Reach Your Goals and Thrive Professionally
With Spring, often comes the urge to reinvigorate ourselves in all areas of our lives, and one of those is in the workplace. Some have set their eyes on that promotion, while others are looking to reskill themselves, become a robust networker or find a more fulfilling job. The common thread in all of these is the need for thriving and growing in the workplace.
Well-being can include mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and financial health. Holistic well-being is an essential goal that we should all aspire to; this will not only have a positive impact on our careers but inevitably on our personal lives too. Holistic well-being is the balance and inclusion of all the above types of well-being in different areas of our lives.
The more you work on your overall well-being, the better you become at facing the challenges of life. It is beneficial to face career and personal challenges with a holistic approach to well-being.
So how can you promote your overall well-being? Read on to get some tips to boost your well-being in the workplace and your personal life.
Tips On How To Work Towards Achieving Holistic Workplace Well-Being
Exercise at least 3 times a week
Exercise can be anything from a walk around your neighbourhood to a session in the gym or an early morning swim. Moving your body in whatever way feels best to you will help boost your spirits and keep your physical health in good shape.
Even fitting in walks throughout the day can help stretch your legs and give you a break from sitting at your desk all day.
Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a day
The importance of sleep cannot be overstated. It's essential for keen mental functioning and emotional well-being to rest your mind. Try to avoid screens right before bed, and set up an evening routine that promotes good sleep. This will leave you feeling energetic and alert for the day ahead.
Eat healthy food
We can all be tempted to go for the easy option during the day or after a long day at work. But processed and fast food doesn’t give us the nutrients and nourishment that we need. Of course, occasionally treating ourselves is important too, but try to set healthy eating habits for your work day. This will also ensure you don’t hit that after-lunch-slump and stay energetic throughout the day.
Many people also opt for meal prepping, if this is something you can do, as it takes the decision-making around meals out of each day and makes it easier to make healthy food choices.
Equally if not more important, is staying hydrated. And no, we don’t mean with five cups of coffee. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is essential, will help keep your energy levels up and your mental function sharp.
Now that we’ve covered the physical criteria, let’s move on to the emotional side of things.
First up, you want to practise gratitude every day. This means being grateful for the little joys in your life, the people that care, and the opportunities that present themselves. Being able to identify and acknowledge these is also a form of gratitude. We tend to focus on only the big wins in our life, but being grateful for the small things that bring you happiness is a great way to build a habit of gratitude.
Also, don’t wait for others to validate or acknowledge your achievements to feel grateful for them - it’s not about what others can see. It’s about what YOU want and need, and finding ways to access them.
Find your purpose
Make an effort to discover a sense of purpose and meaning in your life. Once you determine what drives you, focus your energy on those activities. Every person will find meaning and value in different things, and having goals to work towards will give you direction, and motivation which in turn promotes spiritual and mental well-being. A purpose can be big or small, it doesn’t need to change the world, it just needs to bring you joy and happiness.
On that note, it’s also crucial to look outside of yourself to the wider community. Individual well-being cannot exist in isolation. Helping others, whether in big or small ways can do huge amounts for our emotional, spiritual and mental well-being. This could come in the form of charity, doing a favour for a family member, or helping out the new starter at work. Living life generously will feed your soul and promote social well-being.
Seek out therapy when needed
Well-being is not about being 100% okay all of the time. That’s impossible! We all struggle, go through dips and need a bit of support at times. When you find your well-being dipping, consider seeking out a therapist who can help you work through your challenges and provide professional support. Therapy allows us to unburden ourselves of many of the destructive and unproductive thoughts we have, and to find more empowered ways of facing life’s challenges.
Have a monthly budget and be mindful of your day-to-day finances
Financial well-being is also a crucial part of the mix. Protecting your finances, minimising debt and spending within a budget will help you achieve financial well-being faster. If possible, also set your savings aside at the beginning of each month to prevent yourself from overspending. This will help create a buffer should any unexpected expenses pop up.
How Managers Can Promote Holistic Wellness
According to the SHRM Foundation ‘employee health status directly influences work behaviour, attendance, and on-the-job performance. High-performance companies clearly understand the human-capital-driven health and work behaviour equation that results in workplace well-being.’
Line managers are the direct custodians of employee experience and as such play a huge role in retention, job satisfaction and employee wellbeing. So what does being a good manager mean?
A good manager is someone who goes beyond the administrative and organisational functions and brings empathy, compassion and transparency to their role.
Empathy has become a vital skill for a leader to have – it plays a crucial role in building trust between the employee and the organisation. It’s also become increasingly important during and after the pandemic, where sources of stress have multiplied and support structures have broken down.
A global study by Qualtrics found that 42% of people have experienced a decline in mental health. Specifically, 67% of people are experiencing increases in stress while 57% have increased anxiety, and 54% are emotionally exhausted. 53% of people are sad, 50% are irritable, 28% are having trouble concentrating, 20% are taking longer to finish tasks, 15% are having trouble thinking and 12% are challenged to juggle their responsibilities.
Lead by example
When it comes to well-being it is crucial to put your money where your mouth is.
If you’re constantly working overtime, never taking breaks and deprioritizing your mental health, your employees will believe that is what you expect from them too.
Encourage your employees to take walking meetings, screen breaks and promote social involvement. All of this starts with you!
Set straightforward clear, actionable goals for your employees
Help your employees to find their purpose, and plot their route to meet their goals. Goals don’t always need to be BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals), sometimes they can simply be stepping stones en route to something bigger. Poor well-being can often stem from feeling goals are too big, too far in the distance, or too ambitious. As a leader, it’s your role to break these goals down into smaller, time-bound steps so that goals become more attainable and the feeling of accomplishment is accelerated. Remember to celebrate and praise your teams as each milestone is reached, and treat it as an accomplishment in itself. This positive feedback will promote workplace well-being and create a positive environment for all.
Give employees autonomy
That being said, we’re not looking to micromanage teams. Setting milestones is crucial, and then giving employees autonomy and ownership of the process is vital. Showing trust in your teams facilitates learning, accountability and a real sense of accomplishment at the end. Your role should be to provide support when needed and any resources that may be required to complete the task. Work with your employees to mark check-in points so that they don’t feel mico-managed but have the opportunity to bring up any concerns or blockers along the way.
If a team doesn’t reach their target, then you can step in and help them analyse and deconstruct the process to learn and improve for next time. Failure is also a wonderful opportunity for motivation and learning if handled effectively.
Employers must play a role in promoting holistic wellness in the workplace. This will not only be beneficial to the employees but ultimately the organisation and its bottom line.
It is a wise decision for employers to actively encourage wellness and workplace well-being. Finally, the best decision you can make for yourself, your career, and the people you love is to be well, holistically. We challenge you to continue working towards your overall well-being this spring and beyond.
If that includes making a career change or simply looking at what other work opportunities may be available to you, go to https://www.patonpersonnel.co.za/ and get in touch with a specialised recruiter today!