Why January is a great time to kick off your wellbeing programme

When Christmas and New Year are over it can be a challenge for employees to find the energy and motivation to bounce back into work.

Dark mornings, miserable weather, all the extra calories consumed over the festive period, and the psychological ‘start of a new year’ can all influence engagement levels in the workplace.

Combined with this, the New Year is a time where people reflect and consider what it is that they would like to change within their lives or within themselves.

Yet even the thought of creating change can be difficult for some employees.  Lack of motivation and the New Year blues can have them reaching for the left over wine from Christmas.

This is why kicking off a wellbeing programme in January can be a great idea to energise your workforce and inspire them to discover new ways to feel good about themselves.

A lot of the focus in January tends to be on physical health with people looking to shed extra pounds, get fitter and eat more healthily.

Wellbeing programmes that educate people on how to get the best from their bodies by understanding more about the physiology of their body, how food influences mood and how to create all day long energy can be a great way to put health and vitality into the heart of your workforce.

The New Year can also prove difficult for many emotionally and mentally.  Emotions may be running high due to family arguments over Christmas.  There may be some people who have been alone over the festive period and are struggling with feelings of isolation and depression.  Some people may be feeling emotionally overwhelmed because a member of the family has cancer and it could have been their last Christmas together.

Mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health.  With 1 in 4 people experiencing  a mental health problem each year, the New Year can prove to be a positive time to launch a wellbeing programme to help your employees get the New Year off on the right track.

A wellbeing programme that delivers the knowledge, tools and resources needed to create a healthy mind set, new habits and emotional balance can be incredibly liberating and empowering for your employees.

All of which enhance focus, productivity and engagement.

If you would like help with ensuring your employees start 2016 feeling great, then contact us today for your complimentary wellbeing analysis.

 

 

Building true resilience

What have I done?? After the last two, I said I wouldn’t do another one.

So why, as my finger was hovering over the button to sign up for the Edinburgh half marathon, did I sign up for the Edinburgh marathon instead?

This may sound crackers, but I actually decided that a half marathon was too easy. It wasn’t enough of a challenge.

As the Queen of resilience, I decided it was time to push myself again, to prove to myself that I had what it takes to eat, sleep and breathe resilience…..a whole 26 miles of it.

For those of you who have never run a marathon, let me tell you, the actual marathon part is easy! It’s the 6 months of training before hand that requires every ounce of your physical, mental and emotional resilience.

Pulling yourself out of bed at 6am to run 10 miles when it’s still dark and cold requires a huge dollop of resilience! Pushing yourself through your pain barrier to keep going when you still have another 14 miles to go requires massive mental resilience. Staying in on a Friday night when your friends are off to the pub after work because you have a 22 mile run in the morning, requires every inch of your emotional resilience (trust me I have been there!).

I’m not doing it to raise money for charity (unless you wish to donate to the ‘buy Sara a Mulberry handbag fund’ – a very deserving cause), I’m simply doing it for myself. I know feeling my body get stronger and leaner every day, my energy rising and experiencing my mental capacity expand will all be worth it…and of course the feeling of pure elation when I cross the finishing line that will stay with me forever.

 

Resilience training – what’s the big hype?

Resilience; The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness

According to the Oxford English dictionary, resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. In business terms, what does that actually mean?

Many savvy organisations are beginning to turn their attention to the concept of resilience training for employees as a means to reduce or manage absence proactively in the workplace and enhance employee performance.

Over recent years and particularly in the face of challenging economic times, organisations have started to make the link that resilient employees perform better, have greater sustained energy and the ability to bounce back far quicker than those who are less resilient, stressed and unable to cope with setbacks or change.

Resilient employees are able to “roll with the punches” and adapt to adversity without lasting difficulties; less resilient employees have a harder time with stress and life changes, both major and minor. When employees have the knowledge and skills required to be more resilient on a physical, emotional and mental level, they perform at an enhanced level.

A workforce characterised by low resilience levels often demonstrates higher than average levels of absence, challenges with presenteeism and lower levels of morale and employee engagement, team building and cognition. Growing research suggests that organisations faced with this in the workplace are more likely to see a decline in competitive advantage, market share and profitability.

Resilient individuals make resilient employees. The ability of resilient employees to stay motivated, control stress and enjoy life translates into bottom line results.

Harvard Business School reviewed what was key in order for organisations to move forward and grow successfully. The four key factors were;

  • Empathy
  • Perspective Taking
  • Rapport
  • Cooperation

Even low levels of stress rob an individual of the ability to do any of these because of the physiological impact on the mind and body.  Therefore, for organisations to not only survive but move forward, providing employees with the knowledge, skills and tools to develop and maintain resilience is a key investment.

Would you like to know more about how resilience training can help to transform your workforce? Contact us today and find out how we can help support you to create a workforce fit for the future.