COVID-19 left an indelible mark on American society- from the way we work, to how we communicate and ideate.

As remote working continues to blur the line between the workplace and the home, employers are prioritizing holistic employee well-being and assessing everything from workplace flexibility, to expanded benefits that include counseling, meditation apps and training leaders on empathic leadership. Washington Post Live will host key business leaders for a series of conversations focused on the future of work and how it relates to employee health, well-being and the impact on productivity, employee retention and a company’s overall success.

Highlights

Leena Nair, CHRO of Unilever, says the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated workforce trends like increased flexibility and made companies deal with them right now. “We are using this moment to reimagine, to reinvent, to rethink how we work.” (Washington Post Live)
Leena Nair, CHRO of Unilever, says it’s important that company leaders are able to talk about mental health in the same way they talk about physical health. “It’s important for leaders to have the same fluency to talk about mental health as they talk about physical health…It’s also about the culture of making it OK to talk about one’s health and well-being priorities.” (Washington Post Live)
Wellable CEO Nick Patel says the pandemic has accelerated the growth of holistic health models among companies looking to improve their employees’ well-being. “There’s a slow and emerging movement to really embrace holistic health. I feel that is the biggest change we’ve seen from an employee health perspective.” (Washington Post Live)
Wellable CEO Nick Patel says communication is necessary when it comes to wearables in the workplace. “In this world, we’re becoming increasingly sensitive to privacy concerns and rightly so…” (Washington Post Live)

Leena Nair

Provided by Unilever.

Leena Nair is the first female, first Asian and youngest ever CHRO of Unilever and member of the Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE).Leena bears overall responsibility for the 150,000-strong human capital of Unilever, which operates across multiple regulatory and labour environments spread over 190 countries. As a highly accomplished business leader, her expertise and leadership has helped to drive continued growth for Unilever, leading to the €50 billion business it is today. Under her leadership Unilever has achieved a 50/50 gender balance across global leadership, through the design and implementation of progressive new working practices and models. She has continued to lead a pioneering agenda, playing an instrumental role in launching Unilever’s new social commitments, which is focused on raising living standards across the value chain, creating opportunities through inclusivity, and preparing people for the future of work. Leena began her Unilever career in Hindustan Unilever, where she was appointed as the first woman on the Unilever South Asia Leadership team and was responsible for Unilever’s growth in five markets with a business size of around 6 billion Euros. She has continued to redefine how big business can contribute to the environment and society and has a reputation for putting the people at the heart of the business, driving growth and innovation to create better business and a better society. Recognised by HRH Queen Elizabeth II as one of the accomplished Indian Business Leaders in the UK, Leena is a trustee for the Leverhulme Trust. Her purpose is to “ignite the human spark for a better business and better world”.

Nick Patel

Content from Cigna

The following content is produced and paid for by a Washington Post Live event sponsor. The Washington Post newsroom is not involved in the production of this content.

The pandemic arguably changed the world of work more than any single event in recent history. It presented employers with a unique moment to turn crisis into opportunity by reinforcing the critical role organizations play in supporting the health, safety and well-being of the U.S. workforce. American University professor Elisa Labott talks with David Cordani, President and CEO of Cigna, about the relationship between employee health and productivity, the importance of whole-person health, and their broader impact on economic and community vitality. The discussion will reveal insights from a newly published study by The Economist on why employee well-being matters. (Washington Post Live)

Driving Economic Vitality Through a Healthy, Productive Workforce

The pandemic arguably changed the world of work more than any single event in recent history. It presented employers with a unique moment to turn crisis into opportunity by reinforcing the critical role organizations play in supporting the health, safety and well-being of the U.S. workforce. American University professor Elise Labott talks with David Cordani, President and CEO of Cigna, about the relationship between employee health and productivity, the importance of whole-person health, and their broader impact on economic and community vitality. The discussion will reveal insights from a newly published study by The Economist on why employee well-being matters.

David Cordani

David Cordani became President and CEO of Cigna in 2009 and has spearheaded its transformation into a leading global health service company with an emphasis on empowering individuals to manage their own health, innovating new health delivery models, partnering with physicians to focus on wellness and prevention, and improving clinical quality. He is a prominent voice addressing how our society can build a more sustainable health care system which increases access, affordability, and predictability.

With operations in more than 30 countries and jurisdictions across the globe, David leads Cigna's 70,000 colleagues in improving the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those they serve. He oversaw the company’s successful combination with Express Scripts in 2018, and its launch in 2020 of Evernorth, a new brand for its growing, high-performing health services portfolio. Jointly, Cigna and Evernorth have more than 170 million customer and patient relationships, and more than one billion touchpoints worldwide.

David joined Cigna in 1991, and held leadership roles across the business prior to becoming president and CEO, in areas including distribution, clinical management, underwriting, finance, and operations. Prior joining to Cigna, David was with the accounting firm, Coopers & Lybrand.

Under Cordani's leadership since 2009, Cigna has:

  • Significantly expanded its global portfolio, its Medicare Advantage footprint through the acquisition of Cigna-HealthSpring, and its leading Health Services platform through the Express Scripts combination;
  • Expanded Cigna's community impact across its global operations through the Cigna Foundation, employee volunteer hours, and targeted business programs;
  • Led the industry as a partner-of-choice for collaboration with health care professionals and growing value-based care arrangements;
  • Delivered compound annual growth rates of 23% for revenues and 15% for earnings per share, as well as Total Shareholder Return of 483% through 2019.

He actively works with the Achilles International Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans. He also supports The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In addition, he is founder of The David and Sherry Cordani Family Foundation, reflecting the Cordani family’s deep commitment to supporting community health and well-being. David was named to the General Mills Board of Directors in 2014, served as Chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Korea Business Council for 2018 and 2019, and was elected to serve as Chair of the Board for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) for 2019 and 2020. He also served on the U.S.-India Business Council Board of Directors from 2015 to 2017.

David is also the co-author of the best-selling book, The Courage to Go Forward: The Power of Micro Communities, which defines the unique, powerful role small, mobilized communities can play in helping individuals achieve their greatest goals or overcome obstacles - physical or otherwise.

David is an accomplished triathlete, having competed in more than 125 triathlons. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M, and an MBA from the University of Hartford.

Moderated by Elise Labott

Elise Labott is a leading journalist covering foreign US foreign policy and international issues. Elise is a columnist at Foreign Policy magazine and before that was CNN’s Global Affairs Correspondent. She has reported from more than 80 countries, traveled the world with seven secretaries of state and has interviewed many world leaders and newsmakers. Elise is the founder of Twopoint.o Media, a digital media platform that aims to engage, inform and inspire citizens to solve today’s most pressing global challenges, and an adjunct professor at American University’s School of International Service. She is a contributor to Politico, provides commentary for MSNBC, NPR, BBC and several other broadcast outlets and is a sought-after interviewer and moderator. Elise also serves as a global ambassador for Vital Voices, an organization that empowers female entrepreneurs around the world and is on the advisory committee of Global Kids DC, a program which introduces high school students in underserved communities to international affairs. Prior to joining CNN, Elise covered the UN for ABC News and also reported on diplomatic and foreign policy issues for Agence France-Presse and other publications. Elise is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a master’s degree from the New School for Social Research.