We are coming back from a week break from content! We really needed it after a busy week at our field’s conference, SIOP. It’s been a little while since we’ve done a conference and trip recap! We are so excited to share a bit about what we learned and our experience. The most exciting part is the sheer number of sessions on wellness-related topic. The blog and podcast are going to have lots of new material to leverage!
We Learned at SIOP
Workplace wellness topics continue to become more popular at the SIOP Conference and we couldn’t be more excited about it! There were over 100 sessions related to the topics we discuss, including research on stress, work-life balance, and leader support. There were also a lot of panels with practitioners sharing best practices in this space. Below, I highlight a few key takeaways.
We need to redefine how to measure inclusion
We know that inclusion is a key pillar of wellness. While it’s important, most companies measure inclusion via an inclusion index during employee surveys. However, it’s not the best approach! Interestingly, we learned that inclusion indices typically have high scores. Yet, we know that many companies have inclusion challenges. So what’s going on? People tend to rate direct questions around inclusion highly. But, if you ask about psychological safety, employees tend to be more constructive. Thus, the recommended approach to measure inclusion is to ask specifically about things like psychological safety and other specific inclusive experiences. Basically, it’s better to not ask about inclusion directly but to get at it through other types of questions.
Interventions with leaders can impact employee well-being
We often talk about how employee wellness cannot be created by the individual. Leadership is critical in creating the right environment for employee well-being. Some preliminary research presented at the conference supports this idea. We already knew leaders have an impact on employee wellness. But, now, we are starting to see that interventions with leaders can impact employees too. In other words, working with leaders directly can help improve employee wellness. Great news! This is exactly why we work with leadership teams and are excited to see external research support this approach!
Women’s health at work is becoming a hot topic
Finally, we loved the numerous sessions around people with uteruses’s experiences at work. Sessions tackled topics like menstruation, parenthood, infertility, and menopause, and how they impact experiences at work. These topics are traditionally understudied and we are so excited to see the attention they are getting today. We already know parental leave is important, but it is still not a guaranteed benefit. We also intuitively know that these physical experiences will impact people’s work, yet organizations rarely address these challenges or provide appropriate support. Can’t wait to see this work continue!
We Shared at SIOP
We were excited to share our research as well. Formally, we both were part of some panels, discussing things like inclusive leadership and our very own leading for wellness framework. It was so exciting to see the response to the work we are doing. We can’t wait to share more with you all too! Informally, we also shared ideas with peers at the conference. We were able to network with others that share our passion and discuss sneak peeks into new research. The energy around workplace wellness issues was infectious and gave us confidence in our path!
Second, we hosted an awesome event on burnout with a great Boston startup community in partnership with a fantastic startup hub, Venture Lane, our friends at Waterbear Planet, and the best chocolate company, Nativo by Thrivu. We spent the morning enjoying breakfast, discussing burnout challenges and solutions, and ending with a wonderful chocolate tasting to send us off to our day in a good mood! If you are ever interested in partnering on an event like this, let us know!
Overall, SIOP was a great time this year and we cannot wait for all the learnings next year!