Wellbeing insights from the 2023 Navigate Summit

Collage of the Navigate Summit wellbeing conference
  • Date posted

    Jul 17, 2023

  • Estimated reading time

    5 minutes

The Navigate Summit is more than a typical HR and wellbeing conference—it’s an experience. Each year, attendees leave feeling more connected with themselves, their mission, and their purpose.

The Summit focuses on connecting attendees to what matters most by aligning with their culture, supporting their success, and helping them develop strategies that empower employees toward improved health and wellbeing.

From June 13 - 15, our guests joined us in beautiful Bozeman, Montana, where they engaged with industry thought leaders, discovered the latest trends, and walked away with personalized paths to wellbeing for themselves and their organizations.

In my career, I've been to a lot of conferences, and I've seen a lot of speakers. I've heard their message and thought, 'Wow that's really powerful' but nothing like this.

Day 1: Connecting people to what matters

We kicked off the Navigate Summit by exploring the power of self-awareness and how the NavigateYou personality assessment can help you strengthen relationships and achieve your goals. You can dive into your results to better understand how you work and then apply this in all your communications to build stronger relationships at work and at home.

Many conflicts in and out of work stem from different world views and communication styles. With the right resources, managers have the agency to foster collaboration and prioritize supportive communication. This allows them to prioritize essential workplace priorities like employee mental health by cultivating a sense of inclusion, understanding, and belonging in each employee.

We then wrapped up the speaker sessions with inspiring takeaways from the inspiring comedian and author, Kristina Kuzmic. With a viral following of over 2.8 million people, Kristina shared how she turned her darkest moments (divorce, single parenting, poverty, depression) into her greatest opportunities.

A large group of around 60 employees smile at the camera in front of a beautiful natural landscape.

Key takeaways from day one:

We tend to see things through the lens of our personality. A personality tool helps us step above ourselves to see beyond this lens and understand our perspective and the perspective of others.

Know yourself and know your coworkers. What you and those you work with are like and how you are with each other is the key to your success. You must know how to navigate this to achieve collective goals.

There is a big difference between beating yourself up and holding yourself accountable. The road to success and happiness begins when we decide to talk to ourselves the way we would talk to someone we love.

Don't let the things that are completely outside your control, control you completely. The harder the day, the kinder you have to be to yourself.

At the end of day one, we invited attendees to an all-inclusive, sustainable farm-to-table dining experience at the beautiful Bodhi Farms. This unique, sustainable, boutique experience offered attendees a taste of Big Sky Country. Allowing them to experience a sense of adventure, comfort, and harmony with their surroundings outside the city limits.

The overall Summit experience was unbeatable. No conference compares to what Navigate puts on. I love the give-back element and how connected everything is throughout the conference. Every detail was taken care of.

Day 2: Exploring the value of connection

We kicked off day two with insights on employee engagement and retention. It is important for HR leaders to help their organization tie their employee engagement strategies to the mission and values of the organization. Create clarity and purpose in your strategies for creating a people first culture where employees thrive. Research tells us that when employees are well, they are more engaged. When employees are engaged, companies thrive.

A panel of wellbeing experts then discussed the importance of using data in creating a holistic wellbeing strategy. Start by looking at the data you have. What is it telling you? What trends do you see? Then use that data to drive innovation, decision making, and quality improvement in your business. While data provides a glimpse into the intricate dynamics of the workforce, we must be proactive in our approach and dive deeper into the narrative to decipher its underlying messages.

We then leveraged the knowledge of industry connections with a panel of wellbeing experts and multiple breakout sessions. Each speaker covered a specific employee wellbeing case study or success story. Attendees collected insights, asked questions, and took notes on action items they could bring back to their respective organizations.

Seven people stand side by side on a stage smiling at the camera.

Key takeaways from day two:

Engagement and retention isn't about one thing—it’s many things working together. We must hit the workplace wellbeing essentials like protection from harm, connection and community, work-life harmony, mattering at work, and growth opportunities.

Collecting employee wellbeing data is just the beginning. It can tell you a story, but it's up to us to know why we're collecting that data and then put it into action. Without this intention and follow-through, data can't make real change.

Avoid a purely fix it mindset and move towards more empathy, active listening, and mindfulness. It opens the door to more impactful solutions for a unique employee population.

At the end of the night, we treated our guests to a happy hour and concert, which ended with a donation to a local non-profit called Eagle Mount. With the support of their community, Eagle Mount helps people with disabilities enjoy uplifting recreation in Big Sky Country. To their participants, recreation means more than playtime. It is a chance to discover new strength, confidence, freedom, and joy.

I left the Summit feeling re-inspired and reminded why I am in this industry.

Day 3: Overcoming change through connections

Our final day in Bozeman began by examining how meaningful connections at work are essential to overall employee wellbeing, feelings of belonging, and workplace productivity. For years, a top priority of HR professionals has been employee engagement. Yet, the average engagement rate of employees across the country is 27%. For the past twenty years, experts have been telling us the key to employee engagement is helping employees feel cared about and connected to the people they work with, no matter where they work.

Remote work creates new challenges with loneliness reaching epidemic levels. Being intentional about creating opportunities for connecting with others at work is key. Creating a people first culture where every manager demonstrates that they care about the holistic wellbeing of each employee on the team is critical. When employees are well, they are more engaged. We have known it for years, but now we have the wellbeing resources to really create a culture where employees are engaged and thriving.

The pandemic also forced us to face unsettling realities—including its disproportionate impact on women. Considering this, it’s important to include women’s health initiatives in overall wellbeing strategies. During the final day of Summit, Sally Imig, President of AD Health Advisors, covered the necessity of these programs as well as tips for implementation.

As always, the Summit ended with a bang. Joining us on the stage for the final Summit session was motivational speaker and author, Kevin Brown. This crowd favorite left attendees entertained, inspired, and energized to take what they learned from Summit and bring it back to their workplace.

A skyline view shows the foothills of Bozeman, Montana.

Key takeaways from day three:

The connections you make with your co-workers are more than just nice to have. It's an essential factor in building a sense of belonging—especially in a remote or hybrid environment.

Women's health is unique and complex. Be intentional about women's health to help your population manage risks that are typically more difficult to diagnose like PCOS, breast cancer, etc.

Heroes are extraordinary people who choose not to be ordinary. Don't let anyone (especially yourself) convince you that you are ordinary.

Nobody notices normal. No one notices when someone is simply satisfied. It makes you like everyone else. Chase something more than satisfied.

Human resource heroes. Keep developing, expanding, and sharing your gifts as HR leaders and continue to inspire others to use their talents in extraordinary ways—keep Doing Good Things.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2023 Navigate Summit. It was a joy to connect, learn, and grow with you in Big Sky Country. The event may be over, but there are still ways to stay connected.

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