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The health-savvy CEO’s mindset

July 26, 2022

Health-conscious leaders are reframing well-being at work, after the impacts of the new coronavirus pandemic, which has elevated the topic to the CEO’s urgent attention.

A massive study conducted and published by Deloitte shows that the vast majority of the C-suite agree that executives should be responsible for employees’ well-being, and already feel responsible in their current roles (95%). Over the next one to two years, 83% say they’ll become more responsible. 

But feeling responsible for well-being isn’t the same as actually taking accountability—and that’s where health-savvy leadership comes in. Much of the C-suite (68%) admit that they aren’t taking enough action to safeguard employee and stakeholder health.

The survey shows, however, that 77% of employees and 94% of the C-suite agreed that it’s important for executives to be health-savvy. Nearly nine out of 10 leaders are already taking action, for example by defining their executive ambition around health (88%), designing their personal learning strategy around matters of health (87%), leveraging their organization’s understanding of workforce drivers of health (87%), and ensuring a systemic approach around health (86%).

The Managing Director in Deloitte’s Strategy Practice and Deloitte’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ken Abrams, along with three colleagues, have made a compilation of what they have heard from a number of CEO’s over the past few years and in various reports.

The result is what they call the health-savvy CEO: “a leader who appreciates that decisions relating to health and health care can have a significant impact on the culture of the organization, the way in which work gets done, the cascading effects of that work in spaces and places beyond the organization’s four walls, and the power of the CEO’s personal brand to support people’s health”. 

According to the authors, the group of leaders shares the following mindset:

  1. Matters of health drive organizational culture, trust, and brand.
  2. Health is not political.
  3. Health is multistakeholder.
  4. Health is about drivers of health.
  5. Health is personal, and matters of health drive a CEO’s personal brand.
  6. Health requires a CEO-level information strategy.

“We see clear signs that CEOs are shifting to the work of designing a new future with hope and optimism. As they’ve led their organizations through the challenges of the pandemic, health-savvy CEOs have exemplified a particular kind of power—to be steadfast ambassadors of that future hope. They know that what matters with respect to the health of their stakeholders in the future will be, and should be, not only different from what used to be, but better”, they conclude.


Source: Deloitte Insights | Health as a CEO priority