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Event recap: 3 key actionable insights from UKG Aspire 2023

Learn the key takeaways and actionable items coming out of UKG Aspire, bringing flexible benefits and innovations into focus.

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Looking into workplace trends, innovations, and challenges

Our team had the incredible opportunity to attend UKG Aspire 2023, where industry leaders, HR professionals, and innovators gathered to explore the latest trends and challenges in the realm of human resources, benefits, and payroll. In addition to breakout sessions and the expo, keynote speaker Brene Brown, renowned for her work on vulnerability and leadership, alongside Pat Wadors, CHRO from UKG, shed light on critical issues and leadership tactics. 

Brock Marini, Large Enterprise Account Executive, and Sean Brown, Strategic Partnerships lead, were there to represent Forma. They captured the lessons learned after having attended the event.

The UKG benefits crew and Forma team

3 lessons learned with actionable insights 

Here are the key takeaways and actionable items courtesy of Brock and Sean.

1. Employees are struggling with their financial well-being.

One theme that stood out in Brene Brown's keynote was the acknowledgment that employees are not okay. The struggle encompasses various aspects, including inflation, rising living costs, and healthcare expenses. Regardless of the benefits or payroll solutions in place, organizations need to address the fundamental question: How can we make our employees okay or even better?  

The challenge for organizations is not only recognizing the struggles employees face but also finding ways to offer meaningful support in both micro (e.g., a stipend for running shoes for well-being support) and macro (e.g., cost of living guidelines to ensure equitable programs) levels. It became clear that it’s essential to help people in moments that matter to them. UKG’s U Choose program checks all the boxes, by offering benefit programs that are employer-funded, disseminated equitably, and flexible enough to accommodate personalized needs at scale.

Organizations need to move beyond generalized support systems and strive for personalized approaches that genuinely improve the lives of employees.

2. Workforce anxieties are high.

Discussions around anxiety and stress in the workplace revealed the importance of fostering honest conversations and providing the necessary support. Brene Brown's emphasis on vulnerability as an act of courage underscores the need for authentic leadership in addressing the complexities of employee well-being. 

Leaders need to help employees by giving them a safe space to have honest conversations. It’s important for leaders to set boundaries and lead with emotional intelligence. Moreover, give people the tools and coach them with their stressors. It can be as simple as asking the question, “What does support look like for me today?” The answer may be that you need a short break to recharge, to talk through a problem that’s frustrating at work, or to direct someone to a benefit program that can fund well-being needs. No matter the issue it’s important to level the playing field with an open dialogue between leaders and employees. 

Take time to be open and honest with one another. This way, people can prioritize their well-being needs and bring their best selves to work. 

3. Navigating the post-pandemic workplace has challenged employers and employees. 

Cindy Solomon's session delved into the challenges employees face post-pandemic. As businesses adapt to changing priorities, the war for talent intensifies, posing organizational challenges. The key question becomes, how do you build your brand while impacting day-to-day operations positively? Prioritize knowing how to engage team and peer members effectively. Brene Brown further extended this by exploring honest conversations and coaching strategies to help employees manage stressors without bringing them into the workplace.

Whether engaging with payroll or employee benefits, employees want frictionless experiences. Modern simplicity is the name of the game. Things should just work. Centralizing resources with good UX/tech and clear communication for employers and employees looks to be the viable solution to accomplish these goals. This way, people have a single touchpoint that they can use with greater ease. The result of which reduces stress, drives productivity, and improves efficiency.

Navigating post-pandemic challenges requires a holistic approach, combining brand-building efforts with practical strategies for centralizing resources to enhance team engagement and mental well-being.

Building a better future for employers and employees

The event provided invaluable insights into the current landscape of employee struggles and the evolving role of organizations in supporting their workforce. As we move forward, it's clear that solutions need to be not just beneficial but tailored to the specific needs and challenges faced by employees. The journey towards better employee well-being requires a combination of empathetic leadership, innovative programs, and a commitment to addressing the nuanced aspects of individual struggles.

Brock Marini (Forma), Chris Todd (UKG), and Sean Brown (Forma)

The CEO of UKG Chris Todd personally approached our team, expressing gratitude for the U Choose program and its positive impact on employees. The interaction helped reinforce for us the importance of initiatives that resonate with and are appreciated by both employers and employees. This should be the gold standard - flexible programs that can meet the personal needs of people worldwide. Success isn't just measured by program adoption but by genuine appreciation from employees and recognition from organizational leadership.

For more information or support, <span class="text-style-link text-color-blue" fs-mirrorclick-element="trigger" role="button">schedule a consultation</span> with one of our experts. We’d be happy to help! 

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