If we think of our mental health as a continuum; Burnout at one end of the scale, weakness in the middle and thriving as the optimal level, and anything less than thriving is a red flag for managers and companies. This means we don't get creativity, productivity or performance.
Flourish; to It grows or Develop Successfully: To achieve something targeted. – Cambridge English Dictionary.
When we thrive at work, everyone benefits – colleagues, the organization, and those we deal with. So how can you best support yourself and your colleagues to succeed?
Three ways to spark prosperity
1. Flow; The art of being completely absorbed in a task, losing the sense of self and time – of not worrying about the past or the future or how one will be perceived, when “doer” and “action” become one. In flow, we move away from stasis. One way to experience flow is through Focus on one task. Did you know, Productivity increases by 40% when distractions are kept to a minimum? What's more, when the organization helps support distraction free time (e.g. email free Fridays), the percentage rises to 67%? This is because switching tasks and context is incredibly harmful to productivity. Have you noticed that if you go straight from one meeting to another, or from actually being busy with a piece of work to catching up with a colleague, you have noticed “attentional residuals” – where your mind is still thinking about the previous activity, getting in the way of the next?
2. Psychological safety: At work, this means knowing there are no stupid questions, not getting upset in meetings, going the extra mile, and not being afraid to challenge or voice your concerns – whatever your position. Organizations with psychological safety enable their employees to express their identity as individuals without fear of retaliation. As a result, employees feel safe creating and expressing new ideas, which drives the business forward.
3. New perspectives. Change, although it requires some initial effort first, can lift us out of a sense of obsolescence. This could be physical, for example, switching where team meetings are held (could you have a “walk and talk” meeting instead of the same old Zoom or room), or cognitive – approaching the same task in a new way. Doing the same thing, day after day, can eventually wear down even the most energetic employees. While this may be difficult at first, the gains in productivity and performance are invaluable. What can you mix today?
Creating a thriving culture requires leading by example, cultivating a sense of belonging and truly caring for employees' growth and well-being.
We are only touching the tip of the iceberg in this short blog. If you would like to learn more about creating happier, healthier cultures, please get in touch – we would love to hear from you ([email protected])
author: Jane Burton | Wellness Specialist at WorkLifeWell | ILM Executive Coach
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