Why the Wellness of a Business Matters, and Three Vital Practices
Like people, businesses operate more efficiently towards their greatest potential when their whole wellbeing is in order.
Personal wellness can be determined by a balance of mind, body and spirit, or life-force vitality. Company wellness can be determined by a balance of its core values, culture, attitudes towards expansion, and the life-force of its team members. Whether your workforce is 5 or 500,000, treating people well and providing them with an environment to thrive makes sense harmonically and for the bottom line. A happy and healthy culture drives brand force by boosting inspired productivity, creating more opportunities for collaboration, and strengthening a feeling of community and company loyalty. There are many trickle-down effects from heightened whole wellness, including saving money on traditional healthcare costs. As work environments are evolving, even giant industrial conglomerates are relaxing their structures. We see millennial employers progressing corporate culture, especially in tech. Many provide an experience that reflects an extension of home or college campus life, with all basic needs met, from food to enrichment and social time. Empowered employees are becoming more discerning about for who and what they exchange their time, skills and connections for. More than ever, people are moving towards happiness at home and on the job. So how can a business today open to the benefits of progressing its whole wellness?
1. Positive Core Values + Integrity
Being well as a company begins with the core values and integrity of its mission and practices. As the consumer becomes more conscious, so are businesses. We might think we see it getting there, but what is in a product, service or offering, how it is produced and its effect on everything it touches along the supply chain will soon become incredibly important to the consumer dollar. Aside from the people or environments impacted by the production or practices, when employees are aligned with and working towards something they can truly believe in, they project a more natural confidence and heartfelt enthusiasm. People want to be inspired by who or what they are working for, and they want their professional work to feel purpose-filled. This is the time to re-evaluate and readjust your sails to the winds. From the physical product or service to the attitudes of the people working in the company, an awareness (or lack of) will only become more transparent to the world. The more rooted the company is in the goodness of its intention and mission, and the more aligned with conscious values that speak to the consumer heart, the better off it will be.
Practice Tips: Refine and reinforce core values and practicing integrity, and celebrate them! Present your values as part of your public ethos or story, if they are not already. When strong in the company’s core values, you will be able to communicate more clearly to call in ideal customers and employees to be with you for the long run. If the company has any questionable practices or sources, find paths to operate more consciously, make things right and celebrate the transition. Look at where your teams can plug more into the mission and make their work more meaningful. You could even gain social media content by showing how the company impacts others or by sharing the stories of “ingredients” or the stories of the people and organizations along the supply or profit chain. Develop a social responsibility program that you can be proud of, and wonderful initiatives will find their way to you.
2. Company Culture
It is important to host an environment where people feel inspired to work day-in, day-out for nearly their entire year, year after year. A healthy company culture promotes the 4 C’s: collaboration, communication, creativity and care. Collaboration builds excitement towards the bigger picture of the company, with employees feeling more part of the family. When teams come together to share their projects and goals and to see where dots might connect, it can save a tremendous amount of time, money or resources. Healthy and clear communication makes things better for everyone, whereas miscommunication can prove quite costly. Creativity not only opens up channels and brings in new opportunities, but it also provides some of the greatest work fuel available. When work is accomplished with more excitement, gratitude and “inspired productivity” the results sing for themselves. With care, companies acknowledge their appreciation to their team members for the efforts, time and energy, far beyond a standard paycheck and benefits package. Most companies these days — big, mid or small — are incorporating well-rounded programs that feature personal approaches, great resources and fun events. Care is certainly not limited to traditional corporate wellness programs, as a company’s care shows up in everything — from its hiring practices to the number of oxygen (energy) boosting plants around.
Practice Tips: For more collaboration, hold frequent “synergy sessions” where co-workers or teams come together to explore connections to achieve goals or speed things along. For stronger communication, encourage conversation and promote gatherings that give employees a chance to problem solve together, share feedback or ask about each other’s experiences and advice. To inspire more creativity, encourage times of discovery, field trips and strategy thinking. Challenge employees to have fun innovating and “playing” with tasks and exploring within their roles. In care, celebrate health and wellness and bring in programs that incorporate exercises of work/life balance, self-care and stress management. Simply poll employees to see how you can better their working conditions, and be open to taking these actions. “Hiring well” is extremely important and should be instilled into HR teams, since everyone uniquely contributes to the culture. Whether you schedule in more team building activities or wellness programs, or make physical changes to work areas, there are thousands of little improvements and ideas that can be incorporated to elevate a positive culture.
Yes, expansion is about achieving visions, exceeding revenue goals and bringing in resources that are needed to help grow. Equally important is embodying an attitude of expansion that might bring your company outside a structured comfort zone. To fully expand and evolve, companies must be open to changing with the world around them. We have a rapidly evolving workforce where, according to an Inuit study, 40% of workers will be freelancers or consultants by 2020. People are finding ways to package and sell their unique skills, trade or wisdom, or are starting businesses more aligned with their interests. This is creating more freelancers, consultants, coaches and entrepreneurs than ever before. It is also becoming more popular for companies to offer the idea of “unlimited vacation days” as long as results and team collaboration remain strong. These examples are segmented towards employee relations, but the lesson here is allowing the company to ebb and flow with the times, because they are a changin’!
Practice Tips: Take inspiration from domestic and international companies who are progressive in their practices and company structures. Recognize old methods and systems that might be slowing things down in operations and take the necessary steps to move them along. Being strong in mission and values, yet adaptable to innovations and advancements, is great advice in both business and personal life.
For more information on elevating your employee experience visit essentialsofelevation.com/company-wellness.