Benefits of office culture

How to positively lead change in the workplace

Change is a constant in today’s work place but that doesn’t make it any easier for us humans to deal with. When facing change employees look to their leaders to see them through, and as leaders we have the opportunity to make change positive for our people. Workers may be loathed to leave the familiarity of their daily routine and comfort zone, and be hesitant or fearful that they will not be able to cope. It is with a positive attitude that leaders will persuade staff to embrace change and gain much.

“A LEADER IS ONE WHO KNOWS THE WAY, GOES THE WAY AND SHOWS THE WAY”-LAOTZU.

Change is complex and challenging but a work place that does not evolve cannot be competitive, successful or thrive. Change under the correct leadership can be the catalyst to innovation, improved organizational functionality, increased competitiveness, higher financial performance and greater customer satisfaction. For employees change under correct leadership can enhance skills development, performance and personal growth. Positive, innovative and visionary leadership result in sustainable change.

The role of leadership in organizational change

“OUR CHIEF WANT IS SOMEONE WHO WILL INSPIRE US TO BE WHAT WE KNOW WE COULD BE”-RALPH WALDO EMERSON.

More than ever, the role of leadership is of tantamount importance. Organizational leadership plays the   key role in the evolution and growth of a business. A good leader helps employees face and embrace the challenges of change, while working towards organizational goals in a worthy way.  The strategic role of a leader in change can include: allocation of resources; alignment; vision; deciding on the future focus of the business; gaining commitment and motivation from the team; and achieving sustainable growth. Successful change is reliant on effective and intelligent leadership. A leader’s foot prints should be everywhere.

Since 2019, COVID changed the way we live and work. Even without a global pandemic other organizational changes could be things such as different reporting lines, restructuring and changes in the number of employees. Many structural changes are being implemented as companies adopt a hybrid workplace where employees rotate in and out. This has, and will, transform a company’s culture, engagement and the way business gets done. Demographics have also changed with innovations in health care resulting in an increased multigenerational workforce. It is essential to adapt and be innovative in creating productive and united teams. There is also a focus and prioritization on diversity and inclusion in the workplace to combat discrimination and cultural bias.

Technological advances, changes in legislation, shifts in customer expectations and service, business decisions and diversification, all bring change that need to be responded to by leaders and their strategic initiatives. A “positive change strategy” results in rewards being reaped despite organizations being in uncharted waters.

Positive benefits of change in the workplace.

With change, you must anticipate that people are going to resist. As humans, we are wired to resist change, preferring the status quo, routine and a sense of security. A change results in psychological and physiological reactions in people. The unknown is uncomfortable, and our brains will tend to seek familiarity. If employees are not supported in change it can lead to demotivation, resistance, resentment, loss of talent, job insecurity and poor performance.

 It is the leader’s role to make, implement and drive successful change. Change can have a positive impact by adding value or transforming situations and people. Research indicates that an adaptable individual can flex their personality to continue to perform in a changing context. Adaptable employees can tap into the behaviours and mindsets needed to be both disciplined and creative, thoughtful and expressive, spontaneous and logical. These characteristics of being agile, flexible or versatile bring benefits not only to themselves, but also to the whole team. Critically studies show that adaptability is something that we can learn, develop and grow.

So what can you as a leader do to make your people, teams and business adaptable and flexible? Some key behaviours to implement successful change for leaders should be:

  • Have a vision and innovative approach

Having a clear vision of where the organization is heading, aligning the team and clearly mapping the destination clearly gives direction and motivation to your people to face and conquer the challenges of change.

  • Effective communication:

Communication is always key. Without clear communication and repetition of core messages, many will struggle to positively involve themselves in change. Communication elicits better employee engagement and relations. You need to communicate the WHAT and the WHY of the change.

  • Lead authentically:

To be truly authentic is to behave in a way so that needs are met. It’s a dance between staying true to values while being flexible and malleable. By leading with clarity and authenticity you can build a strong work culture and climate.

  • Celebrate small wins:

 Leaders who celebrate and appreciate goals achieved by their employees and subordinates motivate their teams. Frequently give recognition and rewards, to maintain enthusiasm and boost confidence.  

  • Be proactive about change: 

As a leader you have to always be fit for the future, the onus is on you to be a forward thinker. Develop a futuristic mindset that scans the horizon for change. One needs to be proactive and preempt the changes before they occur. Looking back and applying past experiences and predicting the future shifts will put you on the front foot. Keep current, fail fast when appropriate and recover quickly.  

  • Collaborate and include employees in change:

As a leader you need employees to trust and respect you so you can inspire and motivate. Scout out the innovative thinkers in the organization and collaborate with them including them in change plans. Empower the employees to act consistently with the new vision and help sustain commitment to it. Encourage them and adapt your strategy to suit your employee’s needs.

  • Find change agents and champions: 

Change agents can be internal such as managers or employees. It is the individual or group who takes the task of initiating and managing change in an organization. As a leader you need to identify change agents as they are vital to successful transformation. The following traits are desirable in change agents: experience, expertise, access, flexibility, representative characteristics, enthusiasm, organizational knowledge and influence

  • Foster psychological safety:

Leader-Member relationships are key to the success. Trust is earned and as leader you need to attract employees and subordinates. A supportive management style, not a dictative style, would give the desired result. Grow your empathy by putting yourself into other’s shoes. People working in psychological safe environments feel: included, accepted and respected. When people are respected they give more than their hands or the day to day grind, they are invested and give their minds and heads as well.

  • Create mechanisms for support and feedback:

Throughout change make employees feel supported. Make time for open discussion of problem areas, things that are going well and honest questions. Offer formal coaching and access to counseling. Informal support may involve a cup of coffee, regular check ins, practice active listening and have an open door policy. Be available, be approachable. Effective feedback is critical and helps people grow, adapt, and become better versions of themselves within change.

  • Reinforce job security:

When things change people feel insecure, leaders must reassure them that their jobs are not under threat. Job security is knowing that your job is safe and having the assurance that you will be able to work in your current employment for the for seeable future. As an employer you can increase job security for employees. Encourage learning and development, upskilling, lead with pragmatism and resilience. 

Conclusion

If you are a leader that understands the need for and benefit of change and the value of your people, you will be the organization that stands above competition and you will succeed in the ever changing environment of business. Take bold steps and foster your ability to be an agent of change. This is an ever green skill you can develop for yourself and your organisation. 

Work Balance

Balance, Routine and You in 2022

Our tips to creating a sustainable work life balance and routine.

Work life balance is not just a nice to have, it is essential if you want a productive and happy life. And it is becoming even more important with the shift in work situations, the blurring of work and home boundaries, new expectations, always on culture, and increasing work pressure. Part of creating a balance for yourself and those you work with is knowing why work life balance is important, what it is and what is it not. 

Often times people think work life balance is simply time management, but time really is not the issue. Creating a balanced lifestyle is actually about feeling content in your work, decisions, priorities and life choices. At the heart of it, a work life balance requires you to be clear on your priorities, take control of your career and simplifying the rest. It truly is not something you find but rather create through consistent choices.

It is important to remember that work life balance really is different for everyone. Research suggests there are generational differences in what we see as balance, it is not something as simple as the hours spent in the office. Both men and women value work life balance, they just use different language to describe their ideal. When asked what balance would mean for them, women focus on words like balance and meaning, men will use words like priorities and impact. From an organizational perspective being an employer of choice would mean creating a culture that promotes sustainable work practices and demands, while encouraging a healthy and well life. Your talent is more likely to remain at work, be productive and engaged if they feel their company and the leaders support their needs for a meaningful, impactful and fulfilled life.

The importance of finding balance and joy at work

Finding a healthy balance between work and your personal life has a number of implications for an individual, team and organization’s wellbeing. A healthy work life balance will not only affect health but also relationships, team dynamics, productivity and performance. On an individual level, when a healthy balance is created, employees are less likely to suffer from burnout, chronic stress, poor mental health, physiological health issues like heart disease, hypertension or body pain, taking sick leave, fatigue and poor productivity. On an organizational and team level lacking a balance in your workplace culture could result in high rates of absenteeism, high staff turnover, presentism, disengagement, poor quality work and a lack of creativity.

The Psychology of Routine and Balance

When we think of routines, we often revert to thoughts of monotony and boredom, the same thing every day with the same people in the same place. A routine could mean doing a different job every day, travelling to a different country or meeting new people. It’s not about what your routine consists of, but a sequence of actions that you follow regularly with expected outcomes. Because as humans we are wired to see uncertainty as a risk, having a routine allows us to find flow, be more productive and effective. Routine almost acts as a protective factor in our day to day, allowing us to rather focus on what is important. That is why a routine is a good factor to include when you are striving to create balance, having a set of behaviors that supersede circumstances allows us to pool all our cognitive and emotional strength towards what is demanding in the moment, to use all our excess energy to balance our life demands.

Tips to cultivating a balance in your organization

As a leader in an organization it is important to ensure you support work life balance and a happy work environment through identifying what it means to your employees and incorporating this into your ways of work. Some tips for you as an organization and leader could be:

  • Set a good example and live the balance you want to instill
  • Flexible work arrangements that allow employees to work and give their best at work around the demands they may have at home
  • Letting staff work from home when it suits their role and requirements
  • Bringing balance into the office whether it be opportunities for exercise or healthy food choices
  • Creating a comfortable work environment where employees want to be
  • Encourage breaks in the work day 
  • Create a culture of switching off, leaving work at work
  • Speak about and educate your employees about the importance of their wellbeing

Tips to Create your Own Work Life Balance

Accept that it is a balance, not perfection

It is not about finding the perfect routine or schedule, but rather striving for a realistic balance. Some days might require you to be more focused on work, others on your personal commitments. Remember it is a balance you create over time, keep the bigger picture in mind. 

Plan and take control of your career

Working in a draining job or toxic environment will take a toll on your, no matter how hard you try to create a balance. You do not need to, and in fact it is probably impossible, to love every aspect of your jo but on the whole you should find some sort of reward in what you do.

Clarify your priorities

At some point you will need to realize you cannot be everything to everyone. If you find yourself in a cycle of burnout, over extending yourself and just never creating a balance – maybe it is time to simplify and figure out what it is that is important to you. Once you know what those few things are that give you meaning and impact in life you can distill your choices down to support them. 

Make your health your focus

Your physical, emotional and mental health are so important, in fact without your health it is impossible to experience any type of quality of life. Make sure that you include managing your health as part of your choices and routine in creating balance.

Don’t be afraid to unplug

Switching off and creating some distance from all the noise around us can allow us to hit refresh from time to time, we all need to decompress and give ourselves some down time. There is no nobility in being always on. 

Set clear boundaries

It can be important to clarify and reinforce your boundaries. When are you going to work? What hours are work calls and emails priority? When do you need to focus on the other parts of your life? Remaining consistent with your boundaries not only allows you to find a balance but also sets expectations and creates clarity for others. Consistency helpful for both you and those you work with.

Boost your Career

Does your career need a boost or is it more than that?

We’ve all felt like we’re stuck in a rut at some point. Be it in our personal lives or professionally, there are times where you feel that you need more or simply that something needs to change. Navigating these feelings can be difficult though.

How do you determine if it’s time for a promotion or even a new job? How do you know if you’re burnt out and need to focus more on your personal happiness? Feeling the need for change is one thing but knowing why and what changes to make is vital.

There are many reasons why we feel this way so we’re going to dive into ways you can understand what you’re feeling and figure out what you need to do. 

Struggling professionally

Ever spent a work day feeling miserable, annoyed at everyone and constantly wondering “why am I even doing this?” If you’ve ever felt anything like this, it might be time to consider the following:

It’s a good idea to upskill

These are just a few signs that it’s time to add some new skills to your repertoire;  

  1. People are being promoted around you 
  2. You find yourself getting bored easily 
  3. You’re constantly asking others for help with your tasks 

You might be sitting here and thinking but how is learning a new skill going to change anything? 

Upskilling yourself gives you the opportunity to branch out into something new and interesting while giving you the chance to add a new level of value to your company. Learning something new or mastering something you already know will give you a new sense of purpose and reignite your passion in the workplace. It is also never a bad idea to invest in yourself and learning new skills is the best way to do that.

Even better, you can use online courses from sites like Udemy that offer cost-effective options for you to expand your skillset. And you don’t even have to leave the house!

 

Career Success

Should you be asking for a raise or promotion? 

Knowing when and how to ask for a raise or promotion isn’t easy but these are a couple of signs that indicate it really is time to ask. 

  1. You killed your performance review 
  2. You’ve upskilled yourself and can now be considered as overqualified for your current position
  3. You’ve taken on  more responsibilities at work 

Asking for a raise or a promotion is a little daunting and can feel like an impossible task. There is definitely a lot that should be considered before doing so. According to this Forbes article, there are 5 major things you should think about before you make your request.

What stands out from that article is that preparation is key! Make sure you can adequately show why you deserve the raise or promotion, understand what your role is worth and know how to position yourself correctly to show the value you can add. 

Maybe it’s time for a new job 

It is so disheartening when you feel like you’re giving your all to a job that is giving nothing back to you. We spend the majority of our lives at work so when it’s not enjoyable, life as a whole can feel pretty ‘meh’. There are many reasons to find a new job, a few of them are;

  1. You’re often bored.
  2. It’s a toxic work environment
  3. It’s starting to impact your mental health
  4. You are constantly being overlooked for any promotional opportunities 

Always remember that your happiness, mental health and goals come before any job. If you are not satisfied in your current company or position then move onto bigger and better opportunities. 

Start off by really thinking about what you want and then begin browsing job listings on LinkedIn. This article by Balance Careers has some really great tips on how to get started! Starting a new job is often quite scary but the thrill of boosting your career is just SO worth it.

It’s personal 

You might find that you’re feeling really unmotivated and miserable at work but it has nothing to do with your company, your job role or anything work-related. This is when you have to really be mindful and understand where these feelings are coming from. 

Creating the elusive work-life balance can be a struggle and the fear of burnout is real. This is why it is so important for you to set boundaries within the workplace. You’ll find that once you begin to prioritise yourself, your goals and your mental health, everything falls into place. 

These are some of the best ways to overcome personal struggles that are impacting you professionally; 

  1. Begin each day on a positive note – a positive mindset can change everything!
  2. Be aware of imposter syndrome and how this is affecting you. Read more about imposter syndrome here. 
  3. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Perfection doesn’t exist so simply do the best you can.

Most importantly though, be patient with yourself and be kind to yourself. Life is difficult and we often feel endless pressure to be the best (thanks, Social Media). Simply take each day as it comes and make sure you’re doing the necessary work to keep bettering yourself.  

Whether you are struggling personally or professionally, it is time to make a change and take ownership of your own life. You’ve got this!

MANAGING STRESS AND MAKING IT WORK FOR YOU

Our outlook on finding the right balance and mindset to let stress help you rise to the occasion.

Stress has become such a natural thing in our lives, don’t you think? Just be honest with your inner mean girl for a second here, okay? When we hear a friend or colleague complaining about the stress they’re feeling,  it’s usually met with an internal “well, yes, aren’t we all?”. Maybe it’s because everybody is complaining about being stressed, having a little chin wobble over it and then carrying on with business as usual. 

This doesn’t make you an awful person (although a little self-reflection never hurt anybody). What it does mean, is that stress has become so normalized that complaining about it doesn’t really evoke any response. This is, as the global decline in overall mental health and the increase in burnout, anxiety and depression show, becoming glaringly dangerous. 

Stress from the start 

We aren’t scientists or anthropologists but we do know that understanding the original function of stress can shift your perception of how you choose to let stress into your life. 

Stress is one of our most primal instincts. It is a modifying response to threatening situations. When we say modifying we mean that when stress enters the body, our behaviour adapts to react appropriately to the situation. Our behaviour is altered by a flood of chemicals and hormones to get us out of danger as quickly as possible. 

Except, we’re not in danger all the time anymore. 

Compared to the bloodbath that is human history, the majority of us live relatively safe lives. We rarely have to fend off animals far bigger than us and we don’t get sent into the trenches to fight for our Queen. What we’re experiencing in the modern-day, is prolonged exposure to stress in environments that don’t pose any mortal danger: our offices, homes and cities. 

(If this made you feel a little existential, we have a blog about snapping out of it and embracing the world we live in)

It goes without saying that there are populations who experience tremendous physical danger and threats in their daily lives, that’s a given. However, the tigers our ancestors were used to encountering now take the form of bosses, high-strung colleagues and late credit card bills. 

You see, our environment and society have changed faster than our biology has, meaning that our bodies still react the same way to stress whether the circumstance is a real threat or not. 

Stress today 

What are some of the external factors that cause stress in the daily life of a modern person? With technology, the economy and increasingly pressurised social lives, it seems that stress is blasting from all angles: 

  1. Health concerns
  2. Deadlines (erg) 
  3. Family drama
  4. The pressure to succeed and achieve (socially and financially)
  5. Devices that always demand your attention 
  6. Financial obligations (can we put this on the list ten times?)
  7. FOMO 
  8. Option fatigue

Am I too stressed? 

Statistically, probably. 

Today, burnout seems to be the end result of being too stressed and although burnout isn’t a medical diagnosis, it can lead to serious bouts of depression and physical health issues. Some signs of burnout may include:

  1. Constantly worrying about work, especially when you’re not even at work. 
  2. You sleep too little or too much 
  3. Isolation from coworkers and friends
  4. Forgetfulness and a lack of concentration 
  5. Negative thoughts about others and more importantly, yourself.

You should not rely on this blog as a replacement for professional mental health services, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns about your physical or mental health, you should always consult with a health-care professional.

 

Finding the balance to beat the burnout

Here’s where we explore how you can find balance in your life by paying attention to how stress exists in your body, mind and finances. Taking control of your stress means facing it head-on and not treating it as the enemy. Stress is always going to be in our bodies – it is a natural response that doesn’t come about because we asked it to. What is going to make the difference, is how we re-wire our thoughts about stress and how we manage it.

Body balance

We know, we know. Even thinking of finding the time to move your body makes you stress out but we’re here to tell you, that’s a mistake. You need to find time to get your blood pumping, even if it seems like you’re giving up precious time that could be used for finishing up loose ends at work or responding to emails. No! Even a small workout will help shed excess adrenaline and cortisol from the body, leaving you in a relaxed but energised state. 

Movement is medicine and we couldn’t be more sure of that. 

Money balance 

Face your finances. You are more likely to be stressed out about the ideas you have about the state of your finances than the actual facts and figures. This is the problem with modern-day stress – we assume the worst without doing the research. 

Have a budget, have a savings account and have a backup plan. Most of us know the basics of money from a young age and understanding money is how we make it less scary. Work with compound interest, spend way less than you make and make the effort to use your money for something good and kind.

Mind balance

This is where the magic happens, we believe. Changing how you feel about stress is going to change how stress impacts your life and even your health. 

When we feel under stress, we immediately retreat inwards and think of it as a negative situation. Imagine if every time you were stressed, you appreciate what your body was trying to do for you: help you rise to the occasion. Stress was never created to debilitate us and when we see stress as a tool instead of a hindrance, we may find the emotion takes less of a toll on our mental and physical health.

We found a fantastic TedTalk by Kelly McGonigal on How to Make Stress your Friend. Seriously, it’s worth a watch! 

A word from WellBe&Co 

Through the sharing of knowledge and experience, we want to help build communities and individuals become the most optimal version of themselves both physically and mentally.  

Your health is your wealth so make lasting changes, one habit at a time.

The WellBe Team

New Goals

6 TIPS FOR SETTING REALISTIC GOALS IN THE NEW YEAR

Setting goals and forming sustainable habits 

When it comes to making promises for the New Year, we are all in the habit of letting ourselves down and breaking those resolutions just a few weeks into the year. So, how can you go about setting realistic goals and forming sustainable habits that will bring about real, lasting change in the new year? 

When it comes to developing new goals for the future, it helps to work toward them with a more gradual approach rather than expecting to change immediately. So, here are some tips on how to set attainable, realistic goals for the new year using strategies that really work. 

1. Write your goals down and review your progress 

Simply writing your goals down and sticking them up somewhere visible in your home is already a big step towards helping you view your New Year’s resolutions as more permanent objectives.

In the same way, journaling about your progress can help you keep your goals in mind and track your achievements so that you have something concrete to refer to during times that you find yourself straying from your resolution or losing sight of your goals. 

It’s important to regularly acknowledge the progress you’ve made and the small achievements you accomplish every week. Keeping a diary is also a great way to note any areas that you’re currently struggling or any habits that you’re having trouble with breaking.

2. Allow yourself some flexibility 

Setting goals is a great way to work towards achieving a set objective (such as losing weight, getting a promotion or improving at a sport) but, if you find a resolution too difficult to stick to, it’s always much better to re-evaluate and rework your long-term goals instead of completely dropping your New Year’s resolution when it starts to seem too challenging. The key is to focus on setting more fluid objectives rather than rigid, inflexible goals. 

When it comes to developing long-term, sustainable goals, don’t be afraid to adjust the goal to a lower intensity in the beginning and continue working towards the same end result over time.

3. Avoid quitting habits ‘cold-turkey’

Quitting habits ‘cold turkey’ will often result in a higher degree of failure, and the effect of this sudden change to your routine can actually be counteractive.

For example, declaring yourself completely junk-food free or totally plant-based in the new year is a great objective to work towards, but a very difficult change to make off-the-bat.

Instead of making your goal to eat less unhealthy food, why not focus on trying to eat more healthy food at the start. You may feel more deprived if you think of taking something away. But choosing to add good, balanced and hearty foods to your diet is a great way to slowly replace those unhealthy foods and work towards the same end goal. 

4. Set goals that are realistic and attainable

While it is always important to dream big, it’s essential that you consider whether the goal you’re setting is really applicable to you and your current lifestyle. Time restraints, lack of experience or financial restraints could be working against you, and you run the risk of losing motivation and setting yourself up to fail when you don’t take these considerations into account.

When setting goals, the most effective strategy is to plan your steps towards achieving these goals wisely and establishing a realistic time frame, process and action plan.

5. Be smart about how you achieve your goals

Sticking to a new workout routine or eating plan can be difficult, and when you are working towards a challenging goal, things are bound to get a little tough. Having someone at your side to motivate and encourage you along the way will help to make the process a little easier, and it’s the perfect way to keep one another accountable. Remember to seek advice from your partner and ask them about their own struggles or accomplishments that they have experienced along the way.

Try to design goals that can be accomplished with a partner. Surrounding yourself with constant encouragement from someone else who is following your progress and working towards the same end goal will get you one step closer to maintaining motivation and achieving your objectives. 

6. Reward yourself for small achievements

Remember that change doesn’t come overnight and rewarding yourself for achieving small milestones can be a great way to keep your motivation levels high and renew your inspiration as you continue to work towards real, permanent change in your life. 

This could be something as simple as taking yourself out to breakfast at the end of the week, setting aside time to read a book you enjoy for 30 minutes, making a delicious, gourmet dessert or even just enjoying an at-home spa day.

Giving yourself small rewards along the way will help you to better enjoy the journey towards building sustainable, long-lasting habits. The idea is not to punish yourself for failing to attain your goal but to reward yourself for the small steps and signs of progress you’re able to make.

New Goals

Reboot the New Year with WellBe 

Here at WellBe we want to give you the right tools to strengthen your mind and your body. That’s why we’ve developed our two new 12 week nutrition and training guides to help you live every day with a clear intention to get closer to achieving your goals and living a more happy, motivated life.

Our easy-to-implement, lifestyle-focussed nutrition, training and health solutions are fun, simple and the perfect way to improve your focus and renew your motivation for the year ahead with a variety of healthy, balanced meal plans and killer workout routines.

Want to learn more? Check out our Instagram page or contact one of our friendly WellBe team members for more information today.

Women Power

EMPOWERING WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE: 5 WAYS TO CREATE A MORE POSITIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE

In today’s business world, leaders can’t afford to underestimate the importance of empowering women at work. From driving innovation to boosting a corporation’s profits, the value of having strong women in the workplace is undeniable. That’s why, this women’s month, we discuss the five most important tools to help organisations everywhere strengthen their female leadership and direct the conversation towards creating a more positive workplace culture.

What is “workplace culture”?

Workplace culture is a product of individual factors that come together to create the every-day environment in an organisation. Think of it as the character or personality of your organization.

Essentially, the space in which we work is shaped by a collection of the values, attitudes, priorities, workplace practices and the type of leadership in the organisation.

Creating a positive workplace culture 

The biggest mistake most organizations make is that they let their workplace culture form organically without first defining a specific culture or environment that they hope to create. 

However, no matter how big or small the organisation, every business can take gradual steps to start making their workplace a space that encourages and empowers women, and one that is mindful of creating new practices that support female career advancement.

1. Amplify the female voice  

In an interview with BBC News, Facebook’s VP, Nicola Mendelsohn, noted that women’s voices are often overlooked in the workplace, saying that “Women get interrupted a lot, or people talk over them. I think there is an element that happens in the workplace where we actually condition women not to speak.” 

That’s why it’s essential that organisations encourage open dialogue in the workplace. By providing opportunities for women to have their voices heard, your organisation can help women to educate the rest of the office and allow them to begin to form the type of workplace culture that they’d like to see themselves. 

In practice, your organisation can offer workplace training on topics such as implicit bias, inclusion and diversity. Some employees may have never heard of these topics before, let alone critically analyzed them in the workplace. This is a great way to continue to bring the experience of women in the workplace to the forefront of the conversation. 

2. Listen and learn 

Creating a positive workplace culture is about allowing women to express themselves openly, without fear of judgement. One of the main ways workplace environments can be damaging to female employees is when men in leadership positions try to discredit female voices using tactics such as “tone policing” or by “derailing” the conversation. 

This is basically when men try to take focus away from real issues female face in the workplace and put it on the way they choose to express this issue and the tone of voice they use. At its core, this suggests that women have to distance themselves from their emotions in order to be heard, and it allows men to define the terms of the conversation. 

That’s why it’s absolutely essential that leaders openly acknowledge their female employees’ experiences in the current workplace culture rather than dismissing the conversation out of fear of criticism.

3. Encourage female leadership

Promoting strong, deserving women to prominent management roles is a great way to create a more positive workplace culture. It also sets a valuable precedent that says, “Yes! Women can hold leadership positions in our organization.” 

Gender diversity in the workplace is an essential factor in creating positive results such as bringing in new perspectives, making firms more productive and widening the talent pool. It also tends to signal a more attractive work environment and a positive workplace culture to other potential female employees.

Diversifying management and ensuring female representation also gives women the ability to provide valuable input when it comes to important decisions about the organisation’s policies and practices that will affect the day-to-day lives of every female at work. 

4. Equal wages for equal work and experience 

It’s only natural; we all love to be rewarded and recognized for good work. In fact, one of the leading factors encouraging motivation in the workplace is something called the Incentive Theory of Motivation

According to leading psychologists, most people work harder and stay at higher levels of motivation when they are inspired by external reinforcements such as the possibility of promotion, higher wages and an opportunity for growth. 

Equal pay is one of the most important parts of creating a space where employees feel valued. Women can’t thrive in the workplace or reach their full potential if they feel that the strengths they bring to the workplace are not recognized and that they are not equally rewarded for their contribution to the team.

5. Support professional development 

Creating a safe and open relationship with female employees in the workplace is a real sign of progress, but it’s also important to go a step further and actively provide opportunities for women to grow their skills and enhance their professional development in the workplace. 

For example, by creating a mentorship programme for women in the organisation, female employees can shadow other women in leadership roles and build relationships with strong female examples. For most women, seeing another woman in a position of authority is empowering and encouraging, and it is also crucial for better career advancement and professional development within the company. 

Your organisation could also consider offering female employees the chance to attend conferences or workshops relevant to the leading practices in your industry. It’s a great way to help them gain some practical experience while developing the skills needed to move up in the organisation. This could be anything from funding external skills development courses to offering leadership training programs which will equip them with the tools to jump-start their career. 

Strong Women

Women at WellBe 

WellBe&Co strives to empower women by helping ladies everywhere to become their happiest, healthiest selves. WellBe is a corporate wellness company that specializes in easy-to-implement, lifestyle-focused nutrition, training and health solutions.

We know that no two women are alike. That’s why we provide nutrition advice, training programs and supplement advice tailored to your individual needs, goals and personal preferences.

Our WellBe family believes that women who support other women should be every organisation’s ultimate goal. So, if you’re feeling a little unmotivated, simply join our WellBe Instagram community made up of prominent women in the fitness industry where we share daily tips, tricks and motivational messages so that we can all improve and grow together.

Follow our regularly-updated, informative blog posts for guidance on topics that deal with everything from workplace productivity to the art of living a more mindful life. And, while you’re at it, why not take a look at our simple set of recipes that will have you eating clean in no time?

Start the learning journey today and you’ll be your healthiest self both at home and in the workplace in no time. 

Home Office

HOW TO BE PRODUCTIVE WHILE WORKING FROM HOME: 10 TIPS TO GET THE WORK DONE

With the announcement of the 21-day lockdown in South Africa, which started at midnight the 26th of March 2020, as well as the accepted practise of social distancing and self-isolation, more and more of us are now working from home. 

And let’s be honest – working from home is something many of us have been wanting to chat to our bosses about implementing more regularly. But working from home during a global pandemic can have a bit of a strange and uneasy feeling to it. 

Some of us are more productive when we work from home. And others? Not so much. And that’s okay. But at the end of the day, your boss (even if you are your own boss) expects you to get the work done. It might feel like the world is coming to a screeching halt, but that doesn’t mean that deadlines don’t exist. 

When you’re at work (at the office office), then your coworkers are likely to pose the greatest threat to interrupting your work. They might drop by your desk for a chat, invite you to lunch or even just frustrate you with their annoying desire to always spread the office gossip (I mean, no one really cares that Karen’s shoes don’t match her blouse, Judy). 

At your home office, you pretty much become your own worst enemy. That’s because your home is loaded with distractions. And, this one is kinda obvious, no one is watching or micromanaging you. Oh, and also, you don’t have to wear pants. 

That’s why we have put together a bunch of effective and simple tips to make working from home productive. 

1. Replace the time spent sitting in traffic with exercise

Your morning commute no longer exists – hooray! But that doesn’t mean you should spend that extra hour or so hitting snooze and tangled under the covers. Even if it is really cosy. 

Many freelancers and entrepreneurs have said that starting their day with some exercise helps their mind and body align to the day ahead. Exercise will leave you feeling energised, get the blood flowing and help you to focus throughout the day. 

When you wake up, go for a walk, put on a yoga YouTube video – click on the link to check out some of our favourites, or burn some calories with an at-home workout routine – no matter what you do, just make sure you get moving. 

2. Shower and get out of your PJs

It’s hard to get into work-mode when your outfit screams “bed mode.” 

We’re not saying you have to put on a suit and tie, or a pencil skirt and stilettos, but having a shower to freshen up and getting changed into clothes that aren’t your track pants and oversized hoodie is a great way to get your head in the game and start your day. 

After you are all fresh and clean, have a nutritious breakfast to kickstart your day and keep your mind focused on the task at hand. These Berry Overnight Oats are a great option to try!

3. Create a dedicated workspace

Now is the time to clear out some space in your house to create a dedicated working area. Instead of copping yourself up on your bed or on the couch, clearly differentiate between spaces of leisure and work in your house. This will help you to get into the right frame of mind. 

4. Turn off your social media notifications

Make it hard for yourself to get distracted by social media. Turn off your notifications for Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms on your phone. Close all social media tabs open on your computer. 

5. Work when you are the most productive 

Figure out what hours you are most productive and create your work schedule around those times. Some people are more productive in the early hours of the morning or in the evening. Others might prefer to work during regular working hours (8 to 5 sort of thing) to stick to their accustomed routine. Find out what works for you and create your workload to fit into those productive hours. 

Expert tip: You can use your slower points of the day to get cracking on easier and possibly more logistical tasks and keep your more complicated work for when you are firing on all cylinders. 

Home Office

6. Create a to-do list at the end of every day for the following day

Before you finally call it a day, create a to-do list of what you need to get done the following day. Make use of digital project management systems like Monday (a super simple project management tool). 

7. Create playlists for certain tasks

Listen to music that matches the energy of your projects. For example, video game soundtracks are lyric-free and can help you focus on your work. 

Another great example (and one of our personal favourites) is lo-fi hip hop. Take a look at some other examples here

8. Meal prep 

There’s nothing more distracting than trying to find something to eat in a fridge that seems pretty bare. It’s a good idea to prep your meals for the week to minimise time spent in the kitchen when you could be getting important work tasks done. Plus, meal prepping will also help you ensure you stick to a healthy eating plan. 

9. Take regular breaks

It’s easy to get sucked into your work and forget to take breaks. This will undoubtedly lead to burnout. Some experts suggest setting a timer on your phone for every 50 minutes. When the timer goes off, get up from your desk, close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths. 

You can also use your breaks to complete a chore around the house, go for a walk (if you can leave your home) or even squeeze in a quick 10-minute yoga workout. 

10. Focus on one task at a time

Multitasking is not going to help you get your work done. The more you attempt to complete various tasks in parallel, the more energy you have to invest in just tracking your task and keeping things in order. When you focus on one task at a time, you can then redirect your mental and physical energy on being more productive. 

Follow these top tips to get your work done effectively while working from home! 

Employee wellness program

5 STEPS TO A HAPPIER, HEALTHIER & MORE PRODUCTIVE WORKPLACE

The new decade is well underway and can I just say, I for one am incredibly excited for this year and the opportunities to come! 

Of course, with the start of the new year, we often tend to hit the ground running. We all know the rush of a new year. Trying to find our feet and get back into a routine but most importantly getting adjusted and back into the swing of things at work can be difficult. As each day passes, work can become a little more unpleasant for all employees… but it doesn’t have to be! 

There are programs you can put in place to improve employee health and wellness, and as a whole, this aims to help reduce sick absenteeism, improve employee productivity and enhance the overall work environment. You’re probably wondering how we’re going to do that? 

Have you ever heard of an employee wellness program? Massive brands like Google and Virgin have implemented these sorts of programs into their companies and have seen the benefits in happier, more productive employees who actually want to come to work. 

What is an employee wellness program?

There’s no one definition that defines an employee wellness program and there’s no right or wrong way of doing it. It all depends on the needs of your employees. 

An employee wellness program is just what the name suggests. It is a plan put in place to increase the overall health and happiness of your employees. It’s a little way of showing that you as an employer care about your people. No matter the size of your company, you can start your own employee wellness program in just 5 easy steps. 

Some programs focus on health education, other programs host health days where screenings are conducted and employees are able to learn more about their own health. A  wellness program can be as simple as morning meditations and rewards for healthy and active lifestyles among your employees. There are many ways of implementing a wellness program. 

Don’t worry if you feel a little confused or slightly overwhelmed – we can help you!    

What are the benefits of employee wellness programs?

Healthy and happy employees bring an array of benefits to the workplace! Some of these include:

  • More productive employees

There are numerous studies that suggest a healthy lifestyle correlates with increased productivity. Don’t believe us? Next time you hit a rut, get your heart rate up (deep breathing and a few jumping jacks can do the trick!) or change your snacks to some nutritious ones and you’ll likely get back into the zone.

For more information on office productivity, read this article!

  • Less office stress

Too many people and companies accept workplace stress as the norm. But it leads to burnout, which can result in higher employee turnover. This is why a wellness program is important. It will give your employees a new perspective of the workplace.

  • Fewer colds, flu and other illnesses

Everyone knows healthy practices prevent illness. And your business will have a higher rate of success when fewer sick days are taken.

  • Fewer office-related injuries

Taking a break to exercise or just stretch prevents common office injuries.

  • Happier employees

Offering a wellness program leads to happier employees. They’ll appreciate the benefit and be generally positive because they’re leading a healthy life and they will be happier knowing that the place they work at cares about them. 

 

Effective employee wellness programs

Where to start

It can be difficult navigating your way through an employee wellness program to figure out the best approach and what’s suited to your employees (but that’s what we’re here for). 

These 5 steps are the perfect way to get started! Let’s take a look…

1. Identify current issues 

A little research goes a long way! You will struggle to improve employee health and wellness without figuring out what some of the main issues are first.

Look at time and attendance, days of sick leave taken, employee satisfaction and stress levels, as well as extended health insurance costs. Talk to both management and employees to get an understanding of where the biggest issues are.

We, at WellBe, see this as a pivotal step in starting an employee wellness program because it puts you in the right direction of what’s important and what’s needed. 

2. Get input from everyone

Once you’ve found out some of the areas that need some work, chat with your employees to figure out what they’d like and what they’d what to get out of the wellness program. 

It’s pointless implementing a program that no one is interested in. 

3. Make a plan that fits

Now that you’ve collected your data, you can start putting a plan together. Remember to make sure the plan is aligned with your company culture so that more employees are excited to get on board! If you need a little assistance, get in touch with our team and we can help develop a personalised plan for your company and the needs of your employees. 

4. Encourage employee and management buy-in

Communicate the plan throughout the office and get management involved. This way more employees will be excited to take part. 

5. Track, measure and readjust

As with any workplace policy, measuring success, soliciting feedback, and adjusting accordingly will be key to the long-term success of an employee wellness program. This can be done by taking surveys or asking a variety of employees for their feedback. 

It’s also a good idea to celebrate achievements; anything from recognising individual employee goals for better health to crowning winners of office challenges can go a long way towards building support around the program.

Employee wellness programs are growing in popularity by the day and for good reason. These programs are important to the happiness of your employees and the overall success of your business. These programs are a great way of showing your employees that you value them! 

Some examples of effective employee wellness programs

I mentioned how your employee wellness initiative doesn’t have to be fancy and complicated. Not in the least. In fact, here are some simple solutions to improving employee wellness: 

  • Healthy snacks in the breakroom 
  • Healthy meals in the canteen 
  • Walking meetings 
  • Discounts off gym memberships for employees
  • Sunrise yoga on certain mornings 
  • Challenge boards where employees can write down their health goals (run a 5km race, lose weight, stop smoking etc.) and rewards are given to those who achieve their goals. 
  • On-site massage therapists 
  • On-site psychologist or life coach 

You can find more detail on these examples here

The final word

We know you’re probably very busy though and the logistics of a wellness program might sound a little time-consuming but that’s why we’re here! Find out more about the employee wellness programs we do and let us know if we can help you!