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January 2015, Healthy Organizations Newsletter
Break Through Consulting
Wendy Kuhn
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In this newsletter, we will explore how organizations can benefit from the positive impacts of a healthy, motivated, engaged workforce.

You've Committed to Change, Now What?!

Are you ever bewildered by how challenging it can be to implement changes in your organization?  Are you seeking to achieve buy in and support for your initiatives and day-to-day operational changes?  Several methodologies exist, but they overlook a crucial principle – to support your organization, your employees need to feel supported by the organization.  They need to feel that the company and their leadership care about them and their wellbeing.  Consider how a health and wellness program can assist.  A health and wellness component incorporated into an organizational adoption methodology can increase the pace, acceptance, and robustness of change in the organization.
My recent blog post with Four Tips for being a Healthy Leader seemed to resonate with a lot of people.  Check it out!  If you like what I have to say, on that same page, you can sign up to receive my blog posts in your inbox. 
Do you wonder about the benefits of a health and wellness program?  Check out the results of just a few of the many studies that look at this -- Health and Wellness is good for your Bottom Line
Consider the following questions:
  • Are the attitudes and behaviors in your organization reflective of its core values?
  • Do employees clearly understand and subscribe to the strategic direction of the organization?
  • Are you experiencing decreased absenteeism and/or increased productivity?
  • Is employee morale high?
  • Do changes get implemented into the organization efficiently and effectively?
If the answer to any of these question is no, then it is time to evaluate the effectiveness of how your organization manages changes and, in fact, embeds the change into the organizational DNA.  Successful implementation of change affects customer satisfaction, employee engagement, organizational success, and, ultimately, the bottom line.
 
Often, a lack of success in projects, plans, and health and wellness initiatives is caused by a failure to effectively plan for the change, a failure to effectively manage the team, and/or failure to manage the implementation.  Effective organizational change management involves employees in the process, clearly defines expected outcomes and behaviors, and results in a motivated leadership team with a workforce moving purposefully towards common goals.  The failure to effectively implement changes manifests in many different forms with the commonality of negatively impact the bottom line.
An effective organizational adoption strategy that incorporates health and wellness as a keystone will demonstrate positive impetus towards successful implementation of changes regardless of whether you are implementing a small software upgrade or restructuring the entire organization. 
We have found that when the organizational change includes direct benefits to employees, they are more likely to embrace it; when employees feel better, they are absent less, more productive, and more effective; and when employees are involved and they see their impact on an element of an organizational change, they feel empowered to positively impact the corporation’s bottom line. Organizational change and health and wellness can be linked to increase the likelihood of success:
  • A health and wellness program that follows an organizational change methodology for implementation will help to ensure the adoption and success of the program.
  • An organizational change strategy that incorporates employee identified health and wellness components demonstrates to employees that the company is, in fact, committed to their wellbeing and recognizes the value they bring to the organization.
  • Research has shown that when employees feel as though their company and leadership are committed to their wellbeing, they are more committed to the success of the organization.
  • When healthy practices, such as healthy meetings, work life balance, stress reduction opportunities, and building community, are incorporated into the organizational change plan, the changes are more likely to be understood and effective.
  • Even when changes are disruptive and difficult to implement, if employees recognize the benefits and feel that the company cares through a demonstrable focus on their health and wellness, they will be more likely to embrace the change.  

Are you in the midst of change? It is 2015, so it is unlikely that any viable company is not.  Try the following to see the impact of incremental steps towards effective change adoption:
  • Listen – What are the things that are impacting employee morale?  Are there quick steps that you could take to address some of the underlying causes?
     
  • Communicate – Have you clearly articulated the value proposition of the impending change?  Not just what it means for the organization and its customers but also how it impacts the individual employees and teams.
     
  • Look at the overall change and identify three options for improving employee health and wellness as a part of the change.   If it is a physical move, what can be done in the new location to enhance employee health?   Is there an opportunity for a walking trail or a meditation room?   If it is a software rollout, perhaps provide training in a stress management technique, such as HeartMathâ„¢ prior to offering training.   If it is an organization wide restructuring, it is a great opportunity to solicit employee input on ways to enhance work life balance.  
     
  • Be leaders Model the behavior that you want to see in employees.  This includes embracing organizational changes and adopting healthy behaviors.
     
  • Learn More.   Join my colleague Pam Erskine and me for an informative webinar “Embrace Organizational Adoption Techniques and Improve Your Bottom Line:  How Health and Wellness Directly Link to Improved Results."  Register for this groundbreaking webinar on March 4, 2015 at 2:00 EST or March 5, 2015 at 1:00 EST.
About Me
I am a strategic planning and implementation consultant with extensive experience helping government, business, and non-profit organizations achieve their vision.   I have more than twenty years of experience in management and IT consulting, facilitation, program management, business relationship management, business process redesign and IT Service Management development.  I am also a Certified Health Coach and HeartMathâ„¢ Mentor.
About Pamela Erskine
Pam Erskine has more than 15 years of leadership experience with a focus on IT and service transformation through clear vision and strategy, process improvement, and purposeful steps to address cultural adoption.  Pam is the author of “ITIL and Organizational Change” which covers best practice in gaining acceptance of changes in the workplace and gives practical advice on applying organizational change models to a Service Management initiative.  Visit www.adoptitsm.com for additional information.

My Philosophy

I have often seen projects, programs, and strategic plans fail or not be fully implemented.  One of the contributing factors is often a work force that is over-stressed, unhealthy, and not committed to the end result. At the same time, corporate health and wellness programs tend to be underutilized with employees not taking advantage of available opportunities.  

One common key component of successful strategic planning, successful programs, and successful project management is a fully engaged workforce.   By incorporating health and wellness into these efforts, rather than having health and wellness programs as separate functions, the employees have a voice in what is included in the program and see their ability to influence and engage with corporate strategies.   In my experience, including employee wellness in corporate strategies demonstrates the organization’s commitment to their employees and leads to a more productive, healthier, more creative, and more engaged workforce. 

My focus is working with organizations to help them grow and reach the next level.

Learn more about me
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