Workplace Wellness uses “Presenteeism” to describe when workers aren’t really present or engaged in what they are doing in the workplace. There is a lack of energy, productive effort and employee wellbeing. The result is workplace illness, injury and absenteeism with significant productivity loss estimated at $25.7 billion in 2005-6 to the Australian economy.

Engagement studies show employees nationally as being lowly engaged with sixty-five percent (65%) not far above being ambivalent on a scale where 100% is highly engaged. So how can we address this disengagement, lack of passion and energy for a large percentage of the workforce?

Engaging people in organisation’s requires effective leadership, people, change management and systems.  When people are not engaged productivity suffers, costs are not contained and chances of developing a competitive world class culture that is innovative and sustainable are low.

More holistic approaches to change and performance management like the Balanced Score Card (BSC) and Quadruple Bottom Line (QBL) give hope in addressing people engagement concerns. This is particularly with a workplace wellness goal aligning strategies and initiatives. In a quadruple bottom line spiritual energy is added to the mix of ingredients. Understanding and observing the principles of a QBL bringing economic, social, environmental and spiritual aspects into the equation for change can bring success. Similarly in the People, Growth and Learning perspective in the BSC we can incorporate Workplace Wellness and Energy in the strategy map, initiatives and performance indicators to achieve success.

People that are highly engaged and energised will network largely with people with similar values to achieve a responsiveness and connection to the wider community and customers. Consequently, leadership, culture, learning, communication and resulting policies like flexible work practice, corporate health and work and family policies are aligned. For example corporate health and learning including yoga, massage, corporate sporting competitions and outdoor challenge simulations for leadership development and team building are often present.

I recently attended the Australian Open Tennis Championship in Melbourne watching the winning players prepare, execute the shots, resting and rebuilding energy locked into the moment. This reminded me of tennis sports psychologist Jim Loehr’s focus on the importance of spiritual energy. Loehr says “What people want from us is our energy,” “And yet we don’t shepherd it at all. We take it for granted.” As a result, most of us are playing the game at half our mental potential”.  Loehr’s advice and Professor Marc Cohen’s recent work at RMIT in Melbourne support eastern practices such as yoga for addressing presenteeism, workplace wellness and energy of the human spirit.  This aligns well with my practice and teaching in Yoga Chi Gung. 

By starting with a more holistic approach to change there is the opportunity to develop a world class culture that can win a People’s Choice Award attracting and retaining top talent. Get your team engaged and productive and on the road to being potential world champions. Spiritual energy with a passionate team could be your path to success with Wellness and Energy part of a winning change management solution in 2011.

Tony Gibson M.Bus B.Econ  Director _ SPIRIT.3H Learning and Development

Explore the SPIRIT.3H Website to find out more

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