We can not do our best work on an empty tank. Does your strategy ensure that your most valuable resources are operating at full potential?
In order to do their best, our employees and colleagues need to feel their best. Whether it’s achieving aggressive sales targets, developing new product ideas, or providing excellent customer service, our strategic initiatives require people to be in top form. Typically, self-care is not included as part of a business strategy and as a result our most important resource is at risk: people are burning out.
Self-care means doing those things that support our mental, emotional, and physical health. This may mean getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, setting healthy boundaries, taking a break, spending time with friends, or going for a walk outside.
Sometimes self-care initiatives appear to be in conflict with an organization’s strategic initiatives. Getting the job done seems more important than making sure you’re doing the job at your best. It can explain why people skip lunches, don’t take vacation days, or say “yes” to everything.
All too often a strategy that doesn’t include self-care results in individuals neglecting themselves to achieve the company objectives, and that is not sustainable.
Make It A Mission
Including self-care in your strategy may start at the top, with a mission, vision, or values that reflect the importance of attending to personal well-being. Make it known that “We take great care of our customers by taking great care of our people.”
Everyone Is Unique
Having an organizational strategy that supports self-care is important, but it is essential to remember that each person’s plan will be unique. Help your team build their individual plans, identifying what they need to do, and the support they require to achieve those goals.
Specific objectives and goals help everyone understand the importance you are placing on self-care and how you plan to measure and achieve it. Perhaps you will aim for 100% of employees having an individual self-care plan by a specified date; taking their lunch break 4/5 days per week; or actually booking off for at least two weeks of vacation per year.
Walk the Talk
As with any good business strategy or initiative, it is important to “walk the talk.” Owners and leaders need to practice their own self-care, not only to model good behaviour for others, but to ensure their own ability to operate at a high level. Plan and measure to make sure this is occurring.
People are your most important resource. An organizational strategy of self-care is the basis for ensuring they are able to give their best each and every day.