Your followers will watch, learn and imitate what their leaders do. So lead by example. As I always shared with my players, and to all of you readers, “You Are Always on Stage!” You may as well provide them the best example to see while you are on stage, whatever your “stage” is, starting with the care for your health. I recently had surgery on February 1st for a hernia, and it intimidated me enough to motivate me to seriously think about the responsibility I have as the leader of my family. Leadership has the same responsibility in building a healthy work culture for their employees as I have in safeguarding my family. Leaders can guide their employees in either a positive or negative direction just by their actions. Before you can lead and support others, you must lead and support yourself! So, let’s dive into what it takes to promote a healthy work culture through three parts: the physical, mental, and spiritual.
Let’s start with the physical. Are you taking care of yourself? Do you share healthy tips with your employees? As a physical education teacher and basketball coach, I live and breathe a healthy lifestyle. However, it has not exempted me from the unhealthy challenges life can throw our way. I take a lot of pride in taking care of my physical health but was humbled when I discovered a bulge in my lower abdomen. It did not give me any pain so I could have ignored it. That would have been a wrong choice! Early detection is indeed the key to maintaining your health. Take charge of your team by promoting annual wellness checkups.
Encourage your employees to schedule their appointments when you share with them that you had your yearly wellness checkup. Early detection of my health issue turned a potentially life-threatening situation into a successful one-day surgery. I share this because it serves us well to realize it is better for the company’s bottom dollar to miss an employee for one day than for several weeks. Are you actively posting annual wellness days at work? With the advancement of medicine, you need to be proactive so if they find something wrong, it is caught early! Do you have an exercise program? Companies can partner with local gyms and the YMCA to promote an exercise program. It not only helps employees feel good about themselves, it shows that the company cares about the well-being of their employees.
The mental aspect. A health-conscious work culture goes hand in hand with a positive work culture. Employees feel more engaged and invested in their organization when they are offered comprehensive wellness programs. Healthy employees are known to be happier, more energetic, and more innovative. As a result, you have a healthier team who enjoys producing more for your organization. Now that is a positive impact on your bottom dollar!
How about the spiritual? Let’s face it, turning on the daily news challenges all our belief systems. We may not all agree on our religious practices, but we should all practice sound ethics and respectful communicating, even if we disagree. We should all commit to promoting our organization’s brand, on and off work, in a positive manner. Especially, in a culture where we primarily define each other by our professions. I believe the most effective leaders understand positive core values and should live them daily. Remember you are always on stage!
Recovering from surgery has given me a little more time to reflect on what matters most to me. (Though, I have to admit to having to really focus on one of my keys: Perseverance since I’ve been told that I can’t play tennis for six weeks – can’t wait for March to arrive so I can get back on the court!) Take some time to think about these things – before you NEED to!
Remember, “Think Bigger, Lead Better, Win More!”