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"Well-being is more of a buzzword than we've ever seen before. Well-being in the workplace is constantly climbing up the agenda the war for talent is on and there's more well-being solutions available to us than we've ever seen before probably in human history so if you're in charge of people of leading a team or guiding a business chances are that well-being is probably quite high up on your agenda but where do we even start how do we go about it how do we think about it.
My name is Mike, I'm from better happy and what I want to take you through today in this short video is an overview of the right approach to well-being, why most businesses and teams are getting it wrong and how to do it better. Why is well-being in the workplace so important? Well if we look back to the industrial revolution it didn't used to be. We used to put people into jobs to do repetitive tasks for as long as possible until they got too old or too sick and then we replaced them with somebody else.
We treated them like machines and that used to work, rightly or wrongly so however we're in a different time now and that approach no longer works. Jobs are more mentally demanding now so you can't just rely on people doing repetitive tasks. We need people to be creative we need people to solve problems. We need people to be customer facing. If they're not well they're not going to be able to do that so performance is going to go down and stress is going to go up. Our lifestyles are becoming more and more comfortable but also more and more unhealthy, more sedentary, less organic food more processed food more time on social media and in front of the phone so health is actually declining outside of work.
Even though our lives are becoming more comfortable and in theory a higher quality we've now got an option to survive without working. This is a completely new thing. Historically back in the industrial revolution and back in the early 1900s if you didn't work you were going to die and before that as well whereas now if you're sick or you're not enjoying your work you can just go off from work and you will be able to survive. Maybe not with the highest quality of lifestyle but you'll be able to survive nonetheless. And of course people have got choice of jobs now so if they don't like the job that you're giving to them or you're not looking after them or they feel that the work they're doing is taking away from their quality of life they've always got the option to leave. Historically that wasn't really the case so we were set up to just rely on people taking their jobs appreciating them and doing the same stuff and over and over again without worrying about them leaving, but no longer does that work.
So most modern businesses will be made or broken dependent on how happy their people are. How happy how engaged how much they want to stick around how much they want to do their work. How much they're capable of doing that work if you can nurture a team that can be happy and perform your business is probably going to grow if you're unable to hold on to people and keep them productive chances are your business is going to struggle. What most businesses do when they start to struggle with well-being because well-being is an increasing problem because of some of the reasons i've just talked about mainly being because lifestyle's changing becoming more unhealthy and the symptoms of that present themselves at work. What a lot of businesses do is they ignore this until it becomes an issue and then they have what we call a knee-jerk reaction. They come up with solutions such as putting on yoga classes, gym memberships giving people access to videos telling them how to be healthy meditation classes etc etc. I'm not saying that these things are wrong but what i am saying is they're probably not the right initial solution and they're probably a knee-jerk solution. If you think about it the people that are normally struggling with their well-being the most aren't the kind of people that are actually going to respond very well to these things. People that are that will respond to these things tend to be people that already prioritize and look after their health hence the reason when most businesses put on gym memberships to address well-being the people that are already healthy use them the people that are struggling don't... it's kind of obvious so it's not a very good solution if we think about it on the surface
Now a lot of businesses see well-being as a challenge and I think this is incorrect. I think well-being is an opportunity for businesses and if we look here we've got a image of maslow's hierarchy of needs. This is a well-known widely accepted psychological model that shows us what a human needs and how they progress throughout their life so once they've got their physiological needs at the bottom there they'll move to safety needs and without going into too much detail on this chart what we can essentially see is the workplace is an ideal place to provide the higher echelons of this chart so once somebody's got their safety and their and their physiological needs they want friendships which of course we can get from work and out of work and then we move into esteem so getting closer to the top of the chart now and it's where people want to know that they're good competency mastery they want to know that they're good at something that they've got some value that they're able to contribute to the world and most of us do that through our work so this is pivotal to somebody's well-being and for most people they're only going to find this at work or predominantly going to find it at work and again if we go to the top we've got utilizing talents pursuing goals utilizing abilities these are all things that can be done and should be done in the workplace so if you look at your workplace and think of it as a challenge the well-being you're probably looking at the wrong way actually people come to work not just to get paid but to find these higher levels of maslow's hierarchy of needs which is essentially what gives a human their ultimate level of well-being so don't look at your business your team whatever it is you do as a barrier to well-being look at it as a stepping stone to increase well-being that's got a few challenges so we've accepted that well-being at work's important we've accepted that if we don't address it we're probably going to lose our staff and our business is going to suffer and we've also accepted that actually our business is a great place to improve well-being but how do we go about the challenges that we face well first of all you need to stop looking at well-being on its own okay it doesn't work on its own so health typically what we look at as well being is one component then we've got engagement then we've got performance if one of those things isn't there it doesn't matter how hard you focus on the other the the improvements aren't going to come so essentially how do your staff know how to be healthy and this is where most people start they look at it and they go okay right they've got bad backs they're stressed let's give them some training around that okay but we've also got to look at engagement do my staff actually enjoy their work until they feel valued at work and can and performance how are my staff able to do their jobs well whilst maintaining a work-life balance so if you're answering no to performance and engagement and then you're just trying to throw loads of well-being solutions at it never going to work because i could give somebody all the tips in the world on how to be healthier but if they're knackered by their job and they feel stressed and burnt out because of their job it doesn't matter does it it's not going to make any difference so we've got to answer all those questions and we've got to ask our staff all of those questions.
Once we've asked those questions we can start to look at okay how do we address the components how do we actually improve it okay so when it comes to health we tend to look at movement nutrition sleep and stress management when it comes to engagement we've got strategic narrative which is essentially do my com do my staff know why my company exists and what we're here to achieve to my man do we have engaging managers so are they supported do the employees have a voice are they listened to and is their integrity are our core values and our vision and our values all live by by all of the staff or are we saying one thing and doing another and then we need to look at performance as well so are my staff able to enjoy work-life balance whether these other things as well uh are they able to achieve sustainable results do they embrace leadership mindsets as they go up through the ranks and are they able to build systems and processes as opposed to just doing work so often what we see is that when staff go into more senior roles that's when well-being starts to plummet now if their well-being was great before that the chances are that it's not a lack of knowledge around how to be healthy that's causing the issues it's a lack of how to do that how to handle the increased stress of the job so when people go to senior roles we need to make sure they receive training on how to shift from just doing hard work because that's what they've been promoted for and recognized for to how to help others to do that work how to build systems how to build processes so when we look at it like this we start to see that they all feed each other and if you're ignoring one or any of them at the expense of another it won't work and i think the most common problem we see as well being's an issue bringing somebody to the yoga classes bringing someone to do fitness classes give everybody gym passes give everybody vouchers have it one day off a year and say it's because you've worked so hard and that's going to solve all the problems it won't okay that's actually going to cost you more money and time and stress than actually just stepping back and looking at it and asking these simple questions so if you are in charge of a team or you're going into a role where you might be in charge of a team or you're running a business whatever it might be if your role requires you to get the most out of people and support them and well-being's on your agenda probably should be then before you get too lost in the details and the solutions and all the different providers simply ask yourself and ask your staff these three questions do they know how to be healthy do they feel valued at work and are they able to enjoy their work and do they know how to do their jobs well ask those questions ask your staff those questions and you're going to get more insight into what you need to do to sustainably improve well-being in your workplace and more improvement from asking those questions then you are by spending any amount of money with somebody that's got the ideal solution so you've probably got the answers there that your staff have got the answers there but the key takeaway from this is don't just think about it as health think about your workplace as being a provider of well-being something that can help people improve their well-being and their self-worth and their value and the way they do that is yes by knowing how to be healthy by actually enjoying the work and feeling that they're valued at their work and by knowing how to do their jobs especially as they step up into more senior leadership positions i hope that's been helpful for you if you have got any questions or any insights or if you've just got any tips that you want to share then please don't hesitate to like share or comment."