At the start of the New Year, marketers get busy. There is no shortage of advertisements promoting easy ways of losing weight and fitness centers offer discounted and affordable membership fees. Every book store has a collection of literature filled with articles and resources offering tips on better health, work-life balance and financial management – all with the aim of helping people stay on track with their New Year’s resolutions over the next twelve months.
It has been reported that the most common New Year’s resolutions relate to:
• Healthy lifestyle choices – weight loss, more exercise and better eating habits;
• Quitting a bad habit – smoking usually heads the list;
• Better work-life balance – to spend more time with family and on recreation;
• Getting finances in order; and
• Learning something new.
Behind these personal resolutions is the desire to achieve personal happiness and to have a better, balanced life. As most of us spend the majority of our waking hours in the workplace, our happiness and sense of personal well-being has to be impacted by our time spent on the job.
Creating a healthy environment in the workplace should be high on the list of priorities in every organization. The alignment of personal and organizational goals is a key indicator of positive employee engagement that translates into greater productivity and business success. As the leading management thinker, Peter Drucker, observed “A 10% increase of productivity would double the profits of most organizations.”
And although it is true that there are boundaries between personal and professional life choices, enlightened organizations and leaders are aware that programmes in the workplace that are supportive of their employees’ happiness and well-being are key ingredients in the mix of activities that support business success.
At the start of this New Year, consider setting New Year’s resolutions for your organization that support the alignment of personal and organizational goals of your employees.
Healthy lifestyle –
o Physical well-being promoted through structured physical exercise programs for employees
o Healthy and nutritious choices in cafeterias; and
o On-site medical assessments to identify early signs of chronic diseases.
Quitting a bad habit –
o Resources and tools that encourage employee engagement in their health and wellness.
Better work-life balance –
o Mental health and stress reduction practices like creating policies on the transmission of e-mail after business hours, and
o Enforcing vacation requiring that employees use vacation at least once every 12 months.
Getting finances in order –
o Partner with a pension plan provider or other financial services firm that offers on-line or otherwise easily accessible planning tools, financial planning seminars and easy ways of saving.
o Leaders should coach employees and support their efforts to be even better workers and improve their skills. In this way they are likely to gain a greater sense that they are contributing to the company’s success.
Finally, employee happiness and well-being are impacted by workplace conflict. Some employees are more comfortable and accepting of conflict than others. However conflict in the workplace adversely affects team building and productivity.
Accessing resources to support conflict management, setting ground rules for team interaction and behaviour and creating an environment of open, respectful communication are some ways in which organizational leaders can support employees in their quest for personal and professional happiness.
In 2014, what’s your resolution to make your organization a great place in which to work?
This blog was posted on Yourworkplace.ca on 7 January 2014