Avoiding Obstacles in the Road

March 19, 2012 at 7:23 am
Filed under: employee well-being

What do you know about cars?

If you’ve owned one, you know that keeping it running requires overall maintenance. You could fill the tank with gas and maybe give it a shine once in a while, and you’ll accelerate and probably at least make it to the office and back. But without tending to the whole car, eventually you’re going to stall and you’ll probably need a tow the first time you hit a pothole.

Let’s apply the same principle to your workforce. Your employee programs and your environment are your “gas and shine” — the basics that get employees to accelerate and make your organization productive. In this “basic fuel” equation, employers conclude (somewhat idealistically, perhaps) that shine (your environment), acceleration (employee contributions), and fuel (employee-support programs) determine productivity, or:

P(productivity) = E(environment) x C(contributions) x P(programs)

But, as in the automotive analogy, fuel and shine may start you up, but aren’t enough to keep things moving. Yes, they’ll probably get you working … for a while. But those elements alone can’t sustain the organization in the face of life’s inevitable disruptions. What you need is a finely tuned vehicle — a workforce with an overall sense of well-being — to endure and bounce back. It’s resilience that allows you to get over those obstacles without missing a step.

Think of it in terms of a new equation. This one focuses on the whole person, is rooted in well-being, and makes resilience the exponential factor. Simply put:

SP (sustainable productivity) = E x C x P to the R power, where “R” stands for resiliency.

Focusing on well-being and the things that allow people to feel whole and in control of what matters most will have the effect of improving the all-important “bounce,” reducing the amount of time it takes employees to return to being at least as productive as they had been prior to the disruption and creating not just success — but sustainable success.

Organizations that get this will see results in every area: engagement, loyalty, productivity, etc.

Most important, they’ll see their newly resilient employees able to successfully navigate any challenge.

And that means nobody stalls in the event of a pothole.

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