Wellbeing is when you’re physically and mentally in balance and feel healthy and happy. You need to understand yourself – your metabolic type, personality preferences, drivers and emotional balance – and from this awareness, know when you are in or out of balance. Your well-being is good when you feel healthy, motivated and productive at work.
Symptoms of being out of balance
-Feeling unwell or tired, finding it difficult to focus on tasks, meetings, etc.
-Putting on weight
-Becoming unhappy and experiencing mood swings that affect your work
-Building and maintaining relationships become difficult
-Growing uncertain about your position at work or your role in life.
Factors affecting well-being
There are many internal and external factors which can affect an employee’s wellbeing. Developing an internal coaching programme can provide the support individuals need to evaluate the areas causing additional stress in the workplace and provide them with the structure to move forward. Allowing the time and space to work with a coach will enable the individual to:
- Understand their individual needs and the things that influence them
- Find out what sort of person they are
- Develop an action plan to help take control and regain balance
Understand individual needs & influences
Find out what things at work might be affecting on their work-life balance and why.
In some instances it may be a mismatch with company culture, ie. a long-hours culture when the employee has too many other commitments, or due to poor relationships at work with colleagues or line managers.
In other cases, environmental factors may be the culprit and the employee may need to find ways to access more daylight, take fresh air breaks, look at the basic ergonomics of their work environment or build in more exercise such as taking the stairs or walking to work.
A coach can help the employee look at their overall health and well-being: for example, they can evaluate their eating habits in terms of nutrition and how the individual takes their meals and beverages. How much exercise do they get and how much time do they take for rest, sleep or hobbies? Additional stress may be caused by how the individual is coping with their workload in terms of volume, priorities and time management and whether they are equipped with the necessary skills to carry out their tasks. Do they have capacity to accommodate the workload expected of them and do they feel in control of their work?
Finally, it is worth finding out whether there’s anything happening in their personal life which may impact their stress levels, such as relationship problems, caring for family, moving house and whether they have a good support network for stress outside of work. If they’ve been out-of-balance for some time, or the issues are related to their personal life, it may be necessary to refer them to a health professional or health coach.
Find out what sort of person they are
Personality profiles such as MBTI, DISC or similar can be helpful in understanding their own personality as well as the personality of others. This can help you understand why and how they react to stress and in help to understand their working relationships. Other information which might be useful includes Type A or Type B personality, metabolic type and preferences in working style.
Develop an action plan to help take control and regain balance
Analysing key stress factors will identify the deficiencies, excesses, unhelpful habits and work pressures, which will inform the action plan.
As you tackle each of the factors, identify the steps they can take to regain physical and emotional wellbeing and include a timescale for when they hope to achieve each action. Some actions may have quick results, such as reducing workload by delegating; some may demand longer-term change in lifestyle, such as changing eating habits, stopping smoking and increasing exercise. Help the individual to become aware of their personal balance and help them make adjustments quickly when they feel out of balance; this will provide them with a permanent self-coaching capability for long-term wellbeing.
Amanda Bouch is an active member of the Association for Coaching. She works with managers and leaders as a coach to help them to deliver their personal best and to achieve high performance through their team and the organisation. www.amandabouchconsulting.co.uk