Where there are KPIs that people are performance reviewed against, it takes a bold leader to step back from using these when leading their staff, and start to look at other measures.
It’s probably no surprise that happy people perform more effectively at work (source Said Business School) and often when we look at Positive Psychology studies we can find ourselves nodding away as they make sense. However, even though we know that happiness and well-being go hand in hand with performance we often see the reality being that a focus on performance without considering the factors that lead to it looking at it as the end goal rather than thinking about it as the starting point.
As coaches we’re able to influence leaders and teams to reimagine how they achieve productive outcomes by working on their own happiness and well-being first. When we support people to make conscious and positive choices it can enable them to support cultural change. This is the sweet spot where coaching meets positive psychology and uses evidence based approaches to support people to change.
Positive Psychology, Well-being and Flourishing.
A recent (2022) global study by AXA found that the UK workforce are languishing with nearly 50% of people struggling with their emotional well-being. We were the lowest ranked country in the survey. At a collective and individual level there needs to be a change to how we look at well-being and emotional health as it’s quite clear what has gone before isn’t working for a myriad of reasons.
Organisational culture can be built on expectations : often people perceive that they are measured by their output or leaders consider this is the only way forward. Where there are KPIs that people are performance reviewed against it takes a bold leader to step back from using these when leading their staff and start to look at other measures.
The PERMA+ Model and Well-being scales
As coaches there are many tools we can use: I’m a fan of the PERMA+ model by Martin Seligman as a starting point to have conversations about well-being. If you’re doing this in the workplace he’s developed his own scale to use there. The big thing to consider is psychological safety and understanding that people know the purpose of using such tools. Personally, I’ve fallen down by using it and not explaining that it’s there as a starting point to help raise an individuals awareness and work with them to enhance their well-being : this is often where a coach will come in to support them with a plan around what changes they can make. It requires an investment in coaching and in dialogue with employees as there may be things that leaders don’t want to hear.
What is interesting is when this is done well the PERMA+ model or other well-being scales can be the starting point for individual and organisational change. It’s hard to change what we can’t measure and although there is some subjectiveness around well-being and what it includes starting to see it as critical to the organisation as profitability in itself can be a welcome shift for many employees.
Developing coaching skills within organisations
Another way that coaches can impact well-being within organisations is through facilitating training around Positive psychology and well-being to develop the coaching capacity of the ogranisation. At an organisational level when people have basic coaching skills they’re able to have more effective conversations around these topics and equally to be able to self-coach themselves becoming aware of what their needs are before they might if they didn’t have these skills.
If you’re thinking about where to start a great resource is my new book How To Feel Better which talks you through a simple self-coaching formula which anyone can use and can be a great supplement to a well-being program you can find out more here
Ruth Kudzi – Optimus Coach Academy
As one of fewer than 70 Master Certified Coaches in the UK, Ruth Kudzi is independently verified as one of the top coaches by the international coaching federation (ICF). She has been coaching for well over a decade and running her award-winning coaching business since 2016. Ruth combines over 27 years experience studying Psychology and Neuroscience (with the BA, MA and diplomas under her belt) with senior leadership experience in the educational sector and a prior life in sales. She holds a raft of accreditations, from NLP Practitioner to Positive Psychology Diploma to Spiral Energy Coach to DISC Personality L3 trainer to a PGCERT in Coaching to Small Business Diploma to Neuroscience for Leadership as well as many more courses and training.
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Four mistakes to avoid when it comes to workplace wellbeing