The COVID experience has had much to teach us about how wellness practices are integral to the way we work and ways that we can improve our approach to our work to optimize and succeed, even in times of challenge, change, and uncertainty.
While every industry is unique, there are certain things that commonly support efficient work habits and develop healthier, more engaged teams.
In my previous experience within a corporate leadership role, I took a job and transformed it into a department; a thriving team of over 10 employees within 8 months. This team was able to function as a self-sustaining organism, operational without the need for constant micromanagement. It freed me up as the director of the department to go on to further other creative endeavors and generate new opportunities for my company.
This didn’t happen overnight and required supportive mentorship for a couple of months. That initial investment paid off supremely well. 💪💪
This quick read will help you fast track your results, without spending the time to learn and test what works on your own. You'll find the keys to my success in supporting and creating healthy, functional teams. There is SO much value in this.
Here are a few keys to success in supporting and creating healthy, functional teams from what I’ve learned. Spoiler: these things are very focused on developing the individual, and may appear to be non-standard. That's exactly the point.
Set some 1:1 meetings about the person, not the role. This is very important and will show your team member that they are a valued part of a whole. In addition to team meetings, set up once monthly or quarterly video or face-to-face sessions with each member of your team and their respective management to talk about what that employee’s experience at work has like been personally; such as their view on current projects, what they do to help them keep a balance between work and life, and how they would like to advance within their role at the company and what you as a supervisor or authority figure could do to help. Wait, more meetings?! How could that make us more productive you ask? Just ONE of these 30-minute sessions is enough to help build connection and trust between you and your employees. You may get to the heart of any lingering productivity issues that normally they would not express or would lack clarity in multiple emails or chats.
These sessions were invaluable to the growth and support of my team and helped me understand our work from a different perspective. It fostered a deep sense of loyalty to me as a supervisor and kept me connected to issues that would perhaps have slipped out of my concentration with my many other work responsibilities.
2. Carve out time for wellness in the workweek. Arranging for your employees to spend time centering themselves and performing activities that would help them be more productive means serious benefits for you. This can include a weekly complimentary yoga class, mindfulness training, or sessions with a nutritional therapist to help them improve personally. These sessions can be set over ZOOM or Skype and won't affect work times. “Significantly greater improvements were found in measures of burnout and decreased stress…[and] greater increases in team climate, organizational climate and personal performance were reported during the intervention”
3. Team-centric activities are integral to building a cohesive dynamic. Organizing volunteer activities, team dinners, or wellness activities such as yoga or meditation classes for your employees can foster a sense of community. Employees that know each other well tend to work faster and more efficiently since they understand the nature and unique working styles of the team they are a part of. Part of the explanation behind this is something called prosocial motivation.
“[This] highlights the social aspect of work by emphasizing individuals' concerns about how their actions can affect others' well-being. Prosocially motivated individuals are described as givers who are concerned primarily with contributing benefits to others, rather than calculating personal returns”. Field studies and lab research show that “the greater the motivation to benefit others, the higher the levels of cooperation and viability and the higher the subsequent team performance.”
These things are built when teams can actually connect, and this doesn’t always happen when they are busy doing their work. It also doesn’t easily happen when they are working remotely, which is only going to become more commonplace.
Over 47% of employees polled say they would actually take a pay cut to work more from home. This is why creating positive wellbeing touchpoints in your employee experience ever-more key to fostering a sense of connection. Group mind|body awareness classes are easy to set up over platforms like Zoom and can shift your staff's relationship to the way they work, helping with focus and better executive-functioning and decision-making.
4. Mindfulness training will improve your team’s ability to focus, be creative, and produce excellent results. It gives the brain a superhuman advantage. Meditation enhances our ability “to improve our ability to sustain attention and decrease external and internal distractions”, and it can also support learning and working memory capacity, (this is like human RAM). It can also foster problem-solving capability and reduce the tendency toward cognitive rigidity. “The more a person continues to practice mindfulness meditation regularly, the more open they are to bold and creative ideas.”
"Learning to be more mindful has a positive impact on yourself and those around you. Increased mindfulness leads to significant improvements in work relationships and friendships, due to communication and expression of emotions. After becoming more emotionally intelligent through meditation, relationships become easier and natural. In fact, people who meditate tend to show more acceptance towards each other and can create more welcoming and holistic work environments."
All of these things create better employees by focusing on the employees themselves. Some of the most rewarding work I have ever done has been to foster and grow teams. The transformational effects of adding wellness-based activities to your toolbox can not be overstated. We must invest in individuals to build better teams. There is very little financial cost overall to bringing in a wellness consultant to help support your business growth, and the returns are evergreen. by giving them the burden of supporting the people who grow your business.
Corporate wellness programs can reduce healthcare costs, and in a comprehensive review of over 100 studies on the benefits of corporate wellness, almost every single one found a positive return on investment.
They not only improve productivity, but also decrease employee turnover and training costs, decrease absenteeism, and sustain morale. Additionally, they aid in the recruitment of high-quality candidates, who now all expect in 2020 to find positive health benefits within their workplace, or they look somewhere else.
Individual coaching is fantastic for getting personal wellness results, and hiring a wellness consultant to help you improve the health, connectedness, and productivity of your team is one the best investments you can make in your future success. The data is so clear. The results are real.
BLOOM has a developed team and group coaching plan that can be completely customized to the needs of your organization. You can learn more here. If you are considering your options and want to learn more, book a call with BLOOM today to see how the mind|body approach can be tailored to your organizational needs. In just a few minutes we can outline what some areas for growth are for your team and you will walk away with actionable tools and steps to take, and it is completely complimentary.