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We’re hearing a lot about employee well-being in the HR world. Is it the latest fad or cool jargon? Or is it here to stay? Is well-being about healthcare benefits? How can HR leaders ensure the well-being of the workforce beyond the typical benefits packages? We invited Donald Knight, Chief People Officer at Greenhouse Software, to join the Employee Cycle podcast to answer those questions and more. Let’s first start with finding out more about Greenhouse Software.

What Is Greenhouse Software?

From their LinkedIn profile, “Greenhouse is the hiring software company. We help businesses become great at hiring through our powerful hiring approach, complete suite of software and services, Hiring MaturityTM methodology and large partner ecosystem – so businesses can hire for what’s next.

Based in New York City with offices in San Francisco, Denver and Dublin, Greenhouse has 800+ employees around the world supporting over 7,000 customers. Some of the smartest and most successful companies like HubSpot, Buzzfeed, J.D. Power,, Scout24 and The Knot Worldwide use the Greenhouse hiring software platform to improve all aspects of hiring, helping them to attract top talent.

Greenhouse has won numerous awards including Inc. Magazine Best Workplace (2018 – 2022) and Glassdoor #1 Best Place to Work, Forbes Cloud 100, Deloitte Technology Fast 500, Inc. 5000, Crain’s Best Places to Work NYC and Mogul’s Top 100 Workplaces for Diverse Representation (2022).”

Who Is Donald Knight?

I had a great chat with Donald Knight on our podcast. Here’s a little bit of information about Donald’s background and present role from his LinkedIn profile.

“Donald is a commercially-focused HR Leader with a proven record of driving financial results, business growth, and asset value through the development and delivery of people strategies. He has lived/worked abroad and excels in finding/optimizing talent on a global level. Maximizing returns on talent investments allows him to elevate human performance while delivering significant cost savings.

Donald is a high energy innovator with a reputation for moving businesses into the future through organizational transformation. He connects with people at all levels of the organization, and is a firm believer in people analytics and cross-functional partnerships. His passion for building high-performance teams and company culture allows him to drive change where it matters.”

Now, let’s dig into the topic of the podcast…

What Employee Well-Being Actually Means

Employee well-being isn’t just the latest HR jargon. It is about people being able to be comfortable and healthy. And when your workforce is comfortable and healthy, you can tap into their potential. However, “feeling comfortable” is not usually a phrase that HR leaders use to describe their workforce. What exactly does that mean?

What Does It Mean For Employees To Feel Comfortable?

There is a lot of emphasis on belonging, being included, and thought of. Comfort is a place of relaxation, feeling needed, and wanted. With the focus on DEI, inclusion is about having diverse faces in the room. But if they don’t feel needed or wanted, then they don’t feel comfortable. It’s up to HR leaders to ensure there are spaces and opportunities for talented people to feel comfortable at work, and to change their apprehension and anxiety.

What Are The Five Levels Of Well-Being?

  1. Emotional Well-Being. This is about psychological safety so that employees can bring their whole selves to the office. Do they have a way to show you the depths of their emotions? And then are we giving them safe spaces to embrace their emotions?
  2. Intellectual Well-Being. This is about continuous learning. We want employees to lead with curiosity and inquiry, and draw upon past experiences. We also want them to be able to provide ideas about new processes, new products, and maybe even question cultural norms.
  3. Occupational Well-Being. This is about ensuring our people can grow, be enriched, and have financial security. People shouldn’t have to choose between being rewarded (Pay, bonuses, awards) and being respected (emotional, feeling valued).
  4. Physical Well-Being. This is about leveraging the things your body needs to function well, such as nutrition, sleep, and recovery. Do we offer help to aid them with sleep apnea, anxiety, and poor eating habits, for example? 
  5. Social Well-Being. This is about understanding that everyone is built with an innate need for relationships at their core. Do we develop intentional spaces for connection and belonging to occur?

Discover More

There’s much more we cover in the podcast, such as:

  • What are examples of programs HR leaders can implement to meet the needs of each of the 5 levels of well-being?
  • How do HR leaders prioritize each of the 5 levels among all their other responsibilities?
  • What are the 3 buckets HR leaders should focus on and analyze for success?
  • And much more!

Listen to the whole podcast here: What Employee Well-Being Actually Means. This episode is one of our longer ones at nearly 29 minutes. It’s packed full of great tips and best practices for you to decide on and prioritize what you want to implement. Enjoy!