This article from Lynn White and Natalie Carrick of WDI Consulting, explores the factors that businesses can consider in order to create a culture that helps people to build and sustain their energy levels.
Energy management serves both people and profit
With the business and economic landscape facing greater uncertainty and soon likely to undergo further change, organisations everywhere now, more than ever, need to work collaboratively, flexibly and fluidly in an increasingly complex, volatile, uncertain and ambiguous world.
As ever, change in the work landscape presents both challenge and opportunity and businesses will require a more collaborative style of leadership and fresh management strategies if they are to create and uphold cultures in which both people and results can flourish sustainably.
Despite all of this change, the drive for results is ever present and realistically, business cannot hope to eliminate heavy workloads and the associated risks of stress and fatigue among workforces. In a recent survey of over 20,000 people in 100 different countries, Regus Group highlighted that more than half the global workforce (53%) believe they are closer to burnout than they were 5 years ago.
Given these statistics, what can organisations do to enable people to bring the best of themselves to work, day after day in an increasingly uncertain climate?
We know it’s not as simple as merely having the right person in the right job. Health and safety has long been on the HR radar, but lately the interaction of health, energy and performance has become a topical source of strategies for all business leaders as they look for sustainable ways to achieve challenging objectives.
Energy either at an individual level or across a whole team, is drawn from a range of resources, which can either sustain people or limit their ability to perform depending upon how well they manage those resources.
In this article we will explore what factors businesses can consider, in order to create a culture that helps people to build and sustain their energy levels.
Energy - the inner resources we draw upon
Viewed from a whole business perspective, collective energy is a valuable asset and a manageable ingredient of performance, which directly affects an organisation’s capacity to perform against challenging objectives. Put simply, energy management serves both people and profit.
An article in the FT highlighted the risk of complacency when we hear terms such as “stress”, “burnout” or “sleeplessness”, as they can mask deep issues. It’s also important to note that not all stress is negative, short-term stress can keep us focused and help us achieve our goals. However, when the gap between stress and recovery becomes too great, then the risk of a cycle of diminishing energy levels and potential risk to health – physical or mental are increased.
Organisations worldwide are becoming even more mindful of the need to care for their people in terms of their mental and physical wellbeing, not just from the perspective of managing risk but also because they seek the competitive advantage offered by healthy and energised teams. In an example from the world of asset management, one high performing European firm actively seeks to create a culture that supports the health and fitness of its team, both for its own sake and also as one contributory factor to overall business performance.
What you’ll notice in a culture that manages energy well
We contrast below the differences between a culture that manages energy well compared to one that fails to take account of the benefits of energy management.
In summary, building a culture that supports a business' varied objectives takes thought, time and persistence. We know that a strong culture can be one of a business’ greatest assets and some organisations are now capitalising on the links between health, energy and performance. One way to achieve this sustainably is to make effective energy management a key part of your talent strategy and culture. In future articles we will be examining the steps leaders, teams and individuals can take to play their part in this, maximising the ROI from energy management.
WDI Consulting is a niche consultancy with one main goal – to partner with organisations who want to bring about change.
Originally a biomedical scientist, Natalie Carrick has held commercial and managerial roles in life sciences and professional services organisations, working extensively overseas. Today, as part of her work with WDI, she’s focused on supporting business leaders through day-to-day challenges, with strategic direction and with practical strategies that whole businesses and individuals can apply to help people remain healthy and energised for the long term. Lynn White is the founder of WDI Consulting. Prior to setting up her consulting firm, she held a number of senior organisational development roles within the Financial Services industry.
Do you have a view to share on any of the issues raised in this article? How does your organisation help to manage energy in the workplace? Leave your comments in the box below.
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