by Kerry Wekelo
Do you bring your work stress home? The American Institute of Stress states that 80% of workers feel stress on the job. Many are bringing that same stress home to their families, not realizing that children can sense when their parents are stressed. But, leaders can thrive at work and home when a culture of wellness is implemented in the workplace. Stress does not have to be an ingredient for success.
“It doesn’t have to be that way,” says Kerry Alison Wekelo, working mom and author of Culture Infusion: 9 Principles to Create and Maintain a Thriving Organizational Culture (www.kerryalison.com). “Successful leaders prioritize personal wellness, both at home and at work. Successful organizations follow that lead by integrating work/life balance into their organizational culture. For instance, if team members see their leadership team focusing on personal well-being by taking time off to go to their child’s school play, using their lunch break to move, utilizing breathing exercises as they are handling challenging situations, others will be more inclined to follow their lead.”
Leaders that share this culture of wellness with their employees will see positive results. Families will also benefit from this work/life balance. Positive energy will be brought home thus creating a calmer, happier, and healthier household. Children will enjoy a less stressed mom or dad. Corporations will reap the benefits of having a more productive, inspired, and motivated employee. Corporations experiencing a high rate of employee absences due to stress related ailments will see thriving employees taking less sick days.
Here are 4 tips to help leaders thrive at work and home:
- Insist on a healthy work/life balance. Work and home used to have clearer boundaries, but these days work is always a mouse click or text message away. That can make it tough for both employees and corporate leaders to balance their lives, but Wekelo insists it’s important that they do. “When your life is well balanced, you will be more satisfied, more motivated, happier and healthier.” To achieve that balance, she says, you need to learn to say “no;” to set boundaries, such as declining to take work calls after 9 p.m.; and to handle issues as they come up so that you aren’t thinking about them after you go home. Leaders should practice this themselves and then help their companies facilitate it for employees.
- Practice effective communication. Communication isn’t just about what you say, it’s how well you listen. Wekelo says, “You want to be an active listener. That means you not only hear the words the other person is saying, but you try to understand the complete message that’s being expressed.” To achieve that, you should practice empathy, focus your attention, show you are listening through both verbal and non-verbal responses, suspend judgment, ask questions and verify that you correctly understand the other person’s message.
- Focus on your people. If employees are happy, customers will have a better experience, There are 3 key factors to achieving this. “Hiring the right people, providing a robust and generous benefits package, and prioritizing wellness efforts that encourage employees to exercise and eat right.”
- Regularly conduct employee surveys. It’s important to ask employees about what’s working and what’s not working. “But remember that surveys that only gather information are not useful,” Wekelo says. “To make them effective, your organization must also provide detailed results back to your team and create an implementation plan that includes some of your employees’ ideas.”
Wekelo concludes, “Exceptional leaders know how to motivate employees, retain quality talent and cultivate job satisfaction.”
For eCourses, seminars, and consulting services from Kerry Wekelo visit http://bit.ly/2gYbXbP
Kerry Wekelo received her B.S. in Finance and Marketing with Minor in Psychology from Virginia Tech and earned her MBA in Information Systems from the University of Phoenix.As Managing Director of Human Resources and Operations for Actualize Consulting since 2005, author Kerry Alison Wekelo brings us a front-row seat perspective on her experiences, blending her corporate knowledge with her mindful wisdom in her latest book Culture Infusion. She is also a yoga teacher, life coach, award-winning author of children’s books, and the founder and visionary of Zendoway, a company that encourages holistic wellness.