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Refreshing and Corporate – Two Words I Never Thought I Would Use Together

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Refreshing and Corporate – Two Words I Never Thought I Would Use Together

I am working with a Corporate at the moment and it is refreshing.  And yes, I confess those are not two words I thought I would ever use in the same sentence.

When I worked as an employee in Corporate many millennia ago, emotions were talked about in hushed tones and generally in a negative way. A secret whispered conversation about how the boss was so difficult to get along with. How everyone dreaded coming to work because she made them feel so miserable.

Or a lunchtime gossip about how the sales person had broken down and how shocking it was for them to loose control. It didn’t matter that everyone was aware he was going through a particularly harrowing divorce… How could he bring that into work and expose everyone else his problems… So inappropriate. It was a completely different environment then.

Cynically it’s tokenism.

Now if I was being really cynical, I might consider my engagement as tokenism and as just a way for the organisation to tick the ‘wellness’ box. I have seen lots of that as well… a lot of money thrown at some training usually for upper management and once it is done no follow up, no ongoing support for their people and all the trained skills are lost over time However after a number of conversations specifically about ‘why’ they were interested in my services I am convinced.

It’s all about your focus.

The HR Manager received the bi-annual engagement results and they had ever so slightly slipped from ‘outstanding’ to ‘on the verge of outstanding’. This was the first time in the company’s history that there had been a decrease in engagement. It followed a period of extraordinary growth and expansion of the business, an unsettling and fraught time for any company.

Any other HR Manager might just put the results down to this unsettling time and ignore them but not the one I am dealing with. In her world, these results indicated that the wellness philosophy (driven by herself and her team and practised as a mantra within the business) was slipping and that somehow the company was not supporting it’s most precious asset – its people.

To be clear the engagement result did not herald a drop in revenue, quite the opposite. Therefore her response; to get support for her people was not based on a financial loss to the company or a knee-jerk reaction to how this might impact on her own performance review but fairly and squarely at a deeper understanding and appreciation for the loss that could happen if her people we not fully, proactively and happily engaged in their jobs and even more, in their lives.

She made the connection between her people’s personal and professional stress and their ability to produce future results for the business. I told you. Refreshing.

10 billion – a BIG chunk of change.

The cost to business in Australia is quoted as being anywhere between 10 to 15 billion dollars annually according to figures published in 2013. That’s a big chunk of change. Stress in all its’ forms and the absenteeism and presenteeism associated with stress are considered the main culprits.

This has been a growing figure. However, according to the ‘Stress and wellbeing Survey in Australia 2014 there have been some slight but never the less positive improvements since 2011. Depression and anxiety are the exception with no increase from the previous year but still maintaining higher levels than in 2011.

High levels of stress were predominantly attributed to personal and financial issues (women) and financial issues (men). Therefore it makes perfect sense to attend to your employees’ emotional well-being regardless of location to improve business productivity outcomes across the board.

Some of the results indicate that we are improving and our understanding of the importance or managing our emotional and physical wellbeing. I for one hope we are entering a new era of both business and personal responsibility taking for exactly that. And yes I have a vested interest of course but I have to say the idea of what we could accomplish as a global participant; as a nation and as individuals when we are in alignment physically, mentally and emotionally is just downright thrilling. It is also very exciting and an incredible opportunity for the planet because innovation and problem-solving increase exponentially without stress.

It starts with just one – YOU.

And it starts with just one. Just one ‘you’ taking care of yourself so you bring your awesomeness to everyone you interact with. Just one ‘HR Manager’ taking care of her teams so they do the same with their customers both internal and external to the business. Just one company having wellness at the core of its principals and then walking the talk and implementing wellness awareness, strategies and KPI’s.

I am so happy to be having this experience. It motivates me in my business. So it’s already working. As I said… Refreshing.

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