It is well documented and accepted that higher well-being at work is positively correlated with more business unit level profitability and healthier and happier employees show up for work consistently with more spring in their step. Holistic wellness focuses on a person’s health which considers the mind, body and spirit; the holistic approach believes that if your mind is suffering, for example, your body and spirit will too. There are numerous benefits of Holistic wellbeing in the workplace for both employers and employees, holistic health is an approach to life and considers the whole person and how he or she interacts with their environment.
Many traditional corporate wellness programmes only recognise the physical components of health and this approach misses all the things that affect a person’s life and happiness. With an estimated 5.7 million households in the UK with at least one parent working (2018) there are many obvious reasons why focusing well-being initiatives on happier family life will impact on organisational productivity.
1. The needs of children closely correlate to the characteristics of functioning teams
By focusing in on the skills needed to meet the needs of your children e.g. attentive listening, problem solving, praise, giving responsibility, security, recognition and new experience, employees will intuitively introduce more of these things into the workplace too. The skills are completely transferable with delegates reporting that they had changed their attitude to colleagues, they were more attentive, with more focus on recognition for their colleagues and an improved communication approach.
2. If parents are unhappy at home, they will bring this into the workplace
There is no role more important or challenging than being a parent. There is no role that is likely to bring with it such roller-coaster of emotions – joy, anger, happiness, frustration, pride, embarrassment, sadness, elation, despair, jealousy, friendship, loneliness and love.
The Michael Macintyre sketch springs to mind here, the struggle in the morning before work is real and it can be very hard to switch off and concentrate on your day at work if you are still processing something that happened earlier that day at home.
Empathy, understanding and opportunity to think through solutions in a structured way can help put things into perspective. Reduced stress enables people to work more optimally and be fully present, and positivity is contagious across all areas of our life
3. Finding similarities in the workplace reduces the hierarchy and builds stronger connection
The amazing realisation that others are or have been in the same boat can often be the best tonic. Looking in depth at a topic that is unrelated to work gives a great opportunity for people to get to know each better and build stronger connection and rapport.
“When we open up about our emotional challenges, admitting we are not perfect, we give others permission to share their struggles”Rennya I Aburto
4. Staff feel invested in and feel positive about the commitment their employers are making to their home-work balance
Investment in supporting this area of life shows a clear appreciation of the realities of life and demonstrates a commitment to holistic well-being. Opportunity to reflect and think about how well you are meeting your family needs can lead to better home-work balance and reduce the often sub conscious strain that ‘guilt’ can have on both performance at work and home. Emphasis on family is a sign of a positive workplace that allows individuals to flourish
“people forget what you said and what you did. But they never forget how you made them feel”Maya Angelou
Whilst it is difficult to quantify the ROI from wellness programmes, we do know that poor wellbeing influences the way we view ourselves, others and the world around us. How? Because it negatively impacts our emotions and we look at everything through the lens of our emotions. This is detrimental to our overall effectiveness, but we should be particularly concerned about the impact on our relationships with others. When we feel bad about ourselves, we are quick to irritate and judge. We are less tolerant of worldviews that are different from our own. These are not good foundations for building and maintaining strong interpersonal relationships, which are essential to the smooth operation of critical processes like cross-functional team working, innovation and creativity. There are knock-on effects too, with studies pointing to the correlation between positive relationships at work and job satisfaction.
So there you have it, Investing in wellbeing and specifically in initiatives that focus in on healthy and happy family life , can improve not only the individual employee’s interpersonal relationships but wider organisational health.
Lucy is a dynamic learning and development professional and experienced ICF accredited coach. She blends her wealth of global corporate leadership experience, her life experience as a single mum of three children and additional coaching for family life skills to create innovative lunch and learns and workshops suitable for the corporate setting. Her mission is to support struggling families to find more ‘happy’ and support organisations to be empathetic and supportive in this area.