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Move to the “3D Employee” and Embrace Well-being

by Elise Olding  |  June 26, 2013  |  1 Comment

There’s an abundance of chatter these days about employee engagement. It has become the “fix” for many of the ills identified in our workplaces. I would propose that this view represents only part of what is really needed. The “3D employee” needs mental, physical and social well-being. This goes beyond having clear objectives and being acknowledged for a job well done. We’ve got to expand the engagement playing field and embrace holistic well-being to fuel creativity and productivity.

The 3D employee gets enough sleep, exercise, optimum nutrition and time for play. At work, the 3D employee needs time to singularly focus on assignments without distractions. The research on multi-tasking is compelling yet we continue to pile yet more work on our employees and wonder why productivity suffers.

David Rock lays out an interesting concept called the “Healthy Mind Platter” that includes seven ingredients for optimum brain functioning. Rock states “We’re entering an era of an epidemic of overwhelm. A time when too many people’s mental well-being is being stretched through multi-tasking, fragmented attention and information overload.”  I think we can all relate to this.

One CIO I recently talked with bought FitBits for her team. They get out for at least two 15 minute walks each day. Some meetings have evolved into “moving meetings.” The team loves this. Again, the emerging research is certainly supporting taking exercise breaks and changing the scene from monotone conference rooms to spur creativity.

Stay tuned as a number of us at Gartner explore these topics in our upcoming Maverick research. Jackie Fenn and I are working on “Living and Leading in the Brain Aware Enterprise.” Carol Rozwell and Deb Logan are doing complementary research on socially centered leadership. See Carol’s blog for more. We will be publishing research of our findings in September and conduct workshops at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo events in October and November.

Comments?  Any 3D employee experiences you want to share?  What would you like to see added to your workday to support well-being? Comment on the blog or answer via Twitter @eliseolding

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Category: bpm-strategic-planning  employee-engagement  engagification  gartner  organizational-change  

Tags: 3d-employees  employee-engagement  maverick-research  symposium  well-being  wellbeing  

Elise Olding
Research Director
7 years at Gartner
32 years IT industry

Elise Olding is a Research Director covering the complex challenges of organizational change and business transformation from a people perspective. Her areas of focus include organizational change, communications strategies and emerging trends in employee engagement from a hands-on practitioner view. Ms. Olding provides research on a worldwide basis, advising clients on best practices to achieve sustainable change and business transformation. She is a member of Gartner's Business Process and Transformation team. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Move to the “3D Employee” and Embrace Well-being

  1. Carol Rozwell says:


    I agree with your assessment that the term engagement is overused. When terms get too much airtime, people don’t really hear them anymore. So while we know employee engagement is critical to business performance, the term just doesn’t have the cache it used to.

    The idea of the 3D employee is interesting. We’ve talked about work-life balance in the past (as if work is separate from life). I’m encouraged to see the new neuroscience research that highlights how the brain works. It also urges balance.

    Balance is a concept Deb and I will use in our Symposium workshop where we’ll talk about head, heart and hara. Another view of the 3D employee.

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