2014 Faculty Perspective on the Workplace and Wellness
The latter half of 2013 saw modest economic gains in U.S. worker productivity. Should GDP growth accelerate in 2014 as many analysts expect and more baby boomers retire as they feel more secure, firms will have to step up the pace of hiring. The challenge for organizations is not simply to add more employees or to squeeze more output out of their existing workforce. Businesses have to understand their role in creating and sustaining a culture of quality and learning in order to have a long-term competitive advantage, says workplace expert Dr. Miriam Lacey, a professor of applied behavioral sciences at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. Workplace health and wellness will increasingly play a crucial role for high-functioning, highly productive businesses. Organizations must encourage and maintain a workplace that values strong personal and professional networks, family stability, outside non-work interests, and robust mental health that can forestall or counteract the negative effects of peak work experiences, says Lacey. Furthermore, workplace health and wellness cannot simply be the responsibility of human resources offices; there must be a bottom-line investment with active participation from the C-suite and throughout the management ranks.