BUSINESS IS UNWELL
The business press is littered with headlines like these: 85% of employees say they hate their jobs! Only 13% of people are engaged in their jobs! Upwards of $75B is lost due to poor customer service! It seems clear that our workplaces are ailing and not only for employees but also for customers.
Why is this?
While there are many potential causes, I would argue these three key things as culprits.
- Misdirected priorities, whether stated or implied, that are emotionally meaningless and self-serving rather than noble, service-focused, and of benefit to more than just the organization.
- Hierarchical command-and-control management that creates uninspired, disengaged employees who work because they have to not because they want to.
- Difficult, complex systems and processes that are a struggle for both employees and customers.
Can business get well?
I believe it can and it begins with a strategy consisting of mindsets and practices that through practice and application lead to health.
Much like how we approach personal wellness by nourishing and nurturing our minds and bodies, Business Wellness is a similar strategy of nourishing and nurturing that involves the ongoing examination and improvement of the ecosystem of an organization to bring value and fulfillment to all stakeholders.
In practice, Business Wellness is about making a company function more effectively by aligning everyone to a mission of service, leading people instead managing them, and improving systems and processes to be easy, efficient, and effective for both customers and employees.
And the goal? To create better workplaces where employees want to, rather than have to, create better customer experiences and overall business success. The formula is simple: better workplace life means better customer life, and overall, better life… for all of us. This is wellness.
GETTING WELL: THE MODEL
Start the journey to wellness by weaving the following practices into the fabric of your workplace to create an organization your employees and customers want to be part of.
COMMIT TO HELPFULNESS
Contrary to the overwhelming focus on profits and shareholder value, businesses are first and foremost in the business of helping people achieve objectives and when this fundamental purpose is recognized and acknowledged, it changes priorities, behaviors, and actions.
Companies aren’t here to simply sell products and services to customers, they are here to provide valuable products and services that help customers reach their objectives and be successful and to do that well requires a commitment to being helpful from the C-suite to field support to managers to the front line.
Businesses in pursuit of wellness think differently and move away from hierarchical, command-and-control structures toward a more democratic, team-oriented design, a design that starts with a belief that all employees bring their own unique set of talents and experiences to the table and have the potential to lead when the time is right and fitting for their particular strengths.
Leaders in these organizations practice three key elements necessary for wellness, namely, Engagement, Empowerment, and Encouragement.
All organizations use systems, processes, and procedures to get the work done. These systems though are often inefficient and overly complicated which can spell misery for not only employees but for customers as well.
When a business works toward wellness they seek to overcome these challenges by making a considered effort to examine and improve these systems to make work easier, more efficient and effective which leads to easier, more efficient and effective customer experiences.
By focusing on the impact of the system on employees and customers rather than just the benefit to the organization, wellness is possible.
These are the key ideas behind Wellness for Business. At the foundation of the organization is a commitment to helpfulness that is focused on teammates serving teammates so the organization can best serve customers. Steering the organization are managers who aren’t managers of people, rather, they’re leaders of people who engage, empower, and encourage. And working to create results are the employees who benefit from systems and processes that are easy, efficient, and effective for both them and customers. The result outside the organization is an army of customer advocates who defend the organization and make it more successful. This is the prescription for wellness and a mission for the future of better workplace life, better customer life, and better life.