4 min read
Changing the culture of wellbeing in the workplace, the dialogue that surrounds it, my modern take on wellbeing and embracing the whole human condition.
Let’s talk about the word transformative and what it means.
To be transformative, we are causing a change on purpose to someone or something that sticks, it’s a marked change that makes a difference. So, is the phrase transformative wellbeing just another fad, a way to tick a box, creating space between me and my wellbeing competition? No, it isn’t, and this is why.
In our pre-pandemic times, what do you remember about the culture of your organisation when it came to wellbeing at work?
What used to happen around the workplace in terms of employee education, training and development, engagement, and action?
The pre-pandemic view of wellbeing was often a specialist invited in to talk about general wellbeing, nutrition or most likely about developing habits that support good mental health. These sessions would usually take place at work or maybe online, and in some instances attendance was mandatory, or just encouraged. The specialist would come in, impart their knowledge and leave. There might be a little follow up by a line manager or maybe a blog or vlog from someone in the business acknowledging the learning provision.
Fast forward to September 2021, has anything changed in terms of the way we engage with wellbeing in the workplace?
Organisations everywhere are faced with a challenging landscape as they look forward. They might be focused on making up for lost revenues and income from the pandemic which correlates with a potential change or increase to employee objectives or targets. There are also the potential employee absence due to poor mental health; long COVID or the continued risk of contracting COVID now that the UK is fully open. Planning and strategizing for future years when everything around us is still so uncertain, thinking about potential redundancy announcements; shortage of stock, supplies and even skilled employees; the challenges are deep and might to be around for some time.
As priorities shift and companies do their best to remain agile, there will always be one constant. Most organisations need their people to survive and now more than ever they need their employees to recover and to thrive. Transformative workplace wellbeing initiatives, with purpose is a game changer. Moving away from pre-pandemic wellbeing tick box exercises that served an objective but not a purpose is what’s required, now is the time to engage in a different discussion and shift the dial towards transformative employee wellbeing. Transformative wellbeing will support the whole human condition through understanding the current as-is culture and by maximising on an employee led strategy, changing wellbeing culture for the long term.
Recognising how our whole human condition and how we think or feel can affect the way we show up at work is a good start.
An employee is having a tough time at home, when they show up to work their leader hands them a piece of project work stating it’s urgent, so has a tight deadline. The employer means well, they are challenged to deliver and are themselves under pressure to meet their own targets and objectives. There are many such scenarios but to truly transform the future of wellbeing in the workplace, we need to dig deep. It’s less about applying the traditional wellbeing initiatives of workplace yoga, water coolers on every floor, fruit in the entrance hall, and an accessible mental health team but about understanding the deeper needs of people, as humans, and understanding what affects them or stops them from being at their best in life.
When we tap into employees in engaging way, truly listen and wholeheartedly respond we will change culture. It’s in this depth of understanding that will drive good employee engagement on a new level which in turn gives companies a chance to reduce attrition and sickness, increase engagement and loyalty, retain talent, and attract millennial leaders and gen Z innovators. Infinity Wellness approaches workplace wellbeing initiatives from a place of transformative cultural change through its application of a tried and tested methodology – Discover, Design, Activate. We always approach our work with purpose and never lead with an objective. We hold our brand values at the centre of all that we do. For more information go to www.infinity-wellness.co.uk.