The recent CIPD report on wellbeing is telling us that absence costs organisations £554 per person, per year, on average. That’s a huge loss especially in the non-profit sector where funding is increasing tight. A key message in the report is to increase awareness of the wellbeing gap with only 8% of companies having a dedicated wellbeing and health strategy. I’ve seen evidence of this still being disguised within ‘Absence Management’ with recommended performance management conversations, instead of people focussed conversations. What are we afraid of? Caring about people?

A call from the report is that managers can make decisions with wellbeing in mind; aim to be proactive rather than reactive. To become a regular behaviour this needs to be embedded in the beliefs of those making decisions – that’s everyone – and especially so modelled by those who make more impactful decisions. I’ve also noticed this again recently: what you say is overridden by how you act, the latter being guided by what you believe. You can say that you fully regard wellbeing as important in your decision making, and then… your decision making will speak for itself.

There are many different types of people who turn up for work. I get that some just want a job they can turn up, do, go home (however, when you’re dedicated to developing others this is a hard one. I do think there is always room for growth. It’s just not always obvious what is, or what/where the need and motivation lies).

I’m very lucky to be surrounded by a team of Learning and Development Advisors hired for attitude, passion for Addaction and good learning and a drive for excellence in their practise. Very fortunate, or good recruitment. And I wonder about when people are too engaged. What does that mean for wellbeing? When people are driven with a sharp work ethic and commitment to high performance. It means supporting a mid-morning break for yoga class, or taking their partner to Cornwall whilst they deliver training down there, or having a lie-in and logging on at the right time for them (whether that’s 6am, 1pm or sunday afternoon) or logging off at 3pm because they’re burned for the day; playing to your own energy. Make work work for you. We recently had two new additions to the team, who fully fit the dedication described above. Yet during induction with each as we discussed expectations, and they felt the shift (I saw this physically manifest in a mixture of relief, ease and discomfort) from their previous way of working I found myself reflecting on how ‘lazy’ it sounds to someone looking in. As I’m writing this I’m wondering what you’re thinking too. A brilliant CIPD bod said to me yesterday on requesting input for a media article that he wanted examples of “‘how-tos’ from organisations who genuinely do”. Don’t just read Pink, Coplin, Covey, Kline (or whoever’s thoughts fill you with inspiration) do it.

The thing is, I’ve spent a lot of time in 1:1s talking about wellbeing, and self-care. Questions like: Looking at your calendar for this month (self-planned), would you plan that for your colleague? when you do those 3 consecutive days of delivery with overnight stays, when are you going to take your TOIL back? What will you do to debrief and relax after each day when you’re away? What time is too early for getting up in the morning…what’s another option?

It strikes me that wellbeing begins with wellbeing for yourself. Self-care, consideration and attention to mainting our own energies (ref Coveys First Things First) for the fire within to be at its brightest and for our actions to be ‘true north’; aligned and representative of our believes, about wellbeing. About my wellbeing. And about your wellbeing.

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