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#006 – Fuelling Greatness at Work – Part 1 of 2


Podcast Transcript


Welcome to the Working Well Podcast. I’m Tim Borys CEO of FRESH! Wellness Group. This show explores the diverse aspects of workplace health and personal performance. On the Working Well Podcast we dive into the foundations of what makes wellness work in workplaces around the world. We connect with corporate leaders, executives, and industry experts who are helping make life more awesome at work and home.

Join us to learn workplace wellness, best practices, personal performance tips, and access resources to jumpstart your personal and corporate programs.


Welcome to the Working Well Podcast and the future of high performing people and companies today’s episode is about fueling greatness. We will cover seven strategies for organizations to ignite the potential of their people and profitability. It’s time to face the facts. Businesses exist to make a profit these days, a lot of people rail against corporate greed, and there are definitely some examples of shady companies and corporate executives out there.

However I believe profit is a good thing that when a business builds their strategy around creating high performing people and a healthy corporate culture, then everyone benefits, including the business employees and customers. However, without entrepreneurs and private enterprise, most of the amazing products, services and breakthroughs we enjoy today wouldn’t exist. Over the long-term corporate profits allow for growth, expansion, research, and future development to happen.

Now don’t worry. This isn’t a treatise on capitalism. I’m simply highlighting the fact that corporate profits are necessary to allow us to do the things we want to do without happy, healthy high-performing people, businesses miss out on tremendous potential, and they’re unable to sustain performance over the long-term due to turnover and the negative productivity impact of poor employee health.

I believe that the way businesses behave to generate those profits is the most important determinant of long-term business success. And for society. In that sense, we always hear the negative instances of blind greed, corruption, and profit at all costs. Thankfully, there are many positive examples where people in companies thrive together.

We just have to look around us every day to see where that’s happening and where it’s not. So where does all this change start? It starts with people like you, corporate professionals, looking for ideas to improve the health, wellbeing, and performance of your people. Team and company. This podcast will provide many great ideas and places to start.

However, if you’re looking for a bunch of cookie cutter wellness ideas that you can implement tomorrow, this isn’t the place. If you want to learn why most wellness programs fail miserably and what you can do differently to see the results that only a fraction of companies ever tap into, then keep listening.

Our world is changing rapidly. Particularly this past year and businesses are facing new challenges every day. As a result of this rapid change, our biggest challenges that people who are the lifeblood of any business are increasingly stressed, unhealthy, unproductive they’re overworked, and they’re disengaged.

The great news is it doesn’t have to be this way. I believe that life is awesome and packed with potential. I also believe that work shouldn’t suck and that every person has the ability to dramatically expand their potential in life. Three decades of coaching elite athletes has shown me that the best way to do this is to is from a base of health, happiness, and simple success habits.

Without this foundation, any person’s potential will always be limited. Yet these personal performance skills are in short supply at work at home. And the follow to this is the dramatic decrease in quality of life. Not to mention corporate performance and profitability. We will dive into seven strategies to help any team or organization cultivate healthy, happy, engaged, and high-performing people while building a corporate culture where people love coming to work and they contribute their best each day.

Now each of these strategies is time tested and proven to work. Over the past 20 years, they’ve been successfully applied in businesses and teams of all sizes to have a tremendously positive impact on the people and their companies. I hope the implementation of these strategies is the key that unlocks untapped potential in your people to perform at their best and to love doing it as you’re reviewing and implementing these strategies and encourage you to reach out for help my team.

And I love working with proactive people and organizations. That are creating positive change in their corner of the world to set the stage for our conversation. Let’s listen in on a hypothetical yet very realistic conversation between a CFO and a CEO. They’re talking about the financial cost of employee training and education.

And the CFO says to the CEO, what happens if we invest in our people and then they leave us. CEO thinks about it for a moment. And he says, well, what happens if we don’t invest in them? And they stay now in the traditional context, this would be a boat, technical skill upgrades, professional designations, or in-house employee training and development programs, depending on the programs, they’re usually limited to leaders and managers at higher levels.

Yet we can easily apply this concept to employ health, happiness well-being and personal performance. And this brings us to the first of our seven strategies. So number one, we must shift our mindset to shift our results. The mindset is the filter through which we see the world. Our mindset impacts how we think perceive act and the outcomes we create in life or work.

Unfortunately, most companies view workplace wellness as a line item and expense to be minimized. Shifting our view to wellness as a strategic investment is the first step in creating change and producing ROI from your programs. This shift must happen at every level of the organization. Effective workplace wellness is much more than simply a collection of program services or perks.

It’s a vision, a strategy, a formal plan that’s consistently nurtured and updated to reflect the changing needs of people and business. Executives must begin to see wellness as a medium and long-term investment in people in profitability management must shift their perspective towards harnessing the passion, the potential and purpose of their people in teams, employee mindsets, my shift to view work as an opportunity to learn, grow, develop, and bring their best each day.

Successful people in companies believe at their deepest level that creating healthy, active culture is an investment in their future success. Keeping this mindset shift won’t happen overnight, but it can be accelerated by following the remaining strategies. As mentioned, it will require involvement from all levels of the organization and as ideally connected closely with the values of the organization.

Now I’m not talking about those big idealistic or completely. Disregarded words that sit on some plaque and head office. I’m talking about the values that drive leadership decisions across the organization every day. In fact, this lack of people focus in the values of a company is often at the heart of why wellness programs fail.

Wellness programs become something that’s a nice perk. As long as it doesn’t take away from the real work that needs to get done. Unfortunately, many companies still operate this way and their myopic view of employee value holds them back from greater success. On the flip side, those companies that choose to build a culture, which embraces leadership, coaching, and training their people to perform higher will reap outsize rewards in the market over the longterm.

Let’s move on to strategy. Number two, this is understanding the scope of wellness. One of the key reasons, again, that. Programs fails because few companies and leaders take the time to agree on what wellness actually means to their organization and why it matters to their people or teams. Now, wellness is a multifaceted concept that includes up to a dozen different components.

And here are the eight most common ones. One is physical embracing the physiological need for daily movement, healthy, fuel quality, sleep, those types of things. Then there’s the emotional side. Creating positive and effective emotional awareness and coping coping strategies for life’s ups and downs. Next, we have intellectual wellness.

That’s the awareness of your current creative abilities, the expansion and application of knowledge, skills, and potential in both work and life in the workplace. These are critically important. The fourth one is spiritual. Cultivating and recognizing values, beliefs, meaning, and a sense of purpose in your life and your work.

Now, this doesn’t mean religion and a lot of companies will shy away from saying something spiritual. And you can think of another word if you want, but really what drives, meaning and purpose in that, that person or that employee’s life. Fifth one is environmental. Identifying and living in positive engaging environments that support the wellbeing and the person’s ability to thrive.

And this could be everything from the environmental aspects of the building, the building materials. If you are working in a LEED certified building, the airflow rate, the lighting, the all kinds of different aspects that come into play. It also could be. The environment that’s outside. Do they have access to nature?

Are there plants in? There are the things like that. A lot of companies on the facility side might think about this, but they don’t actually think about how it drives employee performance and wellness. The six is the financial aspect of wellness, the power to control your present and future financial situation.

While meeting the financial goals you have in life. If employees are struggling to get by. They’re going to perform at a lower level. You know, we we’ve heard many stats and studies about wealth only matters up to a certain point for happiness. Once a certain standard of living is achieved, all kinds of other things come into play.

So as an employer of choice, yes, we want to pay people well, but paying them more money and then driving them into the ground doesn’t necessarily make business financial or. Sense for your employees wellbeing. The next component of wellness is the social side. It’s important for people to develop a sense of connection, belonging, and an extensive support system across multiple areas of life.

And the workplace is one of those. We want to make sure that people have a social network. One of the most important determinants of happiness at work is if someone has, or an employee has someone, they call a friend in the office. That’s critically important. And again, a lot of companies fail to it that in their organization, at least from a strategic standpoint.

And when we’d look at an overall wellness plan, each of these components should be considered in how the company rolls out wellness programming across the organization. The last, our eighth one is occupational. Creating personal satisfaction, enrichment and purpose from your work is important. Feeling your work is valued and that you’re making a difference each day.

And while this varies a bit from organization to organization, coaching and training and mentoring employees to help find purpose and meaning in what they’re doing, just as simply as knowing that if you’re writing a report, Who does that report impact? What, how has the information used? What benefits will the person getting the report receive from you providing that report?

That type of communication and connection in the organization can go a tremendous way in terms of improving an employee’s mindset, health and positivity around their job each day, going to work in. Thinking that what you do doesn’t make a difference and no one’s ever going to read this report. And it doesn’t really matter what I put in it because I never hear back from my, my boss about whether it was good or bad.

I just put it out every day. And who knows what happened to do it? It goes into the corporate ether. That’s something that weighs on morale. It weighs on their ability to think creatively and go the extra mile when they need to. These eight components of wellness are often expanded or contracted to create wellness models with more or fewer components.

For example, physical wellness is often separated into fitness, nutrition, sleep digestion, et cetera. Additionally, emotional, intellectual and spiritual wellness are often combined under a broad category, maybe called psychological wellness at the basic level. There must be an awareness of the scope of wellness and an understanding of how each aspect applies to performance in people and your organization.

High-performing organizations that see exceptional ROI over the longterm. They strategically invest across each of these areas, which areas an organization chooses to focus on at any given time will be based unique on the unique values of that company. The goals, the corporate culture, the employee demographics.

This is something again, my team and I are helping happy to help you discover and optimize in your organization, but it’s something that needs to be considered when you’re creating a plan. It needs to be a strategy around that. And that’s, I’d say probably the biggest thing that organizations fail at when they do workplace wellness.

They put in bits and pieces here and there, but they don’t have a comprehensive strategy that says, yes, this is what we want to accomplish. This is how we’re going to accomplish it. And that strategy doesn’t come from the executive level. This brings us to our next strategy. That’s number three, having skin in the game.

Well, every company is different. We found that successful companies have buy-in from all levels of the organization. In other words, programs work best when everyone has some skin in the game. For a wellness program to function properly, there needs to be top-down and bottom-up guidance, support, communication, and participation.

From the top down perspective, executive must buy into the concept of workplace wellness, not only from a participation standpoint, but also by allocating resources. Someone at the executive level must be responsible for delivering results in the program. Commonly it’s a junior HR associate that gets handed or voluntold to run wellness as a side project in their spare time.

These wellness initiatives rarely aligned with any executive level KPIs or budget. So it makes sense that the programs are non-existent or ineffective. When executives are active in the programs, enthusiastically encouraging engagement across all divisions of the organization and real budget allocations are made.

It speaks volumes about their beliefs and values. In employee wellness. Non-executive team members are then empowered to participate, contribute, and help guide the future direction of programs because they have the support, encouragement and respective leadership. Lack of skin in the game is a major blocker in organizations of all sizes, a gap in executive engagement, direct C-suite or VP level accountability for employee health and wellbeing.

Plus the lack of budget allocation will set any program up to fail from the start. My team, and I have experienced this with many companies where workplace wellness, programs and policies are in place. But they’re useless if not outright damaging because of the quote unwritten rules of engagement and the leadership styles throughout the organization.

It’s common to hear employees say, Oh, I’d love to come to this program, but you know what? My, it wouldn’t really be, look very kindly on. My manager would think I was slacking off if I did that because the unwritten rule is you don’t go. Away from your desk for that long at lunch, or if you had to take a little bit of extended lunch to go do an exercise plan or program or a workout or something you wouldn’t be able to make up that time later.

And we find there are lots of policies in place that limit and hinder the ability for companies to maximize the programs they do have in place. They’re essentially shooting themselves in the foot. Because employees don’t engage in the programs from an executive engagement standpoint. This goes far beyond simply inviting the CEO to kick off a new challenge or event.

And then having usually him disappeared back into the quote ivory tower until the next media opportunity. This is something we see all the time in companies. There’s all this fanfare and executive support to kick off a program. And then you’d never see any executives participating. They’ve been there to launch it.

And then they’re off to what I guess are termed or deemed more important things to do. And when we find companies where there’s truly a culture of employee pride and support and values across the organization, we see executives involved in all aspects and all types of programs throughout the company.

Now not every executive participates in every program. But there’s a definitive and distinct connection between the employee participation and the amount of executive participation in programs for a lot of executives. This requires overcoming some old school thinking and rewriting some old school policies.

This is essential to moving forward and creating a thriving wellness and performance-based culture throughout the organization. Leaders and organizations that understand and implement this strategy, have the power to create massive positive change in short periods of time. And this is because of the fact that when you have skin in the game, you behave differently.

Employees see it. Executives will start to understand the power and impact that they can have, and it will transform the ability to create change across the organization. So far this episode, we’ve talked about three of the top strategies out of seven that are going to help you transform workplace wellness and employee performance across your organization.

The first one was shifting mindset. You must shift your mindset to shift your results. The second was understanding the scope of wellness across your organization, but across wellness in general, deciding which areas of. Wellness are important for you and your company at a given time across the annual wellness calendar.

And hopefully you do have an annual wellness calendar because that’s another factor that helps or is as part of the overall wellness strategy in the organization. The third one we talked about was having skin in the game, getting top down and bottom up support and communication executives must participate.

There must be a strategy that’s put in place. But employees at the line level must also feel that their voice is heard. They’ve had a hand in creating the programs that are being rolled out and they’ve been able to express their opinions to the executive team. Now we’ll wrap it up here for this episode, we’re covering the top three of seven in the next episode, we’re going to cover the next four, the final four, and that’s how to customize programs to your needs and to maximize the impact.

Of workplace wellness in your organization, how to embrace the journey that wellness is because it’s not a set it and forget it type of program and how to invest in speed so that you can roll out these programs and make an impact sooner in your organization. So I look forward to seeing you on the next episode, where we talk more about how to feel greatness in your organization.


Thank you for listening to the Working Well Podcast. If you enjoyed the show, don’t forget to rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your experiences and how you’ve applied tips from the show to your daily life.

So please keep us posted on your progress. To stay up to date with new episode releases, make sure to subscribe to a mailing list by emailing and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, thank you everyone for tuning in. And once again, I’m Tim Borys with FRESH! Wellness Group.

We’ll see you on the next episode.

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