Creating a WORLD of Difference


Our 2023 Insights into Navigating Workplace Wellbeing

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It is fascinating and heartening to recap the many articles we have published throughout the year both here and in the workplace wellbeing section in Channel Eye. I have the pleasure of co-creating these articles which are written by a wide variety of business experts, coaches, wellbeing professionals, GPs, professors, both locally and internationally. Together, we have explored many vital facets of workplace wellbeing.

The year has provided a rich tapestry of knowledge including our views on topics as diverse as: Mental Health and Stress Management, Cultivating Conversations in the Workplace, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Menopause and Male Menopause, Parenting in a Cyber World, Sleep, Compassionate Leadership, Human-Centred Leadership, and other Key Leadership Trends, Productivity, Mentoring and Coaching and their Relationship to Wellbeing, Nature and the Outdoor World, The Thorny Issues of Wellbeing Washing and the Hidden Costs of Ignoring Workplace Wellbeing, Creating Happiness at Work, The Importance of Happiness for Working Parents, Biophilic Design to Support Happiness at Work, Vision Health, Being Mindful about Alcohol, Finding Your Voice, the Evolution of Workplace Wellbeing, Functional Medicine and Holistic Wellbeing, and Avoiding Stress and Overwhelm at Christmas … and much more.

We have also received valued support and engagement from the business community, including our World WellBeing At Work sponsors, Deloitte LLP Jersey, and it becomes clear that workplace wellbeing extends far beyond occasional activities or events. It is about cultivating a culture that inherently supports employee fulfilment and growth.

The traditional view of workplace wellbeing often involved a series of ad-hoc events or activities. These may well have included monthly wellbeing sessions, free fruit, yoga and meditation classes, or health talks, which, although entirely well-intentioned and initially successful in raising awareness for individual wellbeing, the reality is that they barely scratch the surface of what true workplace wellbeing entails. This is because workplace wellbeing starts at the root cause of issues and is not for the employees to resolve.

Admittedly, we ran such events ourselves 20 years ago when the concept of workplace wellbeing started to form in our minds. Discussions over recent years have, however, reinforced that true wellbeing is fundamentally about creating an environment where employees feel their needs are met, where they find  purpose and belonging, and where their wellbeing is seamlessly integrated into the fabric of their work. This shift in understanding stems from recognising that wellbeing is not just a ‘nice-to-have’ event on a Friday to thank employees (although appreciation is essential), but a vital component of an organisation’s foundation.

Our work is extensively based on industry standards and guidance, along with research findings undertaken by Deloitte, Gallup, iOpener, among others. This has led us to a focus on analysing the systemic root causes when wellbeing markers are low, aiming to transform the conversation about workplace wellbeing in local organisations. Here are some of the key insights derived from this extensive body of work:

Fostering a Culture that Genuinely Supports and Values Employees

Workplace wellbeing is about proactively fostering a culture that genuinely supports and values employees. Employees seek environments where they are recognised, rewarded, and offered opportunities for growth and development. This is not achieved by simply adding more sessions or activities to their already busy schedules; instead, it’s about embedding a culture that truly cares for them.

Empathy in Leadership: The Cornerstone of Wellbeing

Leadership plays a vital role for creating a workplace culture of trust and understanding; it can build, or it can erode trust, respect, and employee wellbeing in an instant, particularly so if it inspires or ignores workplace bullying. At the very least, it should do no physical or psychological harm to its employees.

On the other hand, leaders who practice empathy, not only recognise their employees’ individual challenges but also their achievements, fostering an environment that supports their wellbeing.

Flexible Leadership Styles and Employee Wellbeing

The evolving nature of leadership styles, particular in hybrid work models, has been significant in demonstrating that trust is essential.

The flexibility to adapt to both remote and in-person work scenarios has been shown to contribute substantially to a healthier work environment and overall employee wellbeing.

Strategies for Seamless Work-Life Integration

Wellbeing professionals and GPs have also highlighted the concept of work-life integration.

Rather than viewing work and personal life as separate entities, the year’s insights have stressed the importance of blending these aspects harmoniously, with leaders playing a pivotal role in facilitating this balance through the provision of adequate resources, oversight of workload demands, clarification of roles, and the redesign of work processes.

Inclusive Decision-Making: A Catalyst for Wellbeing

The impact of inclusive decision-making on workplace wellbeing has been a key theme explored by professors and business strategists. This approach not only leads to better decision-making but also fosters a sense of ownership and wellbeing among employees, marking inclusivity and playing a role in decision-making as a fundamental aspect of progressive leadership.

Continuous Learning Initiatives and Professional Growth

The connection between ongoing professional development and employee wellbeing has been strongly emphasised.

Articles highlighted the importance of coaching, mentorship programmes and skill-building workshops, illustrating that investing in employee growth is not just beneficial but essential for the individual and the organisation.

Transparent Communication for Trust and Engagement

Transparent communication emerged as a crucial element of workplace wellbeing. Open and honest communication has been shown to build trust, reduce uncertainty, and contribute to a positive workplace culture, proving itself as a foundational aspect of a healthy work environment.

Metrics for People Success: A Paradigm Shift in Evaluation

A significant shift was noted in how success is measured, with a move towards evaluating people success rather than just financial outcomes. This approach includes metrics that assess employee engagement, satisfaction, and wellbeing, acknowledging the direct correlation between the prosperity of a company and the wellbeing of its workforce.

Compassionate Leadership: Connecting Wellbeing and Human-Centred Leadership

Compassionate leadership stands out as a central theme. It highlights how leaders who show genuine care and support create environments where employees feel valued and heard, establishing a foundation for holistic workplace wellbeing. Compassionate leadership also ensures empathy whilst dealing with difficult issues with caring candour, for the good of all.

The insights from 2023 paint a clear picture: the interconnectivity of human-centred leadership, compassion, and workplace wellbeing is undeniable. Each theme, from empathetic and flexible leadership to inclusive decision-making, continuous learning, transparent communication, and new metrics for success, underscores the need for an integrated approach to wellbeing. Although representing the harder route than standalone perks and interventions, it is without doubt the way to go for real change.

The collective wisdom of local and international experts has provided a blueprint for creating workplaces that prioritise the health, happiness, and growth of employees. As we look to the future, these lessons form a vital guide for businesses committed to fostering a culture where leadership and compassion come together to create thriving, resilient, and well-supported work environments.

Here’s to more in ’24!

World Wellbeing Week 2024

June 24 – June 30

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