreciation
  • Recognition
  • Respect, fairness
  • Trust, purpose
  • Empowerment
  • Positive life balance

There is strong evidence that feeling healthy and balanced drives the ability to perform at the best level possible in both our private and business lives. According to “The Wellness Imperative” (World Economic Forum 2010), organizations are more successful if health and well-being are actively promoted:

  • 3.5 x more likely to encourage creativity and innovation
  • 3 x more productive and likely to be best performers
  • 8 x more likely to have engaged employees

Having said all this, I am sure we can all agree that our greatest wealth is our health. Take care of your well-being and stay healthy in your private and business lives.

For more on this topic, see Is Employee Burnout Fatal To The Workplace?

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse.

Hande Genc

About Hande Genc

Hande Genc is the Director of Human Resources in Turkey at SAP. In addition to that, she also works as HRBP for Digital Business Services, EMEA South and HRBP for Innovation Team, EMEA South. She supporting Leadership Development programs at SAP as a steering committee member for Global Leadership Development Program. Hande is also responsible for the start-up of the SAP HANA Development Lab initiative in Turkey, demonstrating her experience in startups, mergers and acquisitions, change and transformation management, organizational design, employer branding, diversity, and leadership.