This time last year was a big change for me - when I left my management career of 18 years to venture full-time into the world of corporate well-being. In my previous role as a COO for a global media company, I often felt disillusioned. I believed whole heartedly in creating a business culture that I knew would change the health and wealth of the business - but I had no tangible way of showing how. Well-being was treated as a nice to have, not a must-have. The business didn't have the budget for a well-being programme - the fresh fruit twice a week was enough. But most of all, being told that running a business with awareness - mindfully - making conscious, smart, calculated decisions, rather than knee-jerk impulsive ones, was foolish and too slow.
So I created my own well-being programme and ran it twice in 2017, I created a well-being committee and focus groups, ran engagement surveys and taught yoga regularly. I did what was in my control to create an honest, transparent, supportive culture to encourage employees to be their best.
In the end I went as far as I could and left with a desire to work with businesses that understood the power of well-being, even if they didn't know how to implement it. Businesses that knew that when you have happy employees, you have more productive, focused and engaged employees and this impacts the heart of your business and your bottom line.
The past year has been an amazing experience, working with a huge variety of businesses, from event companies to charities, venues to a big telecom provider. I've taught sessions and workshops and been on panels at events talking about how to create a well-being culture. I've run mindfulness and well-being programmes and taught lots of yoga and meditation too.
But I still felt frustrated about my past experience. How do you know when stress is impacting a workplace and how can we offer tangible measurement and solutions to manage and improve (and ideally resolve) this?
So last year I ran a survey among a group of event professionals in the UK - asking them how important they think well-being is on their work lives. I captured their conversations, challenges and desires in a report that I would love to share with you so that you can see the impact of stress on workplaces, and the simple solutions and desires of the individuals themselves to solve the problem. The answer? What I instinctively knew all along. It doesn't need to be costly, time-consuming or complicated. It involves listening to your people, understanding their individual needs and creating a flexible, open and supportive environment where they can come every day and smash out their best work.
**If you're reading this and you're not from an event background - I still encourage you to check out the report because there are many correlations across other industries and often the solution is the same.
Click here to access your copy of the report - I'd love to hear any thoughts or feedback you have.
What does the future of workplace well-being look like? This year I am developing more tangible, robust ways to measure the impact well-being has on businesses and working with businesses to create individual solutions to create a healthy, wealthy business. Because well-being does transform business culture and in 2019, smart businesses will be placing well-being at the heart of their business strategy.