Diego Muradas
Expert Contributor

Ensure Employee Health for Successful Strategic Planning in 2023

By Diego Muradás | Wed, 11/23/2022 - 11:00

Now that we  are in Q4, it is  time to start our strategic planning for 2023. To do so, we must review what we achieved in 2022. Have the results matched your  plans? Are they above or beyond expectations? 

In the strategic planning discipline, there are some components that we can control. These are more on the planning side. On the other hand, there will be plenty of elements that we will not be able to control in the “how to win” area, also called strategy, in which the context our companies are dealing with becomes an essential part of the equation. 

When we think about the context in 2022, we can talk about the increase in prices, production costs, and challenges in the supply chain, among others. We cannot forget that nowadays, we are facing  the highest inflation in the last 22 years, a war between Russia and Ukraine and the highest levels of insecurity in Mexico. 

While this impacts business decisions, it also affects the lives of those working in the organization. Stress results in almost 60 percent of the workforce feeling like they are not thriving in their overall well-being, according to World Economic Forum (WEF) data. Why is this important for our 2023 strategic planning? Because our people are the ones who will help us achieve our goals. 

Although the restrictions we had during the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns have been reduced, there are still concerns, although they have changed. We continue in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world with many challenges for our organizations and associates. Thinking about how these problems affect the organization and its employees allows us to understand the direction more clearly, and we can act in favor of healthier companies.

Here are three recommendations that you can apply to your strategic planning for 2023. 

Work Is Only One Part of a Person’s Life 

As catastrophic as it may sound, if we understand that work is only one part of workers' life, we must start to consider health at all levels and in a holistic way. According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. 

At this time, companies must provide support and understanding, according to the roles and responsibilities of each person. Remember, Mexico has one of the highest number of hours worked per week  among OECD countries. With clear objectives and accountability, you can give people more control and flexibility over their work.

Support Everyone's Health With Technology and Data-Based Solutions

Technology and data have introduced solutions to ensure worker’s health in any organization, from an SME to a transnational corporation, regardless of its number of employees. Social security has become the foundation, but how do we help people stay healthy for longer and protect their lives and finances from being impacted when they become ill?

Today’s Latin American entrepreneurship ecosystem is building unique solutions based on technological innovation, applying data and artificial intelligence to support organizations like Zenda.la. Other great examples include Yana, Momentu, Cuentame, Clivi, and Prosperia. 

Investing in Employees’ Health Always Pays Off

Investing in our employees' health will always provide profits to our organizations. The International Labour Organization states that work performance can drop by up to 50% among people who are obese and overweight. Based on WEF data, low productivity and staff turnover cost the world economy US$7.8 trillion.

You may think that absenteeism due to illness or noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, preventable cancer, and mental health is not affecting the productivity of your associates right now but according to the global status report on physical activity 2020 from WHO, between 2020 and 2030, almost 500 million new NCD cases will arise, which will affect your company if you do not act. Now is the time to start preventing tomorrow’s illnesses. 

Nowadays, with open discussions about the four-day workweek, the seven-hour workday, and the increase to 12 vacation days as a minimum, it is an auspicious moment to question ourselves about the internalized working practices of Mexican society. It is time to consider our associates’ physical and mental health as the goal to follow. 

Personalization is a fundamental characteristic that always comes into the conversation about health. The multiple benefits of having the individual at the center is giving them  control over their health and improving their habits, motivations, energy levels, concentration, and more. Solutions focused on data and technology can help us achieve these challenges in a scalable and affordable way. 

I hope these three recommendations are helpful in your 2023 strategic planning. Remember that we cannot control the context or environment in which we live, but we must master it and fully control how we support the entire organization's health. 

Photo by:   Diego Muradas