We need to stop seeing our humans as resources for the workforce and start supporting humans with resources to reach their full potential.
With the many challenges we are facing today, especially with this on-going COVID journey that is adding fuel to the fire, workforce disengagement is high and business models are increasingly challenged. As I wrote in a recent blog, our fears and insecurities are increasingly now becoming our worse enemy in these challenging times. When our mind is threatened, it is often cognitively limited, short-sighted and self-protective. Our shift into survival mode rather limits our ability to be strategic and innovative.
After 30 years as a strategic planner and management consultant, I redirected my career to grow Mindspace, dedicated to helping organizations navigate in these difficult times, increasing resilience and overall psychological well-being.
In 2019, I was interviewed to explain how mindfulness could help transform organizations. In early 2020, I co-authored an article in which we discussed the inroads that mindfulness has made in the work place.
Many organizations such as Sodexo, IA Financial Group, Alayacare, CBC, Ubisoft and many others, are currently experimenting with or adopting mindfulness practices to help support individuals deal with suffering and unleash potential.
At Mindspace, we have been delivering well-being and mindfulness introductory sessions and in-depth learning journeys to all kinds and sizes of organizations over the last decade. During these sessions we explain through neuroscience how our minds are challenged and underutilized in today’s increasingly complex environment. More importantly, we provide strategies to exercise our minds in a similar way we have been training our bodies in the past.
Such awareness training is only a beginning as individuals and organizations are currently ill equipped to deal with today’s VUCA world. We are witnessing record levels of mental health issues such as increased stress, anxiety, poor sleep, depression, burnout, social disconnection and poor quality decision making.
Developing mindfulness with early adopters is a great start. However, to truly adapt to our new environment, we need to take these initiatives yet one step further. We now need to go beyond developing individual competencies to developing an organizational culture that promotes, supports and exemplifies self-awareness, presence, self-regulation, purpose and compassion for others, shifting from intent to actual transformation.
The time has come to develop psychological well-being as a strategic competency to deliver a competitive and sustainable advantage, and more importantly to bring human beings at the core of our organizations.
A structured approach needs to be deployed, tailored to the organization’s well-being maturity level, employee needs, existing development programs, levers and barriers linked to the desired state of well-being.
Below is a typical process we go through to shift from developing psychological well-being from an individual and discretionary strategy to transforming the corporate culture to embrace new ways of being while doing.
To survive and flourish in this evolving world, we need to stop seeing our humans as resources for the workforce and start supporting humans with resources to reach their full potential, while considering all stakeholders with whom they interact. This requires us to rethink and reengineer our systems, practices and rituals, built over past decades when humans where only at the service of productivity and shareholders.
Today’s workforce is younger, stretched, seeking balance and purpose. We urgently need to start realigning our organizations to bring back dignity, consciousness, presence and compassion if we wish to strive and evolve to this new era, full of challenges and promise for those who will adapt.