A Note From the President: Prioritize Wellbeing

Published in Member Communities on May 01, 2024

Lindy TentingerBy Lindy Tentinger, President, VGM & Associates

In the hustle, bustle, and challenges of our industry, it’s easy to lose sight of your own wellbeing. As business leaders and specialists, you dedicate countless hours to serving others—your patients, your employees, your communities, and your loved ones. But what about taking care of yourself? 

I have thought a lot about this topic lately not only with our team, but with myself. If I don’t model or normalize behavior that promotes wellbeing, it will be difficult to expect team members to model the same behavior for themselves. This is no easy task, that is for sure. For me, my own wellbeing encompasses many areas, from spiritual to adequate sleep, to allowing myself time to read and learn, to making sure I get to all my kids’ events, to walking as much as I can, to cleaning the house and having every single piece of laundry folded and put away (for like a minute), to name a few. I understand perfect balance doesn’t come every day. Some days work takes over or I am on the road several weeks in a row, and some days it is 70% family and catering to illness, appointments, or being a part-time taxi driver for the kids. We all struggle with this same thing, and part of it is just allowing ourselves to prioritize our own wellbeing, no matter what else is taking over at the time.  

Research consistently shows that prioritizing employee wellbeing leads to increased productivity, higher morale, better strategic thinking, higher energy and mental capacity, enhanced ability to overcome challenges and handle constant change, and overall job satisfaction. Further, a healthy and fulfilled leader is better equipped to steer their organization toward success. Your people need a sturdy pilot guiding the way. 

Personal wellbeing encompasses various dimensions that contribute to your overall health, happiness, and satisfaction: 

  • Mental Wellbeing: This refers to your psychological state, including your emotional resilience, stress management, and overall mental health. Factors such as work-related stress, workload, and access to mental health resources play a crucial role in mental wellbeing. 
  • Physical Wellbeing: Physical health is essential for productivity and job satisfaction. It includes aspects like nutrition, exercise, rest, and preventive health measures. Workplace safety, ergonomic conditions, and access to healthcare facilities impact physical wellbeing. 
  • Emotional Wellbeing: Emotional wellbeing relates to your emotional balance, coping mechanisms, and ability to handle challenges. Positive relationships with colleagues, a supportive work environment, and emotional resilience contribute to emotional wellbeing. 
  • Financial Wellbeing: Financial stress affects overall health. Adequate compensation, financial literacy programs, and benefits like retirement plans contribute to an employee’s financial wellbeing. 
  • Social Wellbeing: Social connections at work matter. Positive relationships with coworkers, a sense of belonging, and opportunities for social interaction enhance social wellbeing. 

Prioritizing self-care within your team is essential for maintaining overall wellbeing and productivity. Here are some strategies to encourage your team members to prioritize self-care: 

  • Lead by Example: As a leader, demonstrate the importance of self-care by practicing it yourself. When your team sees you taking breaks, conducting walking meetings, managing stress, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance/integration as much as possible, they are more likely to follow suit. 
  • Open Communication: Create an environment where team members feel comfortable discussing their wellbeing. Regular check-ins or one-on-one meetings can provide opportunities for them to share any challenges they’re facing and seek support. 
  • Educate on Self-Care: Host workshops or training sessions on self-care techniques. Cover topics such as stress management, mindfulness, personal goal setting, financial literacy, and maintaining physical health. Encourage team members to explore resources related to wellbeing. 
  • Flexible Work Arrangements and Redesigning Work to Reduce Stress: Offer flexibility in work hours or remote work options as roles and workloads allow. Allowing team members to adjust their schedules based on their personal needs can reduce stress and improve work-life balance. Think through each role and redesign roles to promote better wellbeing and reduce stress. 
  • Promote Breaks: Encourage short breaks throughout the day. Remind team members to step away from their desks, stretch, and recharge. Breaks enhance focus and prevent burnout. 
  • Include Wellbeing in Goals: When discussing performance goals, incorporate wellbeing objectives. For example, include targets related to their personal goals, such as getting enough sleep each night, to travel, learning, physical activity, stress reduction, or maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  
  • Celebrate Wins: Celebrate team members who successfully prioritize self-care. Highlight their achievements during team meetings or through recognition programs. 

Each team member’s needs are unique (including your own!), so be flexible and adaptable in your approach. By fostering a culture of self-care, you’ll create a healthier and more resilient team. Healthy workplaces value wellbeing as much as performance. Prioritizing employee wellbeing is not just a compassionate act; it’s a strategic investment. As business leaders, when we nurture our own well-being and encourage our teams to do the same, we create a positive ripple effect, not only for business, but for life.

References 

What Is Employee Well-Being? - Definition | Simpplr

What is employee well-being: Definition and strategies to create a healthy workforce (culturemonkey.io) 

How Business Leaders Can Effectively Model Work-Life Balance (forbes.com) 

Prioritizing Your Employees' Well-being Is the Smartest Business Decision You Can Make — Here's How. | Entrepreneur 


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  2. vgm

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