A Missing Link to Workplace Resiliency

Six Dimensions of Wellness model By Bill Hettler MD, Co-founder National Wellness Institute

How can I grow employee engagement and workplace resilience?

If you take a good, long, hard look at levels of employee engagement and workplace resilience, the most important lessons aren’t too complicated. Communicate consistently and frequently. Do it honestly and with empathy. Avoid surprises whenever possible.

That’s why Amy Leschke-Kahle has picked up the shorthand for a phrase she repeats frequently: “Just so you know.” This isn’t how she drops life-altering news. The goal, in fact, is that whenever possible, there are no major shocks. Instead, there is a slow and consistent dribble of information out from team leaders to their direct reports…

A Missing Link to Workplace Resiliency

Workplace resiliency initiatives are missing one key opportunity to increase employee engagement: mentoring.

Look at most modern employer-sponsored resilience initiatives, and you’ll find free access to meditation apps, on-site therapy, leader trainings about emotional intelligence, or resources about work-life balance. These benefits get buried in an avalanche of “sign up for this new free resource” emails. They are perceived as yet another item to check off on a busy individual’s to-do list because they seem unrelated to the day-to-day tasks of their job.

HR practitioners developing workplace resiliency initiatives will be more successful if they ask what solutions are impactful and directly related to employees’ work. A practical example comes from a distribution center in Michigan. To reduce injury and errors, managers focused a shift meeting on a model of awareness where employees were encouraged to focus intently on their immediate surroundings and not go into “zombie mode.” In reality, they connected mindfulness with driving a forklift. This was promoted as part of the job rather than a separate activity, such as suggesting use of a meditation room during breaks. Both have similar outcomes—increasing mindfulness—but the former represents the missing link: It’s directly related to employees’ jobs and is championed by their supervisor…

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