In recent years, the emphasis on self-care has risen in the workplace and is now recognised as a fundamental concept. Promoting self-care not only creates a positive company culture with high morale, motivation and staff retention but has also become a crucial driver of performance.
The two should be considered hand in hand; without the balance of self care and wellness of your employees, how can you have good or even high performance in the workplace? With resilience at an all time low and productivity close behind, organisations need to be serious about how they help their employees take better care of themselves and ask what more can be done to aid self care practices in the workplace?
I don’t believe we have fully understood the impact the pandemic has had on our employees and their physical, mental, and emotional health and we are seeing signs everywhere of burnout, depression, anxiety and generally people struggling with their energy. As we enter the winter months it is likely that staff absences will rise, as will discontentment especially as organisations increase the pressure of returning to office-based working.
So, what should organisations be doing to get the balance right?
1. Remember that people are your greatest asset.
Treat them well and make them feel valued – you will receive this back 10-fold. Focus only on the numbers, increasing performance and profitability and you will see an increase in absenteeism and overall disengagement. However, this does not mean you should not manage performance, it means focus on the person and go beyond numbers and targets.
2. Take time to enquire about your team’s well-being
What are they doing to support a healthy mind and body? Be interested rather than ticking a box! Most of your employees will know the difference between having a meaningful dialogue versus a to be seen chat. This will take more time to reconnect with each team member, but it gives you an opportunity to understand what is now motivating and driving your team. It’s important to remember that we have all changed since covid. What once motivated us has changed – so find out who your team are now and don’t manage them on how they used to be!
3. Adopt a coaching approach
Learn how to coach your team members rather than using old tactics of directing and telling. It’s easier to tell than it is to ask but if you keep telling and choose not to take a coaching approach to leading and managing your team you will get stuck in a rut – if you continue to take the same approach you will get the same results.
4. Transform team bonding
Instead of going to the pub for a night out do something health related. A dance class or yoga class, learn to Meditate or be mindful together – you could even learn to paint! Be inclusive and generate new ways for the team to bond. This will bring cohesiveness, a new energy and a drive towards success – this will improve performance whilst balancing wellbeing.
5. Be consistent with new initiatives
Explore the option of wellbeing activities and initiatives but be consistent. There’s no point having one wellbeing day a year or one wellbeing week a year – wellbeing should be a consistent theme running through any organisation. When wellbeing is consistent you will begin to notice that your employees will also start to feel more valued and more appreciated. You will notice they will be far more engaged and instead of people saying they are fine they’ll have the freedom and the permission to say actually, I’m struggling today, and I could do with some support. You want to have an organisation that talks to each other; when an organisation talks to each other honestly and authentically you’ll find that you’ll start to develop a self-authoring organisation, meaning that people will take more responsibility, they will go the extra mile and they will succeed in all areas of their work and life. From an organisational perspective, when one is happy as a human being when he’s content one will serve and that’s what we’re aiming for through wellness and performance.
In conclusion, wellness and performance coincide with each other, meaning you can’t do any one well without the other. Most organisations focus purely on performance, profitability, and productivity but those are the organisations that are not valuing their greatest asset which is their people. So why don’t you flip it on its head: empower your team members to have a different dialogue at work; empower your line managers to engage in a deeper, more meaningful and significant conversation with their team members rather than numbers and goals and KPIs. I guarantee you will see a big difference and in response you’ll have a healthier, happier, more motivated workforce and your performance will be exactly where it’s meant to be.
Gillian is a master transformational coach, meditation teacher and energy healer who has supported thousands of clients to overcome their barriers to success and journey back home to their true selves. A coach educator, mentor and supervisor for over twenty years, she embodies a holistic, whole-person approach and has become one of the leading voices in transformational coaching and development. Gillian is also a podcast host and keynote speaker, delivering global transformational retreats and workshops.