Research continues to show that investing in wellbeing results in productivity and engagement improvements for organisations. This is good news, because most decisions made in the business world are based on a strong business case before investing, to achieve a return (ROI).
There is plenty of room for this investment to make a huge impact when we consider that ‘the annual cost to the UK economy from mental ill health equates to £15.1bn from Presenteeism and £8.4bn from Absenteeism’ (Centre for Mental Health)
So it’s clear that there’s a compelling reason for us to invest in Wellbeing – the question for organisations now is – WHERE and HOW do we invest for optimum wellbeing payback ???
Ask yourself this: “what kind of life would I wish for my children ?”
Many people would wish for a life filled with qualities such as happiness, fulfilment, contentment, love, achievement, personal growth, health or maybe friendship. Even though these are the elements of what a ‘good’ life may mean to us, we spend precious little time considering how to achieve them. After all, can you remember the last time you practised your ‘contentedness’ skills ? So for ease, let’s bring all of these elements together in the word ‘Well-being’. And if ‘well-being’ is what we want out of life, then surely there are some advantages to learning how to improve it ? Most of our formal learning takes place at school, and yet schools focus on passing exams for success in the workplace, rather than learning how to live happily. Similarly, if ‘well-being’ is what we want out of life then should we be electing governments who improve national well-being ? Imagine how different the world could be if governments placed the well-being of their people at the heart of their policies.
I’d been putting this moment off for as long as I could, but the escalating repair costs of my old car became too much for me to bear, and I finally succumbed. So I reluctantly visited a local car dealership and, as I walked into the showroom, I wondered whether I would enjoy this buying experience.
Recently I facilitated a careers workshop for a group of 6th form students who were making an important career decision. A show of hands revealed that 90% of the group had not yet decided whether they would apply to University, or head off in search of employment.
My objective for this workshop was to start their journey of self-awareness. The lesson plan involved the group thinking through their life experiences to-date, to figure out the activities that had given them skills and satisfaction.
The first thing I noticed was that the energy, quick wit and spontaneity of the group was refreshingly superior to the adult learners I was more familiar working with.
The results of the new study show that various supposedly ‘incompatible’ measures of our behaviour are often integrated. Stewart Desson, CEO of Lumina Learning says, “Gone are the days of typing people and boxing them in and labeling them. People can have seemingly different and opposite behavioural qualities and at Lumina we embrace this paradox giving us a fuller view of who they really are.”
Ask most leaders within organisations and they’ll give a similar response – they would love to be able to energise and reward their people with some sort of team building event, but the workload is too intense at the moment, and the cost is ‘something we can’t afford right now’. Yet intuitively we know that humans learn through playing, doing and experiencing better than any other method.
This week I had a customer anniversary – one year of delivering a broad spectrum of leadership & management skills to scores of first line managers for my client. I reflected back on all of the different characters and personalities that I had enjoyed working with.
My reflections brought me to a question: ‘what more I could have done to assist the small number of managers in the ‘drowning-not-waving’ category’. Those managers who couldn’t see the wood for the trees, or had a team that they could see no way of uniting, or maybe lacked the self confidence to lead.