People first: The future of cities post-COVID 

illustration of people first city

New release:
How can we bridge the health equity gap to create “people-first cities”?

People across the planet are grappling with the effects of multiple overlapping challenges. COVID-19, climate change, social inequality, supply-chain disruptions, persistently high inflation and the probability of recession pose significant obstacles to advancing healthy societies and building climate resilience.

Cities concentrate these challenges but may also hold the key to overcoming them.

Although cultural shifts have altered the way we live and work, cities continue to flourish. Today, more than half the world’s population (55%) lives in cities, up from just 30% in 1950. And by 2050, this figure is expected to soar to 70%, with an estimated 2.5 billion people migrating to urban areas over the next 20 years.

Despite speculation, cities will be the centers of wealth, prosperity, creativity, and innovation.

Employees are calling for healthier societies that support well-being

In the post-COVID environment and a “continuous crisis” era, workers are increasingly seeking assistance and turning to their employers for support. Prioritizing the health and well-being of all employees is now crucial.

Businesses have an opportunity to address economic, social, health and financial inequalities.

A concentrated urban population means a concentration of economic and societal issues. Today, two out of three major cities expect climate change to seriously compromise their public health services.

Providing a wide range of benefits is no longer enough. Most people want to work for companies that have a positive impact on the world. According to Paul Polman’s Net Positive Employee Barometer: from quiet quitting to conscious quitting, nearly half of employees say they would consider resigning if the company’s values don’t align with their own.

Our response: Use employee benefits as an expression of your company’s values. 

Discover how investing in employee health and well-being is the right thing to do for your business and society in our final article, which includes:

  • Insight from mercer’s latest Health on demand study: A global survey understanding how workforce needs and attitudes around employee benefits are changing in response to 21st century issues

  • Unique perspectives from our discussion on how businesses can improve the lives of everyone they touch for a steep boost in long-term shareholder returns (with Paul Polman, Unilever CEO from 2009–2019, business leader, campaigner and co-author of Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take)

Stay tuned! There’s more to come from Mercer and our Marsh McLennan colleagues.

About the author(s)
Samira Elasmar

Passionate leader, growth oriented with 14+ years of experience in driving strategy across various industries and in consulting with a proven track record of managing high impact teams, driving sales & revenue growth, and realising operational efficiencies. Expertise lies in translating growth strategies into tangible programs to drive business results, with experience in thought leadership, lobbying with the World Economic Forum, B20 and the European Commission.

Expert at driving large-scale change, I combine robust analytical skills and operational strengths to manage culturally diverse teams, P&Ls, business growth and clients' relationship with C-Levels executives.

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