A recent article in HRGrapevine identifies “a growing wellbeing divide between leaders and staff”. Drawing on recent research by the Future Forum which surveyed 10,000 workers, they note that the increase in flexible working among executives in organisation is having positive effects on their Mental Fitness that are not being felt throughout the whole organisation:
“Whilst executives are taking a laissez-faire attitude to where and how they work, non-executives are nearly twice as likely as top managers to be expected to work from the office every day, and their work-life balance scores are now 40% worse than executive respondents.”
So how can organisations bridge this wellbeing divide? Here’s 5 steps to putting Mental Fitness at the heart of the organisation for everyone.
1. Measure it.
Understanding wellbeing in your organisation starts with measuring it. Profiling the strengths and challenges of individuals across the organisation helps understands pattens and trends and how these may vary across teams and levels within the business. It also provides data that can be aligned with wider business KPIs to be able to assess the impact of changes in business performance.
2. Involve everyone.
Develop a clearer picture of what the challenges and opportunities are around wellbeing in the organisation, then involve individual and teams from all areas of the organisation in shaping solutions.
3. See balanced working as an opportunity
A recent study showed that adopting flexible working across the organisation can lead to a 40% increase in high performing individuals and impact positively on recruitment and retention. Seeing flexible working practices as an opportunity not a problem can be the first step in overcoming barriers to implementing them.
4. Align everyone around shared purpose
Purpose led organisations out-perform competitors on measures of value creation, company value and financial performance. Purpose is also a powerful way to unite employees across teams, as well as building trust via a sense of shared goals and objectives.
5. Create more leaders
One of the key barriers in many organisations to offering more flexible working practices can be around trust. Senior leadership are perceived as trustworthy in being able to manage their time productively. Whereas teams elsewhere in the organisation can be perceived as being more likely to misuse the flexibility. A powerful solution to this is to shift from a culture of leadership teams to creating a ‘leadership organisation’ with more and more individuals throughout the organisation empowered to lead and trusted to perform.
Bridging the wellbeing gap isn’t just an ethical issue for organisations. It’s a performance issue. What’s the gap looking like where you work? And what steps is your organisation taking to bridge it? We’d love to hear what’s happening where you are. Contact us on Twitter or LinkedIn to share your views, or use one of the links below. Let’s bridge that gap together.
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