Why You Should Implement The ‘Thrive Global’ Ethos Into Your Business
Originally posted on LS4 Events.
In our current world of internet-obsessed, addictive, fast-paced workaholism driven by new technologies and the struggle to keep up with our ever-increasing demands — in an era where those age-old lines of ‘work time’ and ‘personal time’ are becoming more and more blurred, it’s clear that the four core values of ‘Thrive Global’ (Wisdom, Wonder, Well Being And Giving Back) are a necessity to stay on top in today’s climate.
Ultimately, these four principles begin in the workplace. If we adopt them, we’ll stop bad habits and vibes from following us home. Whilst it is down to us to take responsibility and to take control of our lives, employers play a huge part, too. And the reason they play a huge part is because employees have to submit to their employer’s work culture.
With France banning post-shift email-checking, and with Sweden adopting a 6-hour working day, we’ve already seen how businesses and the Government can inspire and enforce positive change, and as an employer, you can too. The people of France and Sweden are getting their minds, their self control, and their happiness back.
And we need it in other countries, too.
As mental health problems, sleep deprivation, job dissatisfaction, productivity fatigue, physical/mental burnout and exhaustion increases, we have witnessed the colossal rise in meditation, exercise, digital detoxing and dieting — a true indicator that people have had enough and want to change their lifestyles to avoid these pitfalls. They’re taking back control, and this is a good thing.
But to avoid any self doubt that may arise during this article, let’s answer the one big question that you’ve most likely got in your head right now: ‘As an employer, what’s in it for me? Why should I change my company culture?’ The answers are simple. I’ll tell you my story.
One of the reasons I quit employment back in 2013, was because I hated the conventional corporate structure and the strict rules in place (such as being told when I’m allowed to have my lunch break, how long it should be, when I can take my holiday, and how long that should be).
And with the meteoric rise in entrepreneurial culture where more and more people are getting sick of these corporate structures too, forcing them to set up their own businesses so that they can live on their own terms, work less, and earn more than you can afford to pay them in a salary, candidate attraction and retention will only become more difficult as time goes by.
And the reason why, is because most really gifted people work for themselves. With that in mind, if you want people to work for you, you need to give them a reason to want to do so that goes above and beyond the traditional ‘good salary’ offer.
The Huffington Post have installed beds in their head office. Why haven’t you? In my new business, LS4 Events, I have decided to implement some of the ‘Thrive Global’ ethos into our ‘Employer Values,’ and I’ll explain the benefits and give you some ideas to take back to the office.
Freedom and Flexibility In the Workplace
In this day and age, we have an increasing amount of demands to keep up with, whether that’s paying the bills, buying that special food from the health food store, or something else.
Most employers expect their staff to do these things on their lunchbreak or at the weekend, meaning that their employees don’t have much free time to rest and enjoy life, creating job dissatisfaction, burnout, lower productivity and depression. Do you think that’s a good thing for your bottom line?
The answer is ‘no.’
I believe that all staff should be able to run these small errands during the work day. I do it during my working hours, and I still get everything done, and it means I have my evenings and weekends completely free. And no. It doesn’t impact my productivity. A five minute walk to the bank helps me to refocus. Imagine if your whole team felt the same way…
A Strong Focus On Staff Wellbeing
In this day and age, we want our staff to work unpaid overtime; to respond to urgent emails at the weekend, and to be the last ones to leave the office. But what impact does that have on their health?
And for those who enjoy meditation and/or exercise, they have to get up at 5AM to squeeze these activities in before their shift, meaning that they’re sleep deprived. Or, the alternative is that they have to do these activities in the evening after their shift, meaning that they’re tired and most likely unsatisifed due to less free downtime. Do you think that’s a good thing for your bottom line?
What if we let our staff meditate or exercise for 3o minutes during the day as an addition to their much needed lunch break? Surely, that would create higher productivity and more profit for your business, right? And it would reduce depression. Well in that case, why aren’t we doing it, then?
Making Friends With Our Colleagues
I hate the words ‘colleague’ and ‘acquaintance.’
These words suggest that we should limit our relationship potential with our work buddies to ‘business only,’ so that we can remain ‘professional’ out of fear of looking like we don’t value our job enough, or to keep the false illusion of status and heiroarchy in place. Whatever happened to the managing director becoming best friends with the cleaner?
Oh that’s right. They’re too busy.
I believe that meaningful connections and bonds with people at work across all areas of the business creates a much more transparent and smooth corporate structure that breeds ideas, flexibility, creativity, dynamics, happiness, productivity, and… profit. So why aren’t we doing it, then?
Giving People A Chance
How many times have you hired and fired someone during their probation period because they ‘didn’t fit in to your company culture?’ Was that a sneaky way of saying that you didn’t like them? I think that sometimes managers use this as a quick fix solution to a problems, not realising that if they took the time to truly understand their stuff, their results would change.
In my experience, managers often blame their staff for problems, when really, they need to take responsbility for failing to get the best out of them. It’s time to get out of denial culture and get back into ‘taking responsibility and leadership’ culture. There’s no excuses.
Supporting Dreams And Passions
Most people have a passion outside of work, but the entire financial system is built in a way where people must work to live. Retiring isn’t an option for most (unless you’re very wealthy), but if you ask most employees what they’d rather be doing, I can guarantee you they’d answer with a unique interest or passion, whether that’s acting, sport, theatre, art, music or something else.
I know out of experience that when work saps our time and energy to the point where we can’t truly pursue those passions, it creates unhappiness, a lack of motivation, and sometimes depression, or a lack of purpose in life. If we want to truly nurture our staff, we must find out what makes them tick and support them in their dreams.
That may mean letting them take 30 minutes out of work to go to that singing lesson, or letting them have additional leave to do that theatre tour. Happiness = more productivity = lower staff turnover and more profit.
Why We Aren’t Doing It
The reason we aren’t doing these things, is because we’re stuck in a rut of complacency and we don’t know any better (yet).
As a nation, we have gotten complacent in deeply ingrained structures that were put in place almost 100 years ago. But just like technology, times change, and so does employment culture, especially as new scientific discoveries are made that show us a better way to achieve the same goals.
Just like we can now use Uber to order our taxi because it’s more efficient, we must wake up and realise that there is a better way to go about achieving results in work and business, because ultimately, we are paying the consquences financially, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.
How To Start Doing It
To avoid overwhelm, and to successfully implement some of these principles into our business without hitting obstacles or failure, the key is to try one small thing at a time. Baby steps.
Maybe you could run a new ‘trial’ at work, where you’ll let staff run their daily errands during their shift and monitor the results over a period of a few weeks. By putting a deadline on when this trial should end, it’ll allow you to return to normal if it doesn’t work out. But it will work out, and you’ll soon see that for yourself if you have the courage to try it.
So let’s get out of a 100-year old mindset and start mixing things up. I can promise that you won’t regret it or, or look back.