Well-being is an incredibly important area so often neglected by organisations until they are forced to address it. By which time it's probably cost more than they care to know.
Neglecting well-being can mean significant performance and well-being issues. Here we look at some key indicators such as Absenteeism and Presenteeism. We also look at the strategic move towards utilising Positive Psychology and building self -management and sustainable well-being cultures. This also explains why these concepts and strategies are deeply embedded in our programmes.
What Is well-being?
Well-being is a state of positive physical, emotional and spiritual health. It’s defined in the OED as ‘a state of being or doing well’.
Western culture has become wealthier in the past 30 years but are we more healthy or happy? It’s true we're living longer but many well-being and fulfilment issues seem to be on the rise. Organisations often struggle to find and retain the right people and using existing benchmarks for success often fail to deliver the performance needed. Read more about the power of Emotional Intelligence to do this.
Organisations are working against a backdrop of rising issues like obesity, drug/alcohol dependency and stress. They are suffering from high staff turnover rates, increased sickness absence costs (particularly chronic illnesses) and the added pressure of performing under tighter budgets. Culturally our thinking has been too short-term as society incentivises short-termism with a 'get now-pay later' ethos. As a result we spend much of our energies focused in a ‘reactive’ mode dealing with the failings associated with short-termism.
The solution - A sustainable future
EQworks offer integrated well-being solutions for building well-being cultures. Integrated in that we look at the organisation as a whole. We offer consultancy and support to existing programmes as well as ad hoc support for individuals, teams and organisations as a whole.
Creating a well-being culture - the Key
The key is to learn what has value for each of us, gain strategic awareness of it and practice behaviours that work in the long term so we can build a sustainable future.
Emotional intelligence coaching, the promotion of self-management and positive psychology approaches are vital to strategically promote well-being as a set agenda rather than remaining one-step behind and simply treating issues as they arise. We need tp put the right conditions in place and plan for a better future.
Moving to self-management and being proactive
Developing a self-management and proactive culture amongst staff is a solution that many organisations are now discovering. Moving away from command and micro managing towards 'Trust' management, organisations can progress step-by-step towards this approach. In practice this can mean promoting e-learning, developing managers personal leadership principles or resilience tool kits, to re-enforce a culture of self-management.
What is positive psychology?
The entire US Army undergoes the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) Resilience Programme. It was designed to help soldiers cope with extreme stress and reduce Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) and suicides.
Designed in 2009 by Martin Seligman it's based on his and Mihaly Csikszentmihaly's Positive Psychology research. This focuses on wellness rather than illness and mental health rather than mental illness. It provides a positive view of people and health that is in stark contrast to the general approach to health in the 20th century. Emotional Intelligence is part of what is called positive psychology as our EQ model says through learning and practicing competencies you’ll become happier and more successful.
US Army Uses Positive Psychology-Based Resilience Programme
Through the work of Seligman, an ex-president of the US Psychological society, we increasingly realise that actively promoting wellbeing is not only healthier but much more efficient in the long run.
The CSF has three components;
Building mental toughness, leading with strengths and developing new social skills for leadership.
Our EQ Leadership programmes focus on strengths - EQ Winning Formula, relationship skills and building emotional resilience. This, Positive Psychology is also a key component of the way we structure and run our programmes as it is holistic and works naturally with the other frameworks we use.
From re-active to proactive
EQworks is dedicated to helping HR professionals and leaders move their frame of reference and thinking from a re-active to a pro-active mind–set. In well-being terms it means shifting mind-sets from illness to wellness.
To some it may seem obvious that being physically well is built through healthy emotional understanding and self-management. And yet many organisations and society as a whole still lacks the conviction of this and framing programmes in this way. So embedding EQ into well-being programmes is a natural and sustainable way to build performance. An emotionally intelligent workforce is more resilient and productive so able to perform better.
And because we use programmes and tools focused on measuring success, you’ll not only see and feel the difference, we’ll be able to prove it to you!
What Is sickness absence (SA)?
It’s when people take time off work due to illness.
SA is one of the classic signs of a disengaged or unhealthy work environment. The average for the UK is 8 days per employee year but some organisations fair much worse.
Sickness absence can indicate low performance or highlight issues with your employees or culture. And if you’re a large employer this can equate to £millions of lost productivity and revenue every year.
The unseen costs could be far greater (see below). EQ programmes can build engagement and help lower sickness absence.
Sickness absence figures - a warning
It's important to look at several indicators to understand your organisational needs. It's been suggested recently that with increased pressure to 'retain employment' people feel more pressure to come to work when they're ill. Hence Sickness Absence figures are actually declining in some organisations, but not always for the right reasons.
What Is presenteeism?
Presenteeism is where there is a loss of workplace productivity when an employee is not functioning fully due to health or other issues such as lack of engagement.
Why is presenteeism important?
1. The costs to an organisation can be huge. In some organisations the cost is estimated to be at least twice that of absenteeism and cannot be as easily detected (Centre for Mental Health 2011).
2. Monitoring can give invaluable information and inform business-critical decision-making for focussing resources to problematic areas swiftly and efficiently. It can be an indicator of the 'health' of an organisation or specific areas within.
Emotional intelligence skills lie at the core of enhancing engagement and well-being. Improving EQ is positively correlated to greater self-awareness, self-regard, self-management and reduced absence due to sickness. Reduced presenteeism can be achieved through management creating greater awareness of prevailing cultures and can increase openness and collaboration through emphatic communication.
Further support and information:
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