Well-being can be easily integrated into an organization’s workplaces, work practices and work processes. Learn how with this new animation from the Knoll research team.
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Like our planet’s resources, human resources are not infinite. They are not even abundant. In fact, good talent is becoming less abundant all the time. In the wake of the Great Recession, employees are bummed out, burned out and stressed out. While asking them to do more with less may have constituted a survival strategy over the past several years, it is neither sustainable nor in the organization’s best interest in the long run.

As the economy improves, employees are no longer happy just to have a job. Employers who fail to recognize that times have changed face losing their top talent to more agile employers who understand that without great people, people who are engaged in their work and eager to go the extra mile, there is no sustainable business model. Innovation ceases. The pipeline vanishes. Customers go elsewhere. And stock performance tumbles.

Unlike other business assets—buildings, technology, investments—people have a choice about whom they work for, how much they give to their job and how they impact the people around them.

In the industrial era, people were needed to run the machines that created the things that led to business success. In a knowledge economy, human capital is the means to business success. The knowledge, skills, creativity and connections of its people are an organization’s primary, and oftentimes only, performing assets.

That changes everything. It changes the nature of competition. It changes the employer-employee contract. It changes the perspective of the value proposition from that of the pursuer to that of the pursued. It dictates that the retention of talent and attraction of the best and brightest take precedence over short-term interest. It changes how employers need to treat their people—addressing their higher needs and wants if they wish to keep them on board. And it changes how organizations think about the where, when and how of work.

Ultimately, what is good for people is good for the organization. To win in the years ahead, organizations will need to concentrate efforts on ensuring the sustainability of their most important asset, their people.

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