If we think of our mental health as a continuum; burn-out at one end of the scale, languishing in the middle and flourishing as the optimum, anything less than flourishing is a watch-out signal for managers and businesses. It means we are not getting creativity, productivity or performance.
Flourish; to grow or develop successfully: to achieve something aimed for. - Cambridge English Dictionary.
When we’re flourishing at work, everyone benefits - colleagues, the organisation, and those we do business with. So how can you best support yourself and your colleagues in order to thrive?
Three ways to spark flourish
1. Flow; the art of getting completely absorbed in a task, losing a sense of self and time - not worrying about the past, future, or how one will be perceived, and when the ‘doer’ and the ‘doing’ become one. In flow, we’re moving away from stagnation. One way to experience flow is through single task focus. Did you know, productivity goes up by 40% when distractions are minimised? What’s more, when the organisation helps support distraction free time (e.g. email free Fridays), it goes up to 67%? This is because task and context switching is incredibly detrimental to productivity. Have you noticed that if you go straight from one meeting to another, or from being really absorbed in a piece of work to a catch-up with a colleague, you have noticed ‘attention residue’ - your mind is still thinking about the previous activity, hindering the next?
2. Psychological safeness: at work, this means knowing there are no stupid questions, not being shot down in meetings, and one step further, not afraid to challenge or express your worries - whatever your position. Organisations where there is psychological safety enable employees to express who they are as individuals without fear of rebuttal. As a result, employees feel safe to create and express new ideas, moving the business forward.
3. New perspectives. Change, while requiring some initial effort first, can shift us out of feeling stale. This could be physically e.g. switching where team catch-ups are held (could you have a ‘walk & talk’ meeting instead of the same old Zoom or room), or cognitively - approaching the same task in a new way. Doing the same thing, day in, day out, can eventually lead even the most vibrant employees to languishing. While this can be difficult at first, the gains in productivity and performance are invaluable. What could you mix up today?
Creating a flourishing culture takes leading by example, cultivating a sense of belonging and genuine care in employees' growth and wellbeing.
We’re just touching the tip of the iceberg in this short blog. If you’d like to know more about creating happier, healthier cultures, please do reach out to us - we’d love to hear from you ([email protected])
Author: Jayne Burton | Wellness Specialist at WorkLifeWell | ILM Executive Coach
Related content: How to spot the signs of languising: Blog part 1