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Well-Being Matters

Well-Being Matters

Have you ever thought about the connection between well-being and belonging? The idea of well-being as a workplace matter has been gaining ground well before the pandemic even began.  

 More recently, the idea of well-being has moved from a “nice to have” to a “need to have” as we have all adjusted to develop strategies for managing the challenges of working from home, hybrid work, and working onsite under new conditions. Organizations often have programs to support well-being, but what does this term really mean?

There are numerous definitions of well-being, and a common understanding is that it embodies a sense that things are going well in life—it encompasses an attention to the connections between mind, body, heart, and spirit. Well-being practices include fostering resilience and work-life balance, as well as physical and mental health. Leading a life of purpose and meaning has been shown to increase well-being.

What does well-being look like for someone who doesn’t have a sense of belonging in an organization? If a person feels that they cannot bring their whole self to work, both their sense of belonging and their well-being are at risk. These things go hand in hand. The emotional labor of carefully crafting a work persona that is different from one’s true self is exhausting.

As your organization works to support equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging, consider the role of well-being and how it intersects with each of these practices, particularly belonging.

Inclusion is an invitation to the table, belonging involves working to remove any barriers and champion participation. Well-being is the resulting positive moods and emotions that come from feeling like you belong.

Everyone in an organization has a part to play in supporting well-being and belonging. To explore how you are experiencing and supporting well-being and belonging in the workplace, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How am I ensuring that my colleagues’ voices are heard?
  • Who isn’t at the table to voice their opinion and why are they excluded?
  • What assumptions might I be making about my colleagues? About their identity? About their feelings? About their priorities?
  • Am I able to bring my whole self to work, or is there a part of my identity that I feel I need to hide?
  • How am I showing respect for my colleagues?
  • How am I demonstrating to my co-workers that I support their bringing their full selves to work?
  • What social support does my organization offer to support the well-being of employees?

What will you do today to support your own well-being and belonging at work, as well as those around you?

Conscient Strategies was founded with the idea that every organization is capable of thriving through change. With a focus on strategy development, program implementation, workplace dynamics, and leadership development, Conscient Strategies equips leaders with the tools necessary to continuously navigate the constancy of change in ways that not only benefit their team, but, equally as important, their business outcomes as well. From mergers to c-suite changes to sudden or explosive growth, organizations turn to Conscient Strategies when change is threatening their financial health and cultural wellbeing.

Based in Washington, D.C., Conscient Strategies is comprised of a talented group of consultants, executive coaches, strategists, and account executives. The team has worked with organizations of all sizes in the private, federal, and non-profit sectors across the United States and Internationally.

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Lessons from the Playground for the Hybrid Workplace

Lessons from the Playground for the Hybrid Workplace

Not long ago I was with my 7-year old daughter at a playground.  Also at the playground were a brother (7) and sister (6).  The kids quickly started interacting with each other, and soon they were actively playing together.  The two 7-year olds used their imagination to cook up a game that involved pretending they were in a distant kingdom fighting dragons and dodging hot lava, etc.  

The two older kids were fully engaged playing the game when after a while the younger girl said with a crestfallen look, “I don’t want to play with you guys anymore.  I’m never involved.”  When I heard these words, I felt a jolt of sadness come over me. I also had an insight related to the challenges in many Diversity & Inclusion programs.  

D&I programs work hard to ensure that diverse people are represented in the organization and included on teams.  But it’s up to the teams collectively to help each member feels truly involved; involved in the nitty-gritty challenges, involved in the moments of fun and play, and involved in the overall social fabric of the team.  

I guess that’s where the “Belonging” in DEIB comes to life. You can be on the playground, ostensibly playing the same game as the rest of the team, but if you don’t really feel “involved” then you will not have a sense of belonging.  As a result, you will feel like that 6-year old girl did: sad, disappointed, and disengaged.

Considering the story above, what can you as a team leader and team member do to make sure everyone on your team feels like they are truly involved in the team’s work?  For one thing, you can invite everyone to have a say in developing the “rules of the game” (group norms).  Next, you can check in with people and ask open questions like: “What’s it like for you to be a member of this team?” and “What aspect of being on this team keeps you from participating fully?”

In today’s hybrid workplace, it’s up to team leaders and team members alike to keep an eye on each other to make sure that no one “falls through the cracks.” Some people like to be checked on more often than others, so it’s important to inquire about the unique preferences of each individual.  Once you know another’s preferences, you can adapt your leadership/membership style to be optimally responsive to another’s needs.

The modern workplace is demanding and stressful, but it can also be inspiring and uplifting. Are you doing your part to make sure each member of your team feels involved and included in both the ups and the downs of organizational life? 

Conscient Strategies was founded with the idea that every organization is capable of thriving through change. With a focus on strategy development, program implementation, workplace dynamics, and leadership development, Conscient Strategies equips leaders with the tools necessary to continuously navigate the constancy of change in ways that not only benefit their team, but, equally as important, their business outcomes as well. From mergers to c-suite changes to sudden or explosive growth, organizations turn to Conscient Strategies when change is threatening their financial health and cultural wellbeing.

Based in Washington, D.C., Conscient Strategies is comprised of a talented group of consultants, executive coaches, strategists, and account executives. The team has worked with organizations of all sizes in the private, federal, and non-profit sectors across the United States and Internationally.

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DEIB Employee Experience Survey

DEIB Employee Experience Survey

DEIB is a journey. Where is your organization?

This survey contains sample diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging questions that may be used to gather feedback from your team. We recommend distributing confidentially so employees feel comfortable being candid and honest.

Enter your email address below to download the 24-question survey.

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