Once upon a time, an ‘unprecedented’ ‘pivot’ became our ‘new normal’

These are just some of the terms that have become part of our everyday vernacular. So how do you best support your people when they’re trying to navigate a system that – according to the constant bulletins, briefings and budgets – has been flipped on its head? You stop listening to the jargon and start hearing the need, according to Australia’s leading experts and content agency in the health and wellbeing space, The Lifestyle Suite.

“How we work has changed significantly, as have expectations of employees on their employers,” says founder Simone Landes, who previously spent seven years as an HR Director at a major financial institution. “It’s no longer enough to give somebody a good job and pay them well. With the delineation between home and work effectively evaporated, that means going above and beyond what employers might previously have done.”

The Lifestyle Suite’s Creative Director Casey Beros agrees that employee needs are changing noticeably across the brands they work with, including major players in insurance, financial services, aviation, tech, education and more.

“Health and wellbeing isn’t just about how we move and what we eat any more – it’s about supporting people to work and live better in a way that doesn’t feel onerous, like another thing to add to the to-do list,” she says. “It’s about connection to our communities, the privilege of spending time with the people we love, upskilling so that as the dust settles we still have a job to go to – and assuring us that if we don’t we’ll be OK, all underpinned by feeling that our leaders at work and beyond have ‘got this’.”

Providing ongoing life education is vital in supporting employees to navigate their new, increasingly digital reality. Evidence-based, expert-led content that entertains and educates is a worthwhile consideration, especially where face-to-face activity isn’t viable. But Beros says people are consuming content differently – and smart businesses are asking how employees would like to be supported (and then listening to their answers).

“Some people want content on demand, others want it drip-fed,” she explains. “People want to watch more than they want to read, and it has to be short and punchy or you lose people’s attention. That said, people are loving longer audio formats like podcast, which are a chance to take a deeper dive into a topic and extend the learning opportunity, as well as getting to know their leaders when they appear as guests – whether that’s people within their business or health and wellbeing leaders in the community.”

It’s the reason The Lifestyle Suite represents some of the biggest names in health and wellbeing in the Australian media, including positive psychologist Dr Tim Sharp (aka ‘Dr Happy’, GP Dr Ginni Mansberg, Dietitian Dr Joanna McMillan and Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr Nikki Stamp. Landes says having experts and recognisable faces on board allows organisations to drive true engagement, moving past programs that simply tick the box. Rather, leading businesses understand that now more than ever they have an opportunity to support and care for their people by delivering content that empowers them to change their behaviour. She also understands though, that HR leaders are facing new challenges.

“Previously HR was about recruiting, developing and refining teams,” she says. “Now, there’s an expectation on HR managers to look after the whole being or to advise their leaders on how to look after the whole being, and I think that’s a real challenge. While improvements in health markers are difficult to measure in an employment setting, good HR leaders know the power of evidence-based content in informing where attention and spend need to be directed to ensure employees are happy and healthy – and that’s the opportunity.”

2020 has been tough on us all, but we’ve proved to be more resilient than we ever thought possible. If it doesn’t feel like it, check out Dr Tim Sharp’s simple tips to ramp up your resilience.

To book a FREE workforce health ‘check-up’ with The Lifestyle Suite, please email hello@thelifestylesuite.com and one of the team will set up a complimentary call.