As I reflect on the different businesses I have worked for as a Wellbeing Consultant, I immediately think of who initially rang and engaged me to come to their workplace. Each time it has been the owner, Managing Director or General Manager, as they carry the success of the company on their shoulders.
The Managing Director of one of these companies started as a car salesman. He was good at selling cars and eventually worked his way up to become the boss of a major dealership with over 100 staff.
From the moment I met him, I knew there was something special about this man. He had heart!
He asked me to provide a weekly Workplace Wellbeing Program for his sales staff. This program would include mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects to help his sales team become more aware individually, and collectively so a wholesome, healthy workplace could be created.
The program was very successful. The major reason for this was the Managing Director believed in the importance of care and looking after the individual, so the team could succeed and ultimately the business. He believed in the “we” over “me” business philosophy.
Another leader with a similar belief, was the General Manager of a State Government Historical Trust. You may think he would be very conservative, however with his “open” management style we implemented a Wellbeing Program to his management staff.
He too knew the value of looking after staff and having “care” as an integral part of work life which had the capacity to improve life in general. Staff really enjoyed the workplace he created and stayed with him for many years, thus alleviating the high costs of staff turnover and recruitment.
I was also asked by the owner of a major well-being business to implement my services into her business. She wanted to create a care-driven environment where both staff and customers were looked after as part of a collective community.
In this case the General Manager, who had been inherited, was at odds with the owner as he believed in driving the business from the bottom line. Mind you, this is how most businesses operate. However, the owner wanted her business to have a greater purpose and contribution to people’s lives.
She wanted to place importance on care, connection and communication and believed the financial systems and strategies would flow from that fountain.
However, she also wanted to trust her General Manager and felt the program would help him too. So I worked with the entire management team. Even though challenged at times, I enjoyed every moment spent as a group and individually with the team.
Unfortunately the General Manager, although participating in the program, was resistant to change. He saw himself as an intellectual with all the answers to running a successful business and workplace wellbeing was not high on his agenda.
Cracks started to occur when the staff became more open and aware and management continued to drive the bottom line harder. This created stress and confinement for staff and systems were unable to flow freely. A disconnect happened between the business and the collective purpose, as it was not aligning.
After a while, the business started to falter, and the staff became very disheartened. They tried hard to bring life back into their work but were continually faced with roadblocks. Their hearts ceased to be invested in a common business purpose and their contribution felt valueless.
A number of the staff ended up leaving and pursuing aligned careers that matched their passion and drive. After a couple of years, the business ended up being sold below its worth. By putting money on top of the pile and driving the business accordingly, it had resulted in little value for anyone.
I learned from this experience that if the boss is not on board and prepared to look at themselves, it is very difficult to implement a successful Wellbeing Business Strategy.
While making money in business is paramount, it was not the original energy of business. In the beginning people simply exchanged energy in the form of trading goods with each other to meet needs.
It was not for profiteering, it was for sustainable living. It was as simple as a trader asking, “Are you happy to exchange two quails for one chicken?” and the other would reply, ”Done! Or, no I think it’s worth 3 quails!” and the bartering would continue until both were happy.
Perhaps that is why originally a marketplace was the centre of community. Everyone came to commune to exchange not only goods and services, but to exchange “energy” with each other. When people did this freely, a caring environment was created that uplifted everyone. They would leave the town centre fulfilled and look forward to reconnecting the next market day.
When we create heartfelt business, there is always a greater purpose than just making money. We are contributing to people’s lives beyond the immediate transaction. They go home to their family enriched, share their energy and a ripple effect occurs.
When business is purely for money, does that really make us happy? We could do a million dollar deal one day and the next day find out our child has depression or our wife/husband has left. What is the worth of money without value to our heart connection with self and others?
With the global dismantling of old, outdated financial, economic, political, social, technical and cultural structures, maybe a new heart-based planetary consciousness is forming based on the greater good for all?
Any business, no matter the size, can start becoming more consciously and collectively responsible at any time. If you are already creating a conscious workplace, thank you for your contribution to the true purpose of business.
Keys For A Conscious Workplace?
- Common Business Purpose – Management/Staff/Customers
- Clear, real, honest, wholistic communications
- Space for challenges to be resolved
- Workplace flexibility, adaptability, accountability, responsibility and joy
- Individual & Collective Alignment – Values
To book a Conscious Workplace Mentoring Session, Workplace Program, or Individual Awareness Session, phone Jilly: 0417 451904