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Wellbeing at work: Thumbs up for a two-track approach

Man with thumbs up

Well-meant employee wellness initiatives simply won’t drive up engagement or performance alone.

High levels of engagement don’t always equate with high wellbeing levels. The reverse is also true; those with a strong sense of wellbeing at work aren’t necessarily highly engaged.

To secure engagement, wellbeing, and performance levels that offer an organisation a competitive edge, leaders must also focus on these two areas, sharing a sense of purpose and showing that you care.

Sense of purpose

The first prerequisite is to communicate a shared sense of purpose. That means painting a vivid picture that others are inspired to work towards.

It’s about making everyone’s work meaningful by connecting the dots, so they understand how their contribution fits within the big picture.

Purpose isn’t financial. If your organisation’s stated purpose is to double its revenue, profit, or share price you have a problem.

While a strong shared purpose will likely increase your organisation’s financial performance, that isn’t what inspires most of us to get out of bed early each day and give our all.

A strong shared purpose is your raison d’etre or your reason for being.

Your business didn’t set out only to make money. It started out to help others in some way – to make something better. That’s where an inspiring shared purpose is rooted.

And bringing that story creatively to life offers your people meaning and hope. Work becomes a respite from all the negativity ‘out there’. It feels uplifting to make something better today than it was yesterday.

One of the most compelling ways we’ve found leaders do this, is by using metaphor and literally drawing a Big Picture to share with their people.

Blending storytelling with imagery has proven an effective way to engage and uplift colleagues – especially across language barriers and literacy levels.

Showing you care

The second often overlooked area stems from leaders tapping into their Emotional Intelligence to show they care about their people while in pursuit of their shared purpose.

This requires more than classic wellbeing initiatives – like free fruit in meeting rooms, a confidential counselling helpline, or mental and physical health education.

It’s also about:

  • Investing in colleague development
  • Promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion
  • Fostering psychological safety so everyone feels safe enough to contribute or voice their concerns without fear of consequence
  • Providing fair recognition and reward
  • And, above all, checking in to see how your people are. Showing concern when you notice someone doesn’t seem themselves. Then offering any support they need, without judgement, to find their path through.

Together, showing you care and sharing your purpose will differentiate your leadership and organisation. And it’s this that will enable you to attract and retain the best people by improving their engagement AND wellbeing.

Want to implement an employee wellbeing strategy that drives-up your organisation’s engagement and performance? Then we’d love to partner with you. Our Big Picture Approach is a proven communications technique for uncovering and communicating a compelling shared purpose – one that uplifts, excites and unites people. And our highly acclaimed ‘Straight A’s Approach to Interpersonal Excellence’ and Leadership Coaching create the time and space your leaders need to increase their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and agility.

Contact us today! You’ll feel better for doing so.