Today is the fifth and final day of Global Leaders in WellBeing Week and the last day of the Leaders in WellBeing – Re-imagined 2020 Summit. Beverley Le Cuirot takes a look at the week and what the insights of its many experts herald for the future.
The summit brought together experts from the world of psychology, medicine, mental health, physical and holistic fitness, workplace wellbeing and leadership, over 30 speakers each delivering powerful messages to help us reflect on our own respective workplace strategies and to inspire us to re-imagine what wellbeing might look like going forward. Some shared heart rending stories of lived experience, others gave us the benefit of expertise gained over many years in their chosen profession; all made an impact.
One particular presentation which looked at the considerable knowledge gained over the years through their research studies with millions of people on the subject of wellbeing, thriving lives and thriving organisations was shared by Claire de Carteret. Claire is the Regional Director for Europe Middle East & Asia (EMEA) at Gallup Business.
The information shared by Claire was clear. People with thriving wellbeing simply do better in life. And companies with thriving employees do better business.
People with thriving wellbeing simply do better in life. And companies with thriving employees do better business
The workplace influences every element of our wellbeing. And organisations which believe employing a person means employing the whole person are poised for better, stronger partnerships with their employees. And, as we often say, individuals who actively participate in their own wellbeing journey, supported by their employer will create outcomes other companies cannot match.
The pandemic has renewed attention on wellbeing and caused everyone the world over to embark on a new journey focused on wellbeing. It has also brought renewed attention to wellbeing in the workplace. Gallup show us that employees with thriving wellbeing are more engaged and resilient and it follows that if leaders effectively redefine their partnerships with employees, the post-pandemic world will sustain high performance like never before.
Of course, wellbeing isn’t just about being happy or physically fit. It’s about everything that is important to each of us and how we experience our lives. “A life well-lived” means something different to every person. By studying 98% of the world’s population, Gallup uncovered the common elements of wellbeing that need to be fulfilled for people to thrive. This includes physical, career, social, financial and community wellbeing.
As people pause and reflect during this crisis, their wellbeing takes on new meaning. And companies should be ready for that shift if they want to stay relevant, competitive and thriving. Not only is wellbeing essential, the right thing to do for our employees and citizens, it has shown to be critical to a high functioning business, and a major contributing factor to positive social and economic recovery.
We have experienced this for ourselves in the work that we do here in Jersey, and more recently with the WellBeing Pilot we ran for Small Business Owners. Although only for a three month duration, the impact this Pilot scheme had on participating business owners showed categorically that our focus on wellbeing reduced stress, and helped them to remain calm and clear headed enabling them to think through the issues facing their businesses.
The pandemic has changed our view about not only wellbeing, but also compassionate leadership. Never before has it been so important for leaders to reach out to their people and to authentically ask them how they are. We may have lost the physical connection but the emotional connection is more important than ever.
Having said this, governments and employers cannot mandate the need to take care of one’s own health and wellbeing, they are facilitators. It is the responsibility of each individual as to how they choose to live their lives. The pandemic, catastrophic as it has been, has raised the collective awareness of the importance of good health and wellbeing and this is something which individuals have taken to heart.
The onus is on each one of us to take personal responsibility for our own wellbeing
The onus is most definitely on each one of us to take personal responsibility for our own wellbeing, for as Sir Richard Branson said at a recent online conference which I was fortunate to attend, ‘Most of the problems in the world can be fixed if every individual determinedly finds the time for themselves, for the health of their bodies, and they maintain a healthy work-life balance, supported by their family, friends or community.’
This in turn is augmented when businesses are led from the front by compassionate leaders, actively listening to their employees and customers, to ensure people feel safe, seen, heard, and valued. And this trend will continue. A business can only be distinguished by its people, its culture and its service – and wellbeing is integral to all three.
If an organisation’s workforce remains healthy, calm and focused during crises, and as leaders we act with authenticity, kindness and compassion, we will be able to lead and engage our people more effectively. And this will make our businesses more resilient.
The final word goes to Sue Fox, CEO of main overall summit sponsor, HSBC in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man who said: “The conference has brought together a fantastic range of experts. It’s important to keep wellbeing at the top of our agenda and be inspired to introduce better practices into our workplaces and lives.”