May 30, 2022
We believe that you need to invest in your health, wellbeing and resilience if you want to flourish and grow. Health is essential for you to thrive personally, but it’s also at the core of every successful team and organisation. That is why health is the foundation upon which HAPPY 365 is built.
What is resilience?
Resilience is the ability to bounce back when things go wrong, and to adapt whether you’re facing challenges or exciting fast-paced developments. To build resilience, we need to consider these four areas as strength across these areas leads to higher resilience.
- Intellectual intelligence
- Emotional intelligence
- Physical intelligence
- Spiritual intelligence
If your people are empowered and enabled to value these four areas both at work and in their personal lives you will build a healthy strong organisation that can ride the tides of change.
Why poor wellbeing and burnout is a risk for your business
Before the COVD-19 pandemic, an epidemic of burnout was already rapidly infecting the workplace.
In 2019, the World Health Organization classified burnout as a “syndrome” that is caused by “chronic workplace stress.” This is not to be confused with a medical condition, burnout is specifically described as an “occupational phenomenon,” but it can lead to serious physical and mental health concerns.
Millennials and Gen Z want to work for employers who care about their wellbeing, so every company that needs young leaders should take steps to ensure that wellbeing is a key part of their offering. The Microsoft Work Index 2022 found that 53% of employees are more likely to prioritize health and wellbeing over work than before the pandemic.
According to a Gallup poll In June 2021, 74% of employees said they experienced burnout on the job at least sometimes.
For employers and leaders, it is clear that you must ensure that you are investing in wellbeing, employee engagement and creating a strengths-based culture (that focuses on every individual’s abilities to contribute rather than their shortcomings) as this will be key to mitigating the effects of burnout. As the Gallup poll discovered, employees who don’t experience burnout are more engaged, they have prominent levels of wellbeing and work in places that values their strengths.
Martin Seligman, the founding father, or Positive Psychology, who wrote ‘Flourish, A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Wellbeing’, discusses that if people are given the right opportunity to choose to find ways to develop resilience and positive ways of coping, they will have more agency over their lives and be happier.
What does positive psychology teach us?
HAPPY 365 applies the science of happiness and positive psychology to the workplace so leaders and teams can start to understand what impact their work has on their overall wellbeing. We work with individuals and teams to create habits and actions to improve their overall health. When coaching individuals and teams we help them identify areas in which they are thriving, areas where they are just surviving and what changes they can make to improve their wellbeing. We do this by looking at these key areas: Positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose, appreciation and health. It’s vital to start with health because it underpins the theory of HAPPY 365.
Through years of research Martin Seligman discovered that people with high levels of wellbeing and happiness:
- Live longer
- Have better relationships
- Experience less cardiovascular disease
- Have stronger immune systems
- Are more productive at work
- Demonstrate more virtuous behaviour
- Have a better sense of the world
- Are more creative and innovative
- And are more likely to bounce back and be resilient
Key character strengths that contribute to this are being optimistic and believing you have agency (autonomy) over your life. Great news -- These strengths are teachable!
Many people may not fall into the category of burnout, but since the pandemic, we are seeing an increase in a form of mental ill health that is not clinical but is affecting wellbeing. This has become known as languishing which is when there is an absence of enough of the five key elements discussed above: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose, appreciation, and health.
The techniques that coaching can teach you can help to move you from languishing to flourishing which = happiness. If we all invest in this, what positive change could we see in the world?
How do you build a well-rounded resilient team and workplace?
- Mental health is just as important as physical health
- Building a strengths-based culture
- Invest in professional coaching to enable behaviour change
- Promote resilience in your team
The starting point for any personal development programme which builds resilience and improves mental wellbeing is to increase self-awareness. There is no self-development without self-awareness. Working alone or with a coach, you need to understand what your values, beliefs, strengths, and personality preferences are so that you can start to build a more conscious picture of what drives you to think, feel and act in the way that you do, and what impact this then has on others.
This understanding will in turn enhance your ability to understand how to cope with challenges and stress. For more details on how to raise your self-awareness, read our blog: How to improve self awareness
2. Mental health is just as important as physical health
We know it’s important to look after your mental health, but the last few years have highlighted this even further. The pandemic has brought to light how important it is to look after your mental health as much as you pay attention to your physical health. Just as you seek help when you have a physical health problem, a decline in mental health can begin at any time and can affect anyone, and it needs attention.
Employers take heed, mental health issues have a serious impact on absenteeism, not to mention morale.
According to recent research from the CIPD in May 2021
Work-related stress, depression, or anxiety accounts for 44% of work-related ill health and 54% of working days lost, in 2018/19 (HSE, 2019). As well as sickness absence, poor mental health at work can lead to increased staff turnover, reduced engagement and high presenteeism.’
These facts relate to a world pre-COVID-19; early indications suggest that the pandemic has had a significant impact upon the mental health of employees.
“We do not yet know exactly what the full mental health impact of COVID-19 will be, although evidence is now emerging. Research from the US has found that 1 in 3 people who have experienced severe COVID-19 symptoms have since developed a neurological or mental health condition. According to the Office for National Statistics, around 1 in 5 (21%) adults experienced some form of depression in early 2021; this is more than double than before the pandemic (10%).”
So, by investing in your wellbeing and the mental health of your staff, you are optimising all your overall health and safeguarding your business performance in the future.
3. Building a strengths-based culture
Once you have identified your own needs, you can build a set of tools to become more resilient and focus on your strengths. The more you can understand what your people’s strengths are and enable them to work in ways that play to their strengths and their uniqueness, you will be on a path to delivering happiness.
Working to our strengths increases the opportunity to get into a flow state, where creativity and productivity and energy are high. If you spend too long working on something that is not a strength of yours this will eventually drain your energy which will impact your overall health and wellbeing. Happiness relies on your ability to develop a team that has an elevated level of awareness of each other’s strengths, values, beliefs, and preferences, so they can get the best out of each other.
4. Invest in professional coaching to enable behaviour change
A coach can collaborate with you to build the toolkit that will help you to dig deep and come out a winner when required. Coaching provides the team with space to think -- either individually through their 1:1 sessions or during the team sessions -- where they can really listen to each other, understand what is going on for others and share their vulnerabilities and goals. They’re also able to set practical commitments to move forwards in their wellbeing, while holding each other to account to take action!
5. Promote resilience in your team
In coaching, we talk about bringing your whole self to work. Now more than ever, this is being challenged by world events, the fallout from the pandemic, stress levels on the increase and big adjustments around how we choose to blend work and home life. But being able to be open about how you are coping and to have positive and supportive discussions around how to manage challenges builds resilience as a team.
By opening up about your own vulnerabilities and challenges you can pave the way for your teams to follow suit. Knowing what needs attention allows problems to be resolved before they escalate, and to have frank discussion strengthens your interpersonal relationships.
Any leader who has resilience and empathy, aligned with strong decision-making abilities, will be able to provide the highest quality support to their employees and clients. Do you invest enough time in understanding how to do more of this yourself?
Focus on kindness
Dr Kelli Harding, author of THE RABBIT EFFECT: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness gave a presentation at the World Happiness Summit 2022 said:
‘‘You can probably toss out your HR manual and just rewrite it as, ‘Be Kind.’”
We spend a third of our time at work, so being treated well at work has a significant impact on our health.
We all know that acts of kindness have the potential to make the world a happier place, every bit of kindness has an effect on someone somewhere. Ideally, we want to live in a world where kindness as a value is built into business decisions, government policy and official systems.
We all have a part to play to make this happen. Here are three simple steps to a kinder world and workplace:
Be kind to yourself
This is really hard for some people! But as flight attendants have told us for years, you simply must “put your own oxygen mask on first.” You cannot help others until you have got what you need yourself. Strip this back and it becomes clear that to do this you need to have the self-awareness to acknowledge what your needs are and how to meet them. It may take courage to ask for help or to admit that you are not coping. But it feels great afterwards. Only then can you serve others and meet your goals – whether that is to be a great leader, employee, or a parent.
Share the love
Did you know that by helping others, we can increase our feelings of self-worth and purpose, and reduce our own feelings of stress and anxiety?
“Almost two-thirds of UK adults say that being kind to others has a positive impact on their mental health.”
The Mental Health Foundation
Kindness is the bedrock of all relationships both professionally and personally, and empathy can make us more resilient during tough times. It can be as simple as asking if someone is OK, taking the time to find out how their weekend was, or recognising someone’s hard work and giving them feedback on a job well done.
Lead by example
Kim has made happiness her mission at Law 365. She is paving the way for other employers to follow her lead and showing them how kindness can be catching, and commercial. She also role models setting healthy boundaries around how she works and her family commitments, by being kind to herself. As a working mother of a successful thriving business the demands are high, and yet she sets a great example as to how to put this into practice. Kindness and happiness aren’t just an ethos, they make good business sense too – Kim knows that happy staff make happy clients, and happy clients are good for business.
Do you role model good resilient behaviours to you teams?
Do they see you living by example? Are you the change you want to see? Do you enable every team member to play to their strengths within your organisation?
If you’d like to find out more about HAPPY 365 and how we can help you build happy resilient teams, get in touch.
Get the HAPPY 365 eBook for free
More on creating a HAPPY workplace
- Introduction to HAPPY 365
- Find out more about HAPPY 365
- What is HAPPY 365?
- Autonomy - Do I get a say, or don’t I?
- Purpose -- 4 reasons why ‘WHY’ and understanding your values is essential for success
- How to improve self awareness
- Law 365 is a "Great place to work"
- Burn-out an "occupational phenomenon": International Classification of Diseases (who.int).
- How to Eliminate Burnout and Retain Top Talent (gallup.com)
- CIPD: Mental health support for employees
- THE RABBIT EFFECT: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness