National wellbeing survey delivers a wake up call for employers

National wellbeing survey delivers a wake up call for employers

 

The Wellbeing Lab 2020 Workplace Report, the third of its kind produced by the Wellbeing Lab in conjunction with The Australian Human Resources Institute, is out, this year with a follow up piece on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the key findings were not all that surprising for example:

  • That people who experience struggle and stress can be more resilient and better able to look after their own wellbeing
  • That struggle is a part of life and normalising struggle in workplace conversations is important for supporting people’s wellbeing
  • That one size does not fit all and workplaces need a diverse approach with different ways of supporting wellbeing and not just an EAP

On the other hand, some findings were a real wakeup call:

  • Over a third of workplaces are providing no support for people’s wellbeing.
  • The most popular form of support offered by workplaces is EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs) but, wait for it…….EAPS were also seen as the least effective. In fact, just 3.3% of people said that the EAP is who they would ask for help when struggling.
  • Workers are most likely to ask someone outside work for help. Within the workplace, it would likely be a team member or their boss but, wait for it again…….they were least likely to go to HR for help (just 3.2%) just marginally behind the EAP (3.3%). Notably both of these numbers halved from the previous year’s survey.

So, based on these findings, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that the primary investments that most organisations are making in wellbeing (HR & EAP) are delivering the least return in wellbeing impact, would it? Interestingly and, from our perspective, not surprisingly, the survey found that wellbeing coaching (offered in less than 10% of workplaces) was seen as the most effective form of wellbeing support. There is a shift happening with organisations rebranding HR as “People and Culture” to provide at least an appearance of being more human-centred. However, the change from the corporate norm of a culture based on shareholder return, risk management, data analysis and process control to one which is truly centred on people is massive. At the core of that is enlightened and vulnerable leadership from the very top of the organisation, building quality relationships based on trust at all levels and across the whole of the organisation (business/teams/people) all underpinned by a common purpose and value set that is a lived experience every day. That includes how organisations, managers, teams and people manage wellbeing as a key element of managing the performance and development of the organisation and its people. So, the challenges are for the whole of the organisation and not just HR. They require a fundamentally different way of thinking and behaving and different skillsets and mindsets across the board, starting from the Board and including those working in the field of HR. How can we help? The report talks about there being 3 levels at which wellbeing needs to be worked on:

  • “Me” – our EngageMentality Performance Development process deals specifically with wellbeing
  • “We” – our EngageMentality Team Coaching process fosters team support for each other with an emphasis on positive relationships
  • “Us” – our Better Workplace Projects use a positive psychology approach to transform workplace culture and worker experience

So, the report is in – what are you going to do about it? You can access the Wellbeing Lab 2020 Workplace Report here

Getting started for a great 2020

Getting started for a great 2020

Over the past year, we have developed some new positive psychology based approaches to personal development, engagement coaching and cultural change with some excellent results in our work with clients. So now it is time for us to look in the mirror – to lead by example and do it ourselves. Would you like to join us? Here is how. Under our EngageMentality coaching model, we have identified 5 prisms through which we look at and design peoples’ development. They are:

  1. Role(s): the functions that I perform and the technical skills and knowledge that I need to be successful in the role(s)
  2. Relationships: who are the key people with whom I relate, the people who rely on me and those whom I rely on to get good outcomes
  3. Values: what does good behaviour look like for me and for the people whom I work with
  4. Strengths: what am I innately good at and how do I utilise those strengths to good effect – if you haven’t done so, undertake the free VIA Character Strengths Survey
  5. Wellbeing: what I need to lead a balanced life which provides the nourishment that I need to flourish physically, mentally and socially

With each of those, we apply the Appreciative Inquiry methodology to define:

  1. Where we are at now in terms of our strengths (what’s working well) and opportunities (what can get better) – AI Discovery Phase
  2. Where we want to be in 12 months time – AI Dream Phase
  3. What actions will we take to leverage the strengths and take advantage of the opportunities – AI Design Phase
  4. Committing to and implementing my plan to deliver my Dream – AI Destiny Phase.

Put it all in a simple action plan with the following columns:

  1. The development objective
  2. The development actions
  3. The people responsible for the actions (you or you and someone)
  4. The timelines for the actions
  5. The status (tracking progress, celebrating achievements and recalibrating as needed)

The challenge then of course is to do it. Here are a few tips on that:

  1. Plan time in your calendar to undertake the actions you have committed to.
  2. Review your progress against your plan regularly – at least monthly and preferably weekly.
  3. Don’t stand still – stuff happens and things change so stay on top of that, be agile and adjust the plan as you need to – without compromising the Dream of course.
  4. Engage with a trusted someone whom you can talk to, get feedback from, celebrate the successes and learn from the things that haven’t quite gone to plan – this can be really valuable and a great emotional support.
  5. Keep a positive mindset, practise gratitude (be thankful for the good things and let people know) and be kind to yourself.

We are also factoring in daily practice of happiness in our plans through the free Action for Happiness resources available at https://www.actionforhappiness.org/calendars Here is the January 2020 calendar to get you started if you want to take this up too. Have a great 2020! If we can help to make your workplace a better place for people to flourish (our purpose), we would love to hear from you. [/av_textblock]