ColorUp Tip: Wellbeing Over Everything.

Evidence-based reports continue to report that our wellness - physical, mental, and emotional - has a major impact on our ability to be productive and lead in our working environments. More than ever, employers are looking at the clear benefits of offering their team members a variety of structures to support this wellness: flexible work schedules, decision-making freedoms, social supports like fitness groups or wellness challenges, and creating physical environments that promote our wellbeing - think standing desks, in-office meditation classes, and subsidized support professionals (like therapists and coaches!).

Create daily wellness practices and working with your coach to correlate what actions and practices make a significant impact on your ability to be productive and happy across these areas:

Focus

Physical, mental, and/or emotional strain can dissolve our focus and make it challenging to communicate and react effectively. What happens when you rest and recharge? Do you experience any shifts in your ability to focus? 

Levity

While this may seem like a trite emotion - levity or humor is an indicator that we are empowered to reduce significance around minor problems, connect with others, and willing to create solutions. Harvard Business School Review found that laughter not only generates creativity and collaboration but analytic precision and productivity. How does shifting your attention to our wellbeing affect your ability to find levity -- or solutions? 

Openness

The ability to see both sides of a situation is a direct result of our openness to relating to another person. What impact does wellness have on your ability to empathize or relate to yourself and others? 

Communication

Direct communication is one of the delicate arts of leadership - clear, succinct, and respectful discussions can be a challenge in the workplace. Passive aggression, resentment, fear, avoidance, and blame are often side effects of an issue in communication and/or our feeling of safety and empowerment that we have around speaking our truth. Inquiry for leader: does adjusting our wellbeing impact this? 

Kinship

Mental, physical, or emotional strain can make it more challenging to connect with others. What do you notice about days in which you complete 100% of your wellbeing actions...vs. 50% vs. 25% v. 0%?

 

Fear of Failure

One of the pieces that inspired us creating ColorUp is a New York Times Op-Ed piece, entitled: "Conquering the Freshman Fear of Failure."

In the piece, David L. Kirp takes his time to walk us through the often paralyzing experience of undergraduates as they navigate the academic landscape. The impact is huge for minorities and first-generation students who experience the struggle to fit in. 

 Kirp also shares the impact of creating affirmative spaces where minorities were reminded of their potential, personal power, and opportunities:

"By the time they graduated, their grades were a third of a grade-point average point higher than their peers in the control group (the difference between B+ and A-), and they had halved the black-white achievement gap."

Ask any of those minorities or first-generation students (including us - we are them) and the common consensus is that it doesn't stop in college. The feeling of "not good enough" can continue for professionals and leaders in all industries. Creating spaces for empowerment and acknowledgment of growth can support better performance outcomes as well as wellbeing. 

The Secret of a "Best" List

We created ColorUp as a way to empower emerging leaders of color and to recognize and support companies who have made a similar commitment. It often seems arbitrary how publishers create their list of "Best Companies" in the arena of diversity. Many turn to lists like Fortune's Best Workplaces for Diversity to see what companies to emulate - but what are the qualities of these organizations that make them award-winning? 

It's all in the feedback.

The methodologies used by reviewers like Fortune are steeped in the gathered data from employee surveys. It's the voice of the people at its best. 

One method by which to improve the interactivity of your team on subjects of diversity and inclusion is simple: ask. 

A step beyond is to offer value in return.  

Three strategies we see successful brands taking on:

1) Empower HR teams to build programs that deliver both feedback mechanisms and valuable services like coaching, mentoring, and professional development. 

2) Create an anonymous feedback system that is online and easy to access. 

3) Raise the visibility of internal groups that are governed by employees and People Ops/HR teams committed to the work of D&I. This creates additional space for employees to go to share their experiences and get supported.