Each of us can contribute to a culture of wellbeing. A happy home, an energizing workplace, a healthy community … through our personal attitudes and actions we can make the choice to nurture wellbeing and vitality as best we can wherever we are. It is an essential part of a leader’s job, however, to create a happy and healthy environment —with a clear intention and commitment—not just for him or herself but where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
At least that’s my opinion after 25+ years in the leading wellbeing business. But what do leaders themselves think? I picked the brains (and hearts) of 40 senior and mid-level leaders in the consumer goods industry to find out. Given the rampant issues of obesity, environmental degradation, and healthcare costs today, this is an industry under fire—an industry being called to step up its agenda to advance wellbeing. I asked these leaders what it means to lead wellbeing not just in theory but in their everyday actions to instill wellbeing as a priority in workplace and community cultures. Their stories were nothing short of amazing.
The biggest thing I learned? No matter what region of the world they work in, more and more leaders I talked to are determined to use business as an avenue to uplift the people and societies they serve. And their intentions to authentically make wellbeing a company concern are supported by management science. Consider this recent Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health study that shows a clear link between stock market performance and a company’s commitment to a culture of wellbeing. Any way you slice it, embracing wellbeing improves financial performance and enhances the vitality, engagement, and meaning in people’s lives.
Yet, in spite of a commitment to well-being, many of the leaders I interviewed had a limited understanding of how to weave a focus on wellbeing into the leadership roles they play, such as visionary, strategist, champion, and coach. They didn’t have a reliable framework for putting their wellbeing priorities into practice. Does this sound familiar? If you’re in this same boat, please comment below by sharing with us the challenges you and your organization face in leading a culture of wellbeing.
To help you on your wellbeing journey, come visit us March 26-28 at The Art and Science of Health Promotion conference in Colorado Springs, Colo., where we’ll be presenting the results of our research about how leaders lead cultures of wellbeing. Or email us and we’ll send you a summary of our insights. (Be sure to put “Leading Wellbeing Research” in the subject line and include your name, title, and organization in the body of the email. Thanks!)
And check soon for our next blog where I’ll talk about how the seven roles key to leading a culture of wellbeing could help this consumer goods company—and you—effectively walk the wellbeing talk.