As an organizational consultant specializing in Trauma Informed Care, and who develops employee well-being programs, I find myself in toxic environments seeded with histories of anger, rage, impatience, jealousy, and competition.
Leaders anxiously invite me in, to the underbelly of the corporation or agency where I might sit in the heavy energy that weighs down their staff.
Although everyone can feel it, few know what to do about it, how to change it, or how to make that transition from Chaos to Calm. And so I arrive.
There is a septic wound in our world today. A wound that festers with fear based on the potential for destruction, competition, loss, pain, separation, and hatred. I see this wound in the workplace and in the homes of my clients. I see this wound in the heart space, and in the mind of those who find me. This wound is heard, seen, felt and experienced by every one of us, every day, in some way.
Well-being demands a cleaning out the wound in order to make space for healing.
Spring is the perfect time!
Spring is natures most action-packed season. At this time of year, life renews itself through the rapid growth, sudden expansion and an upright surge of the Earth’s force. The strength of the life energy in spring engenders procreation, abundance, and regeneration.
We can translate this energy into wellness at work and wellness at home.
Subsequently, Spring is the best time to bring employee well-being front and center.
Through the introduction of Mindfulness in the Workplace, Compassion and Resilience Training, and Trauma Informed Care, participants of our workshops realize that as we become more mindful and focused, we also become more productive and kind.
Imagine a workplace that is both highly productive, and kind.
Devoting your attention to the situation, or conversation at hand; being present and mindful takes practice. The results are the payoff; decreased stress, improved emotional states, fewer negative behaviors, and increased efficiency. Here’s how to get started.
1.Lead by example
Asking of others what you don’t yet have yourself only promotes the inauthentic behavior. First, be like you ask others to become. A lack of mindfulness in your organization, division, team or family is a direct expression of your own lack of value clarity. Mindfulness does not demand or desire. Mindfulness allows, and through its acceptance, it attracts others to value and practice. We would fully expect a leadership, or parental buy into mindfulness before we would expect staff or children to engage.
Are your leaders mindful?
2. Give people time to dream
When leaders or parents attempt to control every minute of other’s lives, the others become like robots seeking only to please that which is asked of them with no space to create from their own sense of knowing. When we have no time or space to dream we cannot create anything new. Innovative ideas and concepts begin in the imagination. Begin each staff meeting with 10 minutes of silent reflection, and ask each team member to offer an idea for improving the workplace, policy or procedure in their area of the company. Share the ideas and take a vote for the one with the most interest. Then, give the staff who shared the idea a budget of money or time to begin the creation process. Your natural leaders will rise!
3. Offer standing desks
There are several reputable companies today offering adjustable-height standing desks that allow users to easily switch between standing and sitting while working or studying. They are perfect for home or office, studying, or working. The switching aspect is key to getting optimal health benefit from a standing desk because it is not healthy for people to remain in any one fixed position- sitting or standing- for too long. Give your kids, students or staff the option and watch their energy increase along with their productivity. I LOVE mine!
4. Buddy Up Program
Lunch walkers can invite a colleague to offer connection and accountability. Leaders can support and role model this effort by offering a walking meeting at least once a month. After all, how productive are those 2-hour staff meetings while we sit and eat donuts, anyway? Most of us complain about staff meetings. Walking may increase productivity and will most definitely increase employee well-being.
5. Wellness Wednesday
Dedicate hump day to Wellness Wednesday. This is a great tactic if you have an office, classroom or children who are set in their ways and resistant to change. One day a week seems much more manageable, and less overwhelming. It can be fun and a gateway to making lasting improvements in well-being. Wednesday is great because it is in the middle of the week when most of us usually experience a bit of a lull. Invite your leaders to rotate introducing a well-being topic each week and motive them to practice what they preach!
6. Flexible Scheduling
Although call centers cannot offer this as easily, many of my large, organizational clients have seen the pay off by offering flexible scheduling whenever possible. A flexible workplace is proven to contribute to employee well-being and increased productivity. 4, 10 hour days; early or late work hours and even two days off during the week instead of Saturday/Sunday motivate some staff.
7. Provide Mindfulness Well-Being Training
This is by far the most important suggestion that we can make toward well-being.
Stress drains employees, students and children of health and wellness, making energy levels drop and bad moods skyrocket. Unfortunately, most of us experience damaging levels of stress that affect our work and home lives. According to an American Institute of Stress Report,
- 80% of workers experience stress at work
- Almost 50% of workers would like help managing stress
- 42% of workers believe their co-workers also need help managing their stress
A simple mindfulness program could give employees the tools they need to manage all of this stress. A mindfulness practice involves focused awareness and acceptance of the present. It helps people pull away from thoughts of the past and future, which is where we find most of the fear and doubt that produces stress.
Try bringing everyone together once a week for a mindfulness session. Simply pile into a conference room, or the gym at school, or as a family in the den, turn on a guided meditation, and you’ve got a Mindfulness Training session.
Interested in a unique employee well-being program for your group, we can create one for you!
8. Well-being Coaching
Consider contracting with a Coach expert in the area of employee well-being and organizational success. Employees can schedule 15-30 minute sessions to set personal and professional goals. Leaders can offer this service to their employees who may benefit from some support. The fastest growing area of my business is Executive Coaching. One of the most beneficial and cost-effective tools for employee engagement is external coaching. Employees gain personal knowledge and action steps for both personal and professional improvement.
9. Lunch and Learn
Invite staff to contribute to employee well-being once a month by signing up to share an idea or well-being tip that is working for them. This is a time for one staff at a time to speak to the entire group engaging the individual and collective. Provide lunch for your team on this day that is healthy and satisfying.
Spring is the perfect time to engage your employees toward well-being. Tap into your staff who are energized by the changing of seasons and inspire them to support the program by using their ideas and recommendations.
10. The Must Haves
Engage in a walking meeting to further explore your options and of course have plenty of meditation cushions and yoga mats for the morning routine that you begin to offer your staff in a quiet, calm and peaceful space created only for this purpose.
Align your employee well-being program with the excitement and engagement that naturally arises during the transition from winter to spring. By incorporating well-being programs and resources into your workplace, you can create an environment that supports and encourages a healthier workforce which creates a stronger bottom line.
It is a win win. Why not?
Jules Alvarado is an intuitive healer of the masses and fully embraces that gift in front of 100’s or 1.
She is also the founder and Sr. Clinical Consultant at the Alvarado Consulting and Treatment Group. Jules consults with organizations and coach’s executives and individuals around the globe. Developing effective, employee well-being programs for large and small companies, and teaching us how to be kind, caring, compassionate in the face of toxic stress is Jules service.
Jules can help you discover your capacity too. Ready? connect with Jules.