Wellbeing in the Workplace: What the C-Suite’s Missing

Deloitte published a report in June 2022 looking at “how savvy executives can go beyond workplace wellness to workplace wellbeing — for themselves and their people.”

Some of this data offers prime insights for areas where incentive professionals can step up and deliver innovative solutions. And, in keeping with how Deloitte presented much of its data, we’re offering you two different takes on the headlines that jumped out to us.

Enjoy part one below from “millennial manager” Sydney Nolan, a member of SITE’s Marketing & Communications team, before digging into part two by “boomer boss” Pádraic Gilligan, SITE’s Chief Marketing Officer.

Sydney’s take: A little context first

This chunk of text pulled straight from Deloitte’s findings is what dominates the data and stands out most for me: 

We uncovered that both employees and the C-suite are struggling to prioritize their wellbeing — and for most people, work is to blame. However, executives are significantly overestimating how well their employees are doing and how supported they feel by their leaders. 

After countless conversations with friends and peers (largely outside the industry, but also a few chats with MICE professionals around my age), my head would absolutely have to be buried in the sand to say I’m shocked that gaps exist.

I am encouraged, though, by the idea that adding more meaningful and truly targeted wellness programming to incentive travel programs could better meet the needs of both leaders and their teams. 


Are you helping or actively hurting employee wellbeing with the standards you set?

The first piece of advice I’d offer up to well-meaning executives: Read. The. Room. Make a conscious choice to stay mindful of the changed circumstances and new realities we’re all working in. 

If you don’t know what challenges your employees are facing, ask — or find someone else in the company team members are comfortable speaking with to share this information.

Understanding the challenges is the first step to determining the best ways to address them, whether that’s through your rewards and motivation scheme, or through other means of redress.


What do your incentives communicate about you and your company?

Another excerpt from Deloitte’s findings backs sentiments that, again, many of my friends have uttered:

Only 56% of employees think that their company’s executives care about their well-being. However, the C-suite sees things in a much different light: 91% percent believe that employees feel their leaders care about them. It’s a notable gap, one that the C-suite must work to address.

Here’s where incentive travel can become one — and I stress, just one — of many, many structural reforms that are needed in the ways we think about and approach work.


I’ve enjoyed conversations with incredible event profs like Anh Nguyen about how we can design incentive trips for the better by mixing formats and blending meeting or offsite elements with more traditional incentive designs.

It thrills me to hear industry pros like Ellie MacPherson argue in favor of data that shows my generation wants to connect in-person for mentorship and career development conversations — opportunities we know incentive travel can spark.

I’m excited to see what SITE Young Leaders has planned for their 2022 Conference (it’s front and center on my calendar for October 9, right before IMEX America!).

I throw an open question, then, back to the incentive planners and end users I know are part of the SITE community: how can you help leaders communicate that wellbeing matters and use incentive travel to help close this care and compassion gap that clearly exists, if Deloitte’s data is to be believed?

Ending with a familiar note

I’m eager to see what those more senior to me make of this data — starting with my own boss’ take.

To end my own thoughts for now though, I can’t help but notice that the report concludes on a familiar-sounding note: 

The health-savvy executive appreciates that decisions relating to wellbeing can have a significant impact on the culture of the organization, the way in which work gets done, and the people and places beyond the organization’s four walls … But employees want more than just a health promotion program or a wellness stipend. In fact, we found that most workers expect their organization to challenge societal norms, support their holistic health, and be more future-oriented than ever before.

Sounds a bit like what we all aspire to accomplish through incentive travel, no…?


Written by

Sydney Nolan

Sydney Nolan


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