An Often Missed Opportunity – Weekend Reflections for Leaders

Over the last decade or so, some of the leading companies in the world have made significant investments in employee wellness programs to support to their people making sustained improvements in wellbeing. It has been demonstrated numerous times in formal studies that employee wellbeing impacts productivity and engagement in the workplace and substantially impacts health and healthcare costs.

As senior executives look to build their leadership effectiveness, one important opportunity that is often missed is how leaders can strengthen routine communications in a way that positively impacts employee wellbeing and inspires teams to continue to deliver on the company’s purpose for existence.

Part of the success of some leading wellness programs in the workplace is the ability to acknowledge and integrate both the professional development (job skills) and the personal development (life coping skills) of individuals. As Gandhi famously said, “Life is one indivisible whole” so it is impossible to view someone in isolation as just a worker or just a parent, etc. Effective company wellness programs address the whole person.

The rhythm of most corporations enables senior executives to provide the customary communication updates on monthly or quarterly performance, annual goal setting, major change initiatives etc. to help keep the teams aligned and working effectively to achieve the company’s near and long-term goals. The most effective senior executives and top talent understand the reality that there is a need to consistently over-communicate to teams about plans, objectives, values of the organization, etc. in order to have industry leading execution.

The one important opportunity that is most often missed by senior executives to improve well-being and reinforce the traditional goals of the business is to take advantage of routine cultural milestones, celebrated national and international events, and real-time situations in the community. Effective communication around these occurrences can help senior executives to further inspire their teams, connect with individuals on a personal level, and gain greater alignment around the company’s objectives and mission. 

Here are a few examples of opportunities often missed to positively impact employee well-being and strengthen the engagement of individuals and teams towards the company’s mission:

  • National holidays like Labor Day, the 4th of July, President’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr Day, etc. provide senior executives with a chance to reinforce the personal side of these celebrated national holidays along with how the company’s mission is aligned to the principles surrounding these events.
  • Various faith-based/religious holidays can be used as platforms to celebrate diversity of cultures and faiths along with how that aligns with the importance of a diverse workplace to succeed in delivering on the company’s mission.
  • Challenging situations in our culture and community also provide opportunities to reinforce the company’s values that not only translate to building a healthy business, but, if these values are lived out in other areas of life could help our communities and home life too. 
  • Many of these events are tied to company designated holidays or people are taking vacation days to be at home. An effective message around these events can enable a senior executive to reinforce the importance of life in the home and community which has been a proven effective component of employee wellness programs which acknowledge people are more than just someone who comes to work each day to give their best.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that employee wellness programs can provide support for people to build resilience to succeed in the workplace, the home front and the community. Senior executives have a significant opportunity in their routine communications to be more effective in positively impacting employee wellbeing and business execution by taken advantage of some of these traditionally “non-business” events to connect with teams and inspire them to reach their full potential. 

When senior executives take intentional action to improve employee wellbeing, they stand a good chance of earning the loyalty and commitment needed to build a long-term healthy business.

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