Last week, I happened to bump into a friend who runs his own medical practice and got chatting about the onslaught of health issues affecting the working population. He was concerned about how most people view physical health as the absence of disease or ailment rather than a state of optimum wellbeing.
It was a very interesting and valid point, and got me thinking about how similar organisations are to the humans. As long as their bottom line is intact and revenue targets are being met, most of them don’t really show a keen interest the wellbeing of their employees.
A 2015 employee engagement study by Engaged Strategy shows that 69% employees don’t feel valued at work and 32% are stressed by demanding work environments, and still, there’s been no increase in employee engagement in the last few years.
However, when organisations find that attrition is on the rise or productivity is going downhill, they desperately look for quick fix solutions to re-engage their employees. If only popping a pill could solve all our problems.
The organisational body
Just like the human body, organisational health is not a natural state of being and takes sustained effort to reach and maintain. A few days a month in the gym, a crash diet or a yoga session once in a while just won’t cut it.
Whether it’s personal or organisational, building health is a continuous process and there are no short-cut programs that can deliver any lasting effect.
If we consider the Executive to be the brain and organisational values the heart, then employees are cells that help the body perform its functions.
While the body can function even if a majority of the cells are not performing optimally (a.k.a. disengaged employees), it definitely cannot be considered to be a healthy state of being.
An exercise in Positivity
Health is the result of a combination of factors but the one thing you cannot discount is the value of exercise. You can eat right, sleep right, and sit right, but without exercise, reaching optimum health is just not possible.
So how does one get an entire organisation to collectively ‘exercise’ their way to health?
One of the best ways to do this is by helping employees build life skills that enhance their work experience. Job skills and technical skills are like the nutrition that is essential to perform everyday activities, however, engagement happens only when employees feel happy, optimistic, creative, and resilient.
Engagement is a state of proactive involvement with your work and life in general. And like physical health, it takes some time to build and effort to sustain.
Scientific studies in Positive Psychology have proven that positive behavioural changes that are built over time help people become happier and more focused on achieving their goals.
The recently launched e-learning platform, Potentia, which I recommend to all my clients, is a simple yet effective way to help organisations drive engagement in a sustainable manner.
It costs as little as a cappuccino per employee per month while providing a wealth of scientifically proven techniques to build wellbeing based on Positive Psychology and neuroscience.
In a 30-day Potentia pilot case study, employees reported:
Imagine what would your organization look like if it started using Potentia?
Potentia courses are designed for developmental learning wherein users choose a specific goal like Resilience or Creative Thinking, take ‘missions’ pertaining to that goal, which are then followed by activities based in real-life situations. All of which can be done in 5-15 minutes a day.
Potentia clients see it as giving employees access to a ‘mind gym’, where they build life skills that enable them to be productive, creative, resilient and just plain happy.
So, if you want your employees to be marathon runners, a great way to start is by getting them jog for 15 minutes a day. That’s Potentia for you.