One of the most disengaging situations I can think of – is the idea that employees are paying with their health to build their wealth…. Only to use that wealth, later, to re-gain their health… Even worse… If I add the $300 billion in US losses from attempts to fix this, it really does make me feel a bit sick.
Engagement and wellness initiatives, as far as I see, get mixed together in all kinds of ways, with one promoting (or diminishing) returns in the other. And, just what kinds of returns are expected? The stakes are pretty high, really… Leaders expect a thriving business, full of thriving employees. Though, from what I’ve seen, the odds of seeing sustainable, big wins like that – may be worse than hitting the jackpot on a slot machine.
Time to rethink our strategy. Of course, there is no such thing as a ‘sure’ bet, but I do know this. Bigger returns come from leveraged bets. What if we could combine our chips-on-the-table for wellness and engagement to see greater, sustainable returns? Let’s analyze our bets.
Leveraging these two bets
‘Engagement’ and ‘Wellness’ both really mean ‘Well-Being’.
Typically defined in corporate-speak as ‘happy’ and ‘healthy’, respectively; they both translate directly into Oxford’s definition of Well-Being: “the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy. [Sounds about right.]
…Btw, maybe you already thought of ‘Engagement’ and ‘Well-being’ as synonyms. Though, Wellness initiatives have been expanding into that realm, as well. Jeffrey Pfeffer, a Stanford Professor, makes what he calls a ‘meta point’ for wellness initiatives. To encourage healthier choices, he suggests, organizations must also ‘focus on well-being’ at work.
Higher stakes need greater, combined returns
Both initiatives focus on returns related to:
- Highlighting paths to positive well-being for every employee, even under pressure
- Increasing company-wide performance to positively impact the business goals, even through change
…Regardless of how different some activities may be, down the line, the combined initiatives can leverage their initial steps from similar models to wind up expecting similar returns (as outlined above).
Stacking the odds in your favor
Both initiatives depend on the mitigation of (or resilience in the face of) pressures at work. Not only does rising pressure bring on stress, which diminishes health – but it also lowers engagement and hinders productivity. [Now, that’s not fair! It’s a bit like when the house wins.]
I’ve seen companies ‘bet’ that increases to their company-wide resilience activities will smoothly transition company-wide performance through pressure. Though, while we all know that mindfulness and healthy eating habits, etc, may work for a while – shouldn’t we look to minimize the impact of pressures at work?
For greater, more sustainable returns, people should be able to analyze how pressure impacts performance and how to smoothly transition through rising pressure, on their own, without sacrificing any individual’s path to engagement (or well-being).
The newly leveraged, 2-for-1 deal (using the system!).[Hmmm. As I was reading about betting and investment strategies, there was a bit of systems-thinking, which just fits right in!]
My research unveiled an assessment system that creates models of Engaged Productivity™, at all levels of your organization. The models can be used to analyze the probabilities for greater returns, as you leverage your organizational bets on engagement and wellness:
- To reach your changing business goals, without sacrificing well-being in your people; and
- In designing unique behavioral processes that promote individuals’ well-being, even as pressure rises.
Now, as you imagine taking the various ‘side bets’ you need to build the rest of your Wellness and Engagement initiatives, I would like to believe that I have shown you how leveraging your initial bets could even out the ‘long odds’, over time and shore up your sustainable returns. (Assuming I got my gambling references right.)
When you use the systems language of Engaged Productivity™ to analyze and leverage your bets, then, finally – working ‘well’ need not come up against the odds of wellness working.
Next up… If culture eats strategy for breakfast,
we should make it a balanced meal.
Engaged Productivity™ encompasses revolutionary new thinking to solve the employee engagement challenge in quick, precise and predictable ways.
Learn more about Engaged Productivity™.
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