Did you know that emotions are contagious? The mood and well-being of one individual in the workplace has the potential to impact all those around them, including colleagues, clients and more…
The other day I needed to run to the grocery store to get some things for dinner but I already had a lot on my plate. I was feeling overwhelmed as I put my car into park and quickly scanned my work emails before getting out to head into the store. My mind was going through my to-do-list and all of the things I felt I needed to get done. I had a feeling of tension in my stomach and overall, I just felt stressed. As I grabbed my shopping cart, a person who was leaving looked at me with a smile, said hello and asked how my day was going. Their tone was upbeat and kind and their smile was genuine and warm. I found myself smiling and responding with a laugh saying it was busy but good. I wished them a good day and headed into the store. I found that I was feeling more relaxed, happier and less stressed. My stomach felt better and my mind had come back to the present moment. I ended up really enjoying shopping for something fun to make for dinner and when I pulled out of the parking lot to continue with my day everything felt much more manageable. This interaction lasted approximately 10 seconds and it impacted how I felt immediately. I then carried that feeling and new perspective with me for the rest of my day.
By taking care of your own well-being, you will be able to show up as the best version of yourself at work, at home and in your life. This will ultimately have a positive influence on the well-being of everyone around you. Here are 5 ways to support well-being in the workplace which will also promote a vibrant and healthy company culture.
- Enhance Non-Verbal and Verbal Communication — Are you aware of your body language? If you are having a conversation with your arms crossed against your chest while looking away from the person you are talking with, you could come across as closed off, frustrated or disinterested. Instead, try and have an open posture with your arms at your side, palms open, angled towards the person while they are talking. Make good eye contact and have a genuine smile. Utilize mindful active listening while having conversations by bringing your focus and attention to the person talking and what they are saying. Let go of worrying about what to say next and just focus on being present. Ask mindful questions and summarize what the person said to make sure you are on the same page. Express gratitude and when you need to give feedback, do so in a constructive way. Think about using a sandwich approach where you start off with something the person is doing well, then layer in the constructive feedback and finish with empowering positive feedback. Make sure to let employees know they are appreciated and valued by telling them and showing them.
- Incorporate Regular Breaks Throughout the Workday — Taking regular breaks throughout the workday is a key component for well-being and productivity. While having 30-60 minutes for a break is great, those longer breaks aren’t always practical. Taking regular micro breaks to incorporate self-care and non-work-related things are incredibly important. Schedule these breaks into your calendar to incorporate movement, relaxation, meditation, breathing exercises and other things you enjoy.
- Support a Growth Mindset — A growth mindset views setbacks and challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Create a safe space for employees to try new things, build new skills and develop innovative ideas. Nurturing empowering self-talk can support well-being and confidence. An example would be instead of saying “I’m bad at this” try to see this from a new perspective such as “I am still learning and this is all part of the process.”
- Encourage Healthy Lifestyle Choices — Create a work environment where movement is incorporated into the workday. Take walking meetings, move your body during breaks and consider having exercise meetups. Promote nutritious food choices by having healthy foods available in the office and consider having an expert speak to your company or group about making healthy lifestyle choices.
- Build Connection — Make getting to know your colleagues & employees a priority. Incorporate team building activities and ways to connect over common interests. Use people’s names and put important events like birthdays into your calendar.
By incorporating these 5 things into the workplace, you will be setting the stage for employee well-being and a healthy company culture. By making your own well-being a priority you will not only be promoting optimal health and happiness for yourself, but also for your colleagues, your family and friends.
Disclaimer: The information shared in this article solely represents the opinion of the author and is meant for informational and educational purposes only. This is not medical advice or treatment recommendations. Always seek the guidance of your healthcare provider when you have any questions regarding your specific health, changes to diet and exercise or any medical conditions.