Wellbeing at work continues to rise up the agenda but in reality many businesses are just carrying on as before, it is almost as if the slogan “we can now talk about it” has released them from taking any serious action – just as long as they can talk about it. But if we just carry on and expect the problem to get better then as Einstein said… we’re all insane.
I recently read one of those newspaper columns where a business owner asks a question of a specialist. In this case the question was about the Wellbeing of the business owners employees, the business owner wanted to know how this should be addressed
The answer was quite long winded and ambiguous, as these columns tend to be, however, the final paragraph was really interesting, it said:
“I hope that this drive towards Wellbeing doesn’t only produce a cohort of consultants who write Wellbeing Policies that are never read or implemented. The drive towards Wellbeing has to mean that we will all have to fundamentally change the way we do business.”
It is the final few words that impressed me:
We will all have to fundamentally change the way we do business.
We all see the symptoms of poor health everyday, unsmiling, unhappy people, low productivity, the list of symptoms can be almost endless but if we only focus on the symptoms, we will not identify and correct the causes. But to correct the causes we do have to fundamentally change the way we do business.
If we think about the way we do business today, I mean really think about what we do and its impact:
think about the impact that this has on our families, employees, colleagues,
think about how we impact our customers and suppliers,
think about how we impact the environment.
We are all human beings, we all have a right to be treated with respect, this includes past, current & future generations. If someone behaves in a way that prompts you to say “I wouldn’t want them to treat my mum like that”. or your children, or the people you love, then this bahviour is wrong, the way they do business is wrong?
I have listed some of the areas of business practice that I think are not conducive to our good health. In fact many of these, and their pervasive nature, have such a negative impact on our health that it will impact on our the length and quality of our lives.
Working and being available 24/7.
Modern technology is abused and is often not used to make sure we all benefit.
The design of the built environment does not reflect human requirements.
Legislation is the upper bar for behaviour, few people aspire beyond this point.
People are regarded as human capital and this capital has to be used in the most cost effective way, irrespective of personal & social cost.
All business assets are expendable.
Liability is limited. There is no calculation or awareness of added value.
Hierarchy is based upon social & cultural nepotism.
Natural skills are ignored or mocked and engineered skills are prized.
Business education encourages template management, missing uniqueness, creativity & innovation.
Evidence based management is often not in evidence.
Communication is impersonal and via email or text.
Bad behaviour is accepted as a norm.
We work too fast, missing the opportunities and wisdom gained when we slow down.
I hope that this list encourages you to look at the way you do business and see how you can change things for the better in the coming year.