If you want your organisation to attract, retain and develop talent, it’s time to turn up the volume on wellbeing. Here’s why the welfare, health and happiness of your employees is so vital – and some pointers to make you think.
As someone in a leadership role, what level of importance do you attach to wellbeing at work – not only your employees’ wellbeing, but also your own? Think about a score. How many stars out of ten, would you say?
Seven? Or perhaps lower – maybe four stars; after all, everyone in your business seems OK, they’re working hard, they’re productive. They get the job done, and they meet their targets.
Your People are Your Business
Well, you may need to think again.
My experience as a leadership development consultant has proven if proof were even needed, how first and foremost, organisations are made up of people. They’re your most valuable asset.
They are your business.
And, like almost everything in life, if not cared for, they (your people, that is) can and do go wrong. They malfunction – quite literally, in every way. They’re less productive, more likely to take time off work, and ultimately, you could lose your top performers to pastures new; somewhere with a greater focus on welfare and good health.
Do you support a flexible company culture that champions wellbeing?
The Pandemic Health Bomb
Across the UK, we’re coming through one of the most challenging periods in living memory.
The pandemic affected each and every one of us, and with it came not only the financial pressures of lockdown but also increased stress, as employees worked from home – many, for the first time.
WFH isn’t the same as an office. It’s so vastly different. Boundaries are blurred. People are disconnected, they lose essential connections, and the links of workplace friendships come loose.
We lose a part of ourselves.
At the same time, human beings are designed to move, and on the whole, through a commute or walking up and downstairs, the workplace enables this. Being in your house all day in front of a laptop, and feeling you can’t get away from it – not so much. All of this can add up to a whole heap of compromises on our physical and emotional health.
Recruitment, Onboarding, Retention and Growth
As an employer, you may be experiencing difficulties in attracting and retaining key staff. Currently, it’s an applicant’s market, with a corporate “beauty parade” giving more selection power to candidates.
With strong wellbeing strategies at the heart of your business, your future workforce will be easier to recruit. Plus, with greater productivity, you’ll get more from your people. Above all, you’re creating strong foundations for longer-term growth.
Welcome to the Liminal Wellbeing Checklist
In my role as a leadership development consultant, organisational wellbeing has become increasingly important. I don’t think this will change any time soon.
Now, more than ever, physical and emotional health are the pillars of a strong, better-for-you office environment. Good wellbeing allows the sunshine in. It gives us energy, motivates us, calms our minds, and lifts our spirits.
It is, in a nutshell, an enabler of resilience. Having written often about resilience, which is at the core of my work, I know this much is true:
You cannot be resilient unless and until you are actively taking care of yourself.
So, let me introduce you to my Wellbeing Checklist.
Working with leaders gives me the opportunity quite literally to see how they are, and how best to start working with them.
I often forward a checklist with key questions about an individual’s physical health, emotional equilibrium, and the state of his or her mind. Also, what I refer to as their spirit – the wider, bigger picture, and how they see themselves in the world.
Re-charging your batteries, and taking care of yourself helps you cope better with what work throws at you. Here, I’ve extracted some key points from the documentation I send to get you thinking.
Your Body – The Basics
Here, we touch on the importance of sleep, exercise and nutrition. And yes, this means you. Getting seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep helps your cells to repair, restores brain function, and puts energy back into your body – the benefits of sleep are simply too numerous to list.
Are you moving? Fast walking and some strength training not only lift your spirits, but they’re also helping to regulate blood pressure and get your heart pumping for good cardiovascular health.
Good nutrition never goes away, of course, and taking regular breaks from your PC will help you to switch off.
Resilience helps you to regulate your emotions and manage stress. A demanding workload can lead to irritability, impatience and anxiety. You’ll be less effective, with impaired critical thinking.
Further, quality time with friends and loved ones, regular involvement in enjoyable activities, and knowing when and how to appreciate others are signs of emotional wellbeing – and worth thinking about.
How are your levels of concentration? Do you get distracted easily? Perhaps the workaholic mindset has taken over your life. Equally, does this apply to you?
“A poor life this if, full of care. We have no time to stand and stare.”(W.H. Davies)
Just a thought.
If you’re not spending enough time at work doing what you’re best at, or what you enjoy the most, there could be a difficult disconnect. Likewise, if you’re aware of what’s most important in your life, yet you allocate your time and energy elsewhere, something stressful this way comes.
You may not be able to see the wood for the trees. What do I mean here? Simply, that external demands may more often than they should influence your decision making.
Ultimately, if you know and feel unable to invest enough energy and time to make a positive difference to others, and to the world around you, life could feel less worthwhile.
Duller somehow. Faded to grey, in a world where others live their lives in colour.
Let’s Focus on the Positive
Healthy workplaces help people to flourish, and to reach their potential. An environment that understands holistic health and wellbeing also actively promotes contentment. Wellbeing leads to efficiency, and engagement and can lead to reduced absences and better staff retention.
Wellbeing is quite simply, everything.
Not sure where to begin? Get in touch, and let’s start to talk about culture, leadership and management.
And let’s get that wellbeing score up to a ten out of ten.