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Nurturing Well-Being in the Employment Sector Workplace

by Tricia Bowler-Archambault

One of the features of the employment sector is that its professionals typically have a high level of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. These same skills can also be a reliable source for developing a healthy workplace.
Here are some of my favorite practices that create personal and organizational well-being, built upon the strength of our sector’s skills and abilities:

Collaborative Decision-Making

Communicating through a decision-making process is a standard skill for career practitioners. Studies have shown that a key component in employee productivity and well-being is inclusion in decisions that affect them.

 

Coupling the skills of a career practitioner with organizational decision-making allows for increased creativity, meaningful engagement and better decisions. Even if the final decision is made by management, involvement reduces resistance and quells anxiety.
Environment of Trust
Just as skilled counsellors and coaches generate rapport and build trust with their clients to more effectively support them, trust between colleagues is vital for well-being. Trust is a sacred commodity and can be built through openness and transparency.

The practice of openly sharing personal or organizational information may be touted as risky — people might misconstrue the facts and create problems. The real problem, however, is that in the absence of information people “make stuff up”. If the organizational culture does not allow for openness, no one will risk asking the clarifying question. Encouraging people to share their concerns and to be curious creates a level of security and ease. People can more effectively manage themselves knowing that important matters relevant to them are discussable.
Recognition

Contribution is a high value for people in our sector. Often practitioners have a clear work purpose and are on track to fulfilling it. Well-being is increased when these goals and aspirations are acknowledged and supported through opportunities for development.

When people in this sector are embracing a career transition and dealing with a lack of career clarity, identification and acknowledgement of their on-going unique contributions creates the joy of fulfillment now. In addition to knowing that we make a difference, genuine recognition feeds an essential need.
Accountability

One of the goals of career development professionals is to increase the level of self-determination of their clients to empower them in their career decision-making. In order to do this, the client becomes more aware of how their beliefs and behaviours may have contributed to their current situation, and how shifts in their behaviors can impact their career.

Inviting colleagues to adopt this stance of being accountable for their current reality, even if just 1% responsible, increases their belief in self-determination. Often there is resistance to seeing how the negative circumstances in our lives may be due to our actions, so the invitation must come from a place of knowing how uncomfortable it is initially to entertain this idea, and that the payoff is increased confidence and self-esteem.

The benefits for incorporating well-being practices into our workplaces impacts all involved: the career practitioners, the people we serve, and the organization. People who are healthy and have a sense of well-being infect all those they contact – with enthusiasm, honesty and generosity. These are resources that make a substantial difference.

 

Tricia Bowler-Archambault, MA, enjoys creating innovative projects, client-focused programming and inspiring creative teams in MCC Employment and Community Development. She lives with her family in White Rock, BC.

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