Arianna Huffington had a rude awakening when she woke up with several face injuries due to exhaustion and lack of sleep. As an influential media mogul, Huffington realized it was time to take a step back and make several significant changes in her life. In her widely acclaimed personal and professional development book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, Huffington challenges us to look at our daily behaviors and examine whether or not we are heading down a healthy path in our business and workplace environments.
Its critical to our well-being that we take time to examine our daily behaviors to understand how our choices benefit or hinder our performance. Most of us grew up with the understanding that money and power define our success. While these are important aspects of business success, these two metrics alone cannot sustain a single employee or organization.
Huffington encourages us to become aware of our behaviors and implement healthier habits in these four pillars: well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving. When we master these four pillars, we make better business decisions to lead healthier and happier lives. We’ve taken these four pillars to heart and generated ideas you can apply in your company policies and development programs today:
Well-being is realized when employees feel rested and energized. In order to produce high quality results employees must receive an adequate amount of sleep so they can focus, function and think clearly. This typically means at least seven hours of sleep per evening (sometimes this means eight hours of sleep).
Your workforce needs to understand that they will make better decisions when there are fewer distractions and interruptions from a sleepy mind throughout the work day. Here are three thrive pro tips for employee well-being:
- Clean out a cluttered closet or unused office and turn the space into an employee sleeping pod for mid-day naps
- Train and educate employees on healthy technology usage
- Restrict 10+ hour work days and enforce several mini breaks throughout a shift
Wisdom is what we gain by trial and error throughout our personal and professional lives. We become self actualized and build stronger intellectual constructs when we are given the opportunity to acquire knowledge. You and your employees need to be equipped with the tools and programs by which you can gain knowledge at the tips of your fingers.
This doesn’t mean everyone needs to return back to college for a masters or Phd. This simply requires on-going education and learning resources for everyone at your company. Here are three thrive pro tips to enhance employee wisdom:
- Schedule a weekly or monthly skill-share for employees to teach fellow colleagues a specialized competency
- Build the habit of debriefing after meetings and projects to identify what worked and could have been improved
- Make training programs and employee education easily accessible to your workforce
Wonder inspires individuals to think creatively and break through self limitations. Its easy to get stuck in a rut and by implementing habits that evoke wonder, you’re more easily able to break through these barriers with grace. Your work becomes refreshed and steers you away from stagnant decisions and processes.
Whether you’re in a highly creative or analytical function within your organization, you can use one of these three thrive pro tips to spark more wonder into your workflow:
- Reorganize your daily routine and complete your tasks in a different order
- Facilitate team building exercises for your company at a local park or art museum
- Assign a monthly book for employees to read and discuss business and workplace culture topics
Giving back is now becoming the heart and soul of successful companies and organizations around the world. These does not mean that your workforce needs to donate millions of dollars to a non-profit nor do you need to volunteer all of your free time. At OpenSesame, we set aside a few hours every December to build warming kits and distribute to the homeless and needy here in Portland, Oregon.
Giving back builds camaraderie, and engagement because it gives employees a sense of belonging. Here are three thrive pro tips to makeover your company’s giving-back activities:
- Designate a quarterly volunteer activity for employees such as going to a food bank, a homeless shelter or community garden
- Create an annual fund to support a nonprofit organization inline with your business vertical
- Donate a product or service from your company to an underprivileged group
Employees will be more productive in the workplace when they apply these four pillars, so don’t wait to initiate a thriving workplace. Thriving is not just about working towards monetary and hierarchical prosperity. We need to build habits around well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving. When you and your company are ready to face the challenge, take the time to examine your workplace values and how they align with your company mission.