I hope you’ve had a good week. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my new grandson and getting lots of cuddles. He’s 12 days old today and is the most delicious, content little baby. I’m looking forward to having some time next year to be Nana. It’s definitely time for me to spend a little less time working and a little more time playing.
Work/Life Balance just happens to be our theme this month at Simply Natural. At this time of the year, when people start thinking about having a break over summer, they often realise how hard they’ve been working all year and how tired they are. According to the latest census, we’re actually working 30 mins less a week than we used to but I don’t actually think that the time you spend at work is a good indication of work-life balance.
I think a much better thing to measure is how happy you are. As I mentioned last week, if you’re unhappy at work it will take a huge toll on your health. It will also take a toll on your family and friends. If work is draining you physically or emotionally it’s pretty hard to give from an empty cup.
One of the things I want to talk to you about today is wellbeing at work. A colleague of mine runs corporate training sessions to teach business owners and CEOs about taking responsibility for not just the physical health and safety of their staff, but their mental and emotional safety, their psychological health. If staff are threatened, bullied or undermined in the workplace it can be just as serious as neglecting to put safety guards on dangerous equipment.
The culture of a workplace, whether its supportive, co-operative and safe or if it’s competitive, cutthroat and authoritarian will impact the well-being of the employees. If there’s a risk of being made redundant or of not meeting deadlines or sales targets then everyone will be stressed. If there’s an issue with bullying or harassment it will take its toll.
Now, a certain amount of stress can be motivating but chronic stress will reduce performance, productivity and creativity in the workplace. Happy staff are much more likely make a business more successful and profitable.
Author, Simon Sinek, teaches about leadership. His mission in life is to change workplace culture so it becomes the norm for people to love their work. And this isn’t necessarily about the type of work you do, it’s much more about how the atmosphere at work and the relationships between workmates and colleagues can either nourish or destroy your soul.
Whether a workplace is nurturing or destructive is dependent on the leadership.
A good leader will…
- Understand that staff morale is just as important as the balance sheet
- Set an example of kindness and fairness
- Be emotionally intelligent and respectful
- Serve their employees so they can be their best
- Listen to their employees
- Be clear and consistent
- Ensure employees feel safe
- Praise others when things go well
- Be self-reflective when things don’t go well
So, whether you’re a boss or an employee, shifting your expectations about how a workplace can be and sharing Simon’s vision can perhaps start to change our consciousness. When enough of us believe that everyone has the right to look forward to going to work and enjoy being there, maybe we will begin to see it.
by Alison Burton
Director Simply Natural Therapies
Alison lives Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs and runs a Natural Health Centre with 15 practitioners, an extensive range of classes including and a retail shop. Alison offers a FREE 60-minute Health and Wellbeing Consultation to clarify your needs and design a strategy to help you achieve your health and well-being goals