Wellbeing in a Changing Organisation

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What is Well-being?

Well-being is the feeling of being well and being able to take life in your stride. Gallup encapsulated the breakdown of wellbeing in their book “Wellbeing at Work”, breaking it down into 5 key aspects of wellbeing, that I believe, describe the different elements exceptionally well:

  • Career well-being: You like what you do every day.
  • Social well-being: You have meaningful friendships in your life.
  • Financial well-being: You manage your money well.
  • Physical well-being: You have the energy to get things done.
  • Community well-being: You like where you live.

Work is such a significant part of our lives that it is a fundamental pillar and the foundation for all others.

A cost of £117.9 billion

Mental health problems cost the UK economy at least £117.9 billion annually according to a report published today by the Mental Health Foundation and London School of Economics and Political Science in March 2022. The cost of mental health problems is around 5% of the UK’s GDP. The report, ‘The economic case for investing in the prevention of mental health conditions in the UK’, makes the case for a prevention-based approach to mental health which would improve mental well-being while reducing the economic costs of poor mental health.

This is just mental ill health. This excludes statistics on physical and emotional ill health.

How do you create wellbeing?

As a former corporate businesswoman, leadership trainer, and well-being consultant, I have extensive experience leading discussions on well-being and the negative impact of toxic work environments. It’s not uncommon for people to feel micromanaged by their boss, undervalued in their position, and generally unhappy with their job – even if it pays well. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to try and change things up or find a new job altogether. Life is too short to be unhappy with your career! The impact of all of this on your well-being is too high a cost!

For most people, there are danger signs that they ignore, before they get help for depression and stress. Pain is a common one, especially neck and back pain. Also, headaches, migraines, and fatigue are all very common too. This is often the time that they come along and see me, and it takes a while to get to the real root cause of the problems.

Of course, all this means that the individuals are taking the time off sick. No one can be productive if they feel unwell. Then someone has to pick up the slack and then they struggle with their wellbeing too. It is a vicious cycle!

How this is managed and how leadership creates the culture of the organisation at all levels, is the key to how you create wellbeing. It does not stop there though, wellbeing is the responsibility of everyone at all levels of the organsiation.

Leadership has a profound impact

Leadership has a profound impact on the well-being of their employees which in turn positively impacts productivity, company profitability, and stability. When employees feel valued and are able to contribute to the company in a meaningful way, they are more likely to remain loyal, and creative and be team players – all of which factors contribute to a positive customer journey. This is especially important during times of talent shortages, being seen as a company of choice that values its employees. It has to be about more than just profitability and productivity. There has to be genuine understanding and empathy too.

10 Key tips to Incorporating Well-being into your organisation

  1. Conduct a survey to assess how employees feel about the company approach to well-being currently
  2. Form a focus group with employees at all levels of the organisation.
  3. Lead it top-down and design it bottom-up. Make sure all levels of leadership are on board.
  4. Announce the strategy and associated initiatives to all employees and explain how it will support them.
  5. Ask for feedback and adapt as necessary.
  6. Have a review board to keep energy moving and ensure the initiative is adapted and kept current.
  7. Train people to be well-being champions.
  8. Develop Key performance indicators from current metrics measured in the organisation like absenteeism and productivity. Work very closely with HR.
  9. Train leaders and provide ongoing support
  10. Conduct a follow-up survey every 6-12 months and measure progress.