Next week the Institute of Leadership and Management celebrates its annual International Leadership Week. To celebrate the event, every day Channel Eye will be featuring articles exploring different aspects of leadership and what makes an effective leader.
Our International Leadership Week features will be sponsored by Jersey-based WellBeing World. Today, Beverley Le Cuirot, Founder of WellBeing World and WellBeing At Work explains how vital wellbeing-driven leadership is for the success of your business.
In our modern world, leaders face increasing pressures to deliver results quickly, often at the expense of their own wellbeing and that of their employees. However, research shows that leaders who prioritise wellbeing – for themselves and others – not only create a healthier work environment but also drive sustainable business success. This article explores how wellbeing-driven leadership can create a positive impact on the overall performance of a business.
Leadership and wellbeing are two areas that have been an integral part of my career for many years. Having spent 30 years in leadership roles across various sectors, I have seen first-hand the importance of effective leadership in driving success. Add to this, I have specialised in wellbeing for the past 12 years or more and have seen its critical role in our personal and professional lives. Now, I believe it is time for these two areas to intersect, and for wellbeing-driven leadership to become the new standard.
What is wellbeing-driven leadership and why is it so important?
Wellbeing-driven leadership prioritises the creation of positive work environments, trusted relationships with employees, and a healthy work-life balance. It involves empowering employees to take ownership for their own wellbeing, and providing them with the necessary resources, policies and procedures to support them in their work and to improve their health and happiness. It also calls for middle managers to be supported, trained appropriately in people-management skills, and held accountable for the way they treat their people.
When employees are healthy, happy and engaged, they are more productive, innovative and loyal. They are also less likely to experience burnout, absenteeism and turnover. In today’s high-stress work environment, this is more critical than ever. Burnout, stress and mental health issues are all on the rise, and organisations that do not prioritise employee wellbeing risk losing their top talent and negatively impacting their bottom line. This is where wellbeing-driven leadership comes in.
When employees are healthy, happy and engaged, they are more productive, innovative and loyal.
Wellbeing-driven leadership can impact business success through improved productivity and performance, reduced absenteeism and turnover, increased creativity and innovation, and enhanced reputation and brand. When employees feel heard, listened to, valued, supported, and cared for, they are more likely to be engaged, productive, and committed to the success of the organisation. This is the essence of wellbeing-driven leadership. It’s about creating a work environment that involves leaders taking a proactive approach to employee wellbeing, providing resources and support to help employees maintain their
physical, emotional and mental health, whilst also leading with purpose and impact.
The importance of leading with purpose and impact
Leading with purpose and impact is increasingly important in the modern workplace. It involves aligning personal and organisational values, creating a clear mission and vision, promoting a shared sense of purpose and direction that inspires employees to do their best work and to contribute to the success of the organisation.
Research shows that employees who feel a sense of purpose at work are more engaged, committed and productive. They are also more likely to stay with the organisation and recommend it to others. Purpose-driven organisations also tend to have a more positive impact on society and the environment, which can in turn enhance their reputation and brand.
Linking wellbeing-driven leadership and purpose
Wellbeing-driven leadership takes this sense of purpose a step further by prioritising the wellbeing of employees. When leaders prioritise wellbeing, they lead with compassion and create a culture where employees feel valued, supported and empowered. This creates a sense of psychological safety where employees are comfortable speaking up, sharing new ideas, and taking calculated risks. This fosters a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, as employees are encouraged to challenge the status quo and experiment with new ways of doing things.
A strong sense of purpose can also enhance employee wellbeing. When employees feel that their work has meaning and is contributing to a larger purpose, they are more likely to feel engaged and fulfilled in their work. This can lead to a sense of personal satisfaction and a
greater sense of connection to their colleagues and to the organisation.
Compassionate leadership involves knowing each member of the team, and facilitating action to support employees as required. Leaders also need to provide employees with a clear understanding of where they fit in the organisation and how their work contributes to the overall whole.
Implementing wellbeing-driven leadership
To effectively implement wellbeing-driven leadership, leaders should prioritise employee wellbeing whilst at the same time creating a positive work environment that fosters collaboration, creativity, and innovation.
This involves providing the necessary resources and support to enable employees to do their job effectively, such as training and growth opportunities, clear expectations and boundaries, and providing regular feedback with caring candour.
Wellbeing-driven leadership also involves living the values of a healthy work-life balance, providing the necessary flexibility in working hours and a supportive work environment to guard against excessive stress and burnout. By wholeheartedly investing in employee wellbeing in this way, leaders can improve employee satisfaction whilst also demonstrating a commitment to their employees’ long-term health and success.
A critical component of business success
This is not just a ‘nice to have’, but a critical component of sustainable business success. Wellbeing-driven leadership and leading with purpose and impact go hand in hand. When leaders prioritise employee – and their own – wellbeing, and promote a sense of purpose and meaning, they create a positive work environment which leads to improved business outcomes and sustainable business success.
Leaders of all organisations, large and small, have this opportunity. The choice is yours.
Beverley Le Cuirot FRSPH is the Founder of WellBeing World and WellBeing At Work. WellBeing World was established in July 2011 in response to the needs of an ageing global population. Committed to promoting personal, corporate and societal wellbeing, it comprises a membership body for health and wellbeing practitioners and experts; WellBeing World magazine, now online; and the WellBeing At Work platform which provides consultancy services to organisations with a focus on employee and workplace wellbeing to create positive working environments and purposeful, meaningful work for all. For further information, Beverley can be contacted here.