Effective Leaders Focus on Well-Being to Increase Productivity

Highlights from an article by Rich Fernandez in the Harvard Business Review:
empathic leadership happy office
Model and encourage well-being practices.
Individual team members who reported experiencing well-being at work were 20% more likely to have other team members who also reported thriving six months later, according to recent Gallup research.

Offer mindfulness and resilience training; explicitly encourage people to take time for exercise or other renewal activities, such as walking meetings; build buffer time so that people can work flexibly and at a manageable pace.

Allow time to disconnect outside of work.
The McKinsey Quarterly asserts that “always-on, multitasking work environments are killing productivity, dampening creativity, and making us unhappy.” The “always on” state of mind, is dangerous because it fails to take recovery time into account. Even the best athletes (*especially* the best athletes) require rest.

Be intentional about when you expect team members (and yourself) to engage in the office or digitally, and be intentional and explicit about when not to engage. No emails after 8 PM or on weekends, for example.

Train the brain to deal with chaos.
Leaders and teams who practice mindfulness collaborate better, navigate stress more effectively, and are more able to sustain high performance.

Emphasize “monotasking” for better focus. Research shows that multitasking typically doubles the amount of time it takes to do a task, and it usually at least doubles the number of mistakes.” People are best at “serial monotasking.” Managers can encourage monotasking by helping team members with clear, one-at-a-time task prioritization for deliverables, defining milestones that don’t overlap, and generally avoiding the trap of mistaking the urgent for the important.

Exercise empathic leadership.
Spend more time and effort developing and recognizing people, welcoming feedback, including criticism, and fostering co-operation among staff.

Furthermore: Understand people’s motivations, hopes, and difficulties and create the right support mechanism to allow people to be as good as they can be, which has the greatest correlation with profitability and productivity.

Happy workplaces have 46% lower employee turnover, 19% lower sickness costs, and 12% higher productivity. The happiest employees spent 46% more of their time focused on work tasks and felt 65% more energized than their colleagues, according to a recent iOpener Institute study.

Companies in which employees experienced sustainable engagement (defined as emotional engagement as well as a sense of being enabled and energized by work) had twice the gross revenue and nearly three times the gross profit of companies that had average to low levels of engagement, a Towers Watson study showed.

Effective leaders focus on well-being to increase productivity; workplace mindfulness; stress management; empathic leaderships, multi-tasking