The Role of Communication in Workplace Wellness
In the early 19th century, Samuel Morse and his cohort developed a system in which electric pulses could be used in patterns to to communicate a coded message. When the skilled communicator and the attuned listener were in concert, messages of importance could be conveyed quickly and over great distances with well-trained operators. It’s a lesson that gives us insight as to the role of communication in workplace wellness.
Good Communication is a Healthy Staple
Morse code proved to be useful into the 21st century for its speed and reliability in adverse conditions. Even today the Boy Scouts award strips for translating code at 5 words per minute (wpm). And despite Morse code’s perceived antiquity, contests are held to measure the proficiency of operators. Interestingly, some operators are so skilled that they can copy code at over 60 words per minute! New instruments allow encoders to deliver code so quickly as to outpace the decoder. One can see that the standard for fast and efficient communication has a broad spectrum.
On the subject of speed, modern business is moving faster than ever. But does this speed come at an expense? Today, you have the ability to instantly communicate with your entire staff with the tip of your finger. But this constant communication can lack authenticity. We can’t deny the timesaving benefits of our modern messaging technology, but we also cannot ignore its negative effect on workplace wellness.
“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” – Arianna Huffington.
Slow down and take the time to communicate directly with your employees – in person, if possible. This high-quality, open communication will foster a healthy working environment. This tactic is especially important when communicating your wellness goals with your team. Be open and honest about the pros and cons – they’ll appreciate the candor.
I recommend utilizing both bottom-up and top-down communication methods when establishing your workplace wellness program. This two-way communication style will ensure that employees’ needs are being met with active participation and will prove your commitment to this invaluable initiative as you “walk the talk.” From the top-down, show your employees how you’ve personally benefited from healthy lifestyle choices. Then, open the floor to bottom-up communication by making your employees a part of the decision-making process when creating your wellness program.
Most importantly, communicate the benefits of your wellness program to make it a worthy cause. When we are intimately connected to a project’s purpose, we are more likely to work harder to succeed. Your employees will be are naturally motivated to work when they know they will achieve a sense of purpose and benefit the good of the team.
Promote collaborative communication to earn employee buy-in and improve workplace wellness. You’re sure to see the benefits in more ways than one.
In the next installment, we’ll switch gears and focus on your wellness as a leader with, “The Importance of Wellbeing for Leaders: Secure Your Own Oxygen Mask First”
Our dynamic workshop encourages each leader to assess overall insights to examine elements of purpose, passion, relationships and vision that contribute to well being at work and in life. Download info here!