Investing in your People – Building better workplaces through building resilient and mentally healthy people
Building a better workplace. What exactly does that mean and what does that mean in the context of you and your workplace? The irony is, you can have the best workplace, however if you don’t have great people then all the ergonomic equipment under the sun won’t be helpful to you and your bottom line. So, in reality to build a better workplace you have to build better people.
The impact of an ageing workforce is not so much that people are getting older but that the flow of their work and lives are starting to impact the way that they work. This is the first time in our species history that we are having to mange an older workforce that needs to be available to manage older parents as well as having younger children. Life itself is creating unnecessary pressure on our ability to create a better workplace for people. As an employer you can be as flexible as you like but if the flexibility is not helpful to the person, then it is not useful.
A good model to start with is the bio-pscyho-social model. More simply put, is your workplace safe for people in a physical, mental and social way? Humans are made up of three essential parts 1. Our physical strength, 2. Our psychological strength, and 3. Our participation in our social environments (connections). At a practical level it is our ability to function physically (biologically), psychologically and socially in all domains of our life that creates the feelings of “wellbeing” but when we are out of balance we feel distress.
ENGAGED TEAMS INJURE LESS
Engaged people injure less. Having an engaged team means that people are more mindful and less distracted at work. That means we need to build wellbeing into the workplace more and more to make sure we have happy, healthy and balanced teams. We do that through building wellbeing in the teams and that leads to building a better workplace!
Wellbeing simply means BALANCE in all areas of life which includes work
How does it work?
There are many ways to create a better workplace for people through creating balance. However just as quickly as we create balance, if the focus lingers for too long in one area, we can become out of balance and that is when our people are at highest risk, through either physical or psychological injury. For example, if a person is bullied at work, they can become socially disconnected from their work environment. If that happens you will soon start to see a negative impact on both their psychological and eventually their physical state.
Another example is that of an older person. If their physical ability declines then this could affect their psychological state, as well as their ability to maintain healthy social interactions and participate in a team.
Three top tips
For ourselves and for the people we work with, we need to remember that:
1. We are not our jobs.
2. To be healthy we need to be balanced in all areas.
3. Healthy people make a better workplace so build people to build your business.
So where do you start? How do you start building your people to make your business grow?
There are solutions and ThinkHowe are offering seminars in a capital city near you, supported by QBE. The ThinkHowe team will be presenting on topics of Better Health, Resilience, and Mental Health; Bullying and Harassment; and Managing an Ageing Workforce. The seminars are founded on evidence based information, mixed with employer based experience and provide the participants with a proactive point of view, no matter their role within the company.
Bookings can be made via the links for "Building Better Workplaces" workshops over at the QBE National Training Calendar
Just make sure to wear clothes you can move in, we are all about practicing what we preach.
Not with QBE and want to get involved in the ThinkHowe action? Contact us through LinkedIn or the web of all things: www.thinkhowe.com
Our job, as always, is to make the workplace somewhere you and the people you work with want to be!
Dr. Caroline Howe & Hayley Kearney