Why prioritizing worker wellness remains more vital than ever

Comms leaders underscore the importance of building a healthier corporate culture as an anchor during challenging times.

(clockwise from top left) Kara Giannecchini, Katie Boylan, Paul Gennaro and Jerilan Greene
(clockwise from top left) Kara Giannecchini, Katie Boylan, Paul Gennaro and Jerilan Greene

PRDecoded’s “Prioritizing Worker Wellness Amid Heightened Stress” breakout session on Wednesday afternoon offered a holistic look at how communications leaders and inclusion advocates built healthier corporate cultures during this time of heightened stress.

Moderator Kara Giannecchini, senior manager of Haymarket Studio, was joined by Katie Boylan, CCO for Target Corporation; Paul Gennaro, SVP, brand and corporate communications and chief brand and communications officer for Voya Financial (NYSE: VOYA); and Jerilan Greene, global chief communications and public affairs officer of Yum! Brands, Inc. and chairman and CEO of the Yum! Foundation.

In an effort to ensure Target stayed true to its purpose and values, Boylan wrote down the company’s guiding principles, starting with prioritizing its teams. 

“We knew we were dealing with a human condition that would require human-centered communication,” said Boylan. “We had to made sure we were proliferating the atmosphere with leader-led messages, and that our leaders were getting personal, opening up and sharing themselves and their own experiences. This helped drive record-breaking engagement levels across our organization.”

For Greene, a truly healthy work culture can be an anchor for sanity, survival and growth.

“We have tried to be open about what we know and what we don’t know, in order to give people some power over their lives,” Greene explained. “Moving forward, we are offering people the freedom to do what they need to in order to move through this time and focusing on mental health by expanding our benefits and employee assistance program.”

As has been well documented, different groups have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and as Gennaro explained, brands and companies can take actions to help combat this disparity.

“People with disabilities have lost their job at a greater rate than those without disabilities,” said Gennaro. “In an effort to address it, our CEO joined CEOs from Accenture, Intel, Walmart and Microsoft, to participate in The Disability Equality Index, a corporate benchmarking tool that ensures companies are hiring inclusively, contracting with disability-owned business enterprises and creating accessible tools and technology for all.”

From global advocacy, to local assistance programs, building a healthier corporate culture has never been more essential.

Go here to re-watch this and all the other PRDecoded panels.

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