How do your employees feel about stress, pressure at work, and life balance? Here at Best Companies, Wellbeing is one of 8 vital factors which together formulate our BCI Methodology, because we believe that cultivating employee wellbeing is absolutely essential to developing high levels of engagement in your workplace.
We're always scouring our favourite sources for the latest ways to help you bring health and wellbeing to your workforce. Rather than focusing on quick fixes and flash-in-the-pan, trends, however, we prefer to keep an eye out for the really revolutionary tools which tend to be simple to implement yet big on results.
You might have noticed that everyone in the workplace wellbeing world is talking about the benefits of positivity right now. Here at Best Companies, we're huge advocates of the straightforward power of nice and we know that a genuine smile can mean a whole lot when it comes to engaged leadership. Whilst generally inspiring a culture of positivity has its plus sides, nothing can beat real tools when it comes to firing up engagement. That's why we were delighted to read about one simple step to wellbeing you can take, suggested by two highly esteemed business academics writing in the Harvard Business Review.
Joyce E. Bono and Theresa M. Glomb are keen to note that all this talk about positivity in the workplace can really begin to grate – after all, they say, it can all get a bit sickly sweet and Pollyanna-ish. Nothing kills positivity more than a giant motivational poster telling call centre workers to “keep smiling”.
Nonetheless, there's so much to be gained from championing our positive experiences at work (which we so often take for granted) rather than focusing on the negatives (there's an evolutionary reason why we tend to hone in on the latter). That's why this dynamic pair conducted a study to find out what would happen when workers were asked to spend 5-10 minutes per day writing about three things that had gone well in their day, including why these things had gone well. The results showed that:
“After three weeks, stress levels and mental and physical complaints declined by small but significant amounts. Moreover, on days when participants focused on good things, they were better able to switch off stressful job-related thoughts in the evening at home.”
The researchers also noted an improved tendency towards creativity. Now we just love simple tricks which can have such tangible results upon wellbeing, and resultantly, upon engagement. Implementing the “Three Good Things” intervention in your workplace could have startling results, and it will cost you virtually nothing.
Why not try it for a month on a personal basis and discover a shift in your own attitude? Then when you bring the technique into your workplace you'll be able to extol the benefits to your people from your own experience. That personal touch will make all the difference when it comes to inspiring your team to spare a few minutes of their day to commit to this simple task. Why not give everyone a Three Good Things diary, or ask them to create a folder on their computer? Whether the Three Good Things are ever shared or not is irrelevant – it's in the act of writing them down that the magic happens. Nonetheless, perhaps it would be fun to get together now and again and pick each of your favourite moments from the past month at the office; maybe even finding a way to do this anonymously.
Enjoy implementing this technique – and remember to let us know how it goes!