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August 11, 2023

How the human service and non-profit industry can positively impact society and people's lives

Susan Bailey

A foundational element of many human service and non-profit organizations is nurturing the community in which they operate. These organizations are no strangers to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives. However, the workforce’s expectations around the social responsibility of their employer have evolved, and businesses and organizations must consider the well-being of their staff and their communities. The human element is an integral part of any successful business or organization. Social commitment is about helping communities thrive because of the company’s actions.

Health and safety risk consulting

Safety in the workplace is essential for the well-being of employees and volunteers. Proactively identifying safety risks and concerns is necessary for a robust ESG strategy. Investment in Occupational Safety and Health programs as an organization strategy demonstrates support for all stakeholders' well-being. It further establishes procedures and practices to ensure employee and product safety. Providing a safe workplace for all employees and volunteer groups is essential. Marsh McLennan Agency’s specialized human service and non-profit consulting team help you improve your safety culture by preventing injuries and accidents.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) consulting

An essential part of creating a more inclusive environment depends on creating psychological safety in the workplace. Harvard Business School Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management Amy Edmundson defines psychological safety as an environment where people believe they can speak up candidly with ideas, questions, concerns, and even mistakes. It’s vital to leverage the benefits of diversity because it can help make inclusion a reality.  

In the most recent SHRM State of the Workplace report, non-HR workers view supporting mental health and achieving workplace diversity as big successes in their organizations for 2022, compared to HR professionals and executives. Employees ranked DE&I at #3, whereas HR executives ranked their efforts at #12. 

In the same way, building a safety culture doesn't happen by accident in an organization. Commitment to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization depends on intention and obligation. MMA's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consulting team collaborates with organizations to provide a comprehensive approach that diagnoses the current state, aligns DE&I goals with the strategic plan, and drives progress toward desired outcomes.

Well-being strategy  

Well-being is more than physical health. It encompasses social, mental, professional, and community wellness. There is no consensus around a single definition of well-being. Still, many would agree that well-being includes the presence of positive emotions and moods, the absence of negative emotions, satisfaction with life, fulfillment, and positive functioning. Workers in human service and non-profit organizations are highly vulnerable to burnout because of the personal nature of their work. It’s particularly important to foster an environment that caters to their well-being.

The employee-employer contract has evolved. In the past, employees simply aimed to complete their work tasks without harm. Now employees not only prioritize safety, but they also want their job to help them improve their life and well-being.  

Employers are best served by recognizing that well-being is interconnected; post-pandemic, six out of 10 working adults could not afford a surprise expense of $1,000. Financial instability affects mental health with a downstream impact on engagement and outcomes of interest to the employer. The evolving needs of employees have made this hard on employers, where demand is often quicker than supply, a problem HR executives and companies are working to improve. Those organizations that work to build rounded well-being strategies that meet employees where they are will have an easier time attracting and engaging top talent. Our knowledgeable health management consultants offer solutions that help you provide a balanced well-being management program.

Social determinants of health  

In today's world, employees no longer leave their personal lives at the door when they come to work. Organizations must acknowledge and address their employees' challenges, as it can impact their ability to participate and engage in their work thoroughly. These factors, known as the social determinants of health, are the conditions under which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age, affecting various health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.

We offer a playbook to help organizations get started on addressing these factors. Our health management consultants partner with organizations to establish strategies that consider and address the determinants within each client population we serve.  

ESG risk rating assessment

ESG has been a focus in capital markets since 2004 when UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan encouraged CEOs of major financial institutions to participate in a joint initiative focused on integrating ESG into capital markets. Organizations are increasingly being called upon by their customers to prioritize the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit, leading to a heightened focus on risk assessment.

Increasingly, talented individuals seek employment in organizations that have a purpose and enable them to make a positive impact through their work. Prioritizing initiatives promoting ESG efforts is an important component in attracting top talent, enhancing a company's impact, and increasing its investment value. Companies that prioritize ESG efforts appeal to all parties involved.  

Navigating your path through ESG issues can take time and effort. Risk assessment tools like Marsh's ESG Risk Rating Assessment can help recognize how the "S" comes to life through Occupational Health & Safety standards, dignity, and equity, enabling employees to earn a living wage and acting as a resource for growth for employees and the community.

Socially empowered

Employees are searching for a deeper sense of purpose in their work and asking their employers to understand their feelings of disconnection and exhaustion. Our human service and non-profit specialists have the talent, experience, and dedication to help you thrive in your well-being strategy and offerings. Our 2023 Benefits Trends report dives deeper into the new generation entering the workforce, expectations employers are facing, and how attractive benefits packages are not only retaining talent but appealing to new talent as well.

Download the Marsh McLennan Agency Benefits Trends report to learn more, and contact a Marsh McLennan Agency consultant today.