This post is about the (possibly lofty) exploration of work being nourishing for the whole individual.
Previously we’ve explored the notion of personal growth as an important and financially viable approach to growing your agency. In this article we take this further and explore the notion of nourishing work as having its own inherent value.
Why are we curious about work being more nourishing?
We spend a lot of time at work. What if our work really nourished and supported us? Not only would we work better, we’d be more prepared to deal with challenges, and more equipped to handle uncertainty. And we’d be helping people be happier.
It’s unethical that so many people are pushed to burnout or unreasonable levels of stress because of their work. This Champion Health report suggests that 33% of workers felt moderate to high levels of stress in the past year.
Instead of plastering on 1hr wellbeing sessions, what if businesses aimed for the other end of the spectrum as opposed to ‘avoiding burnout’ but were instead driving towards ways of working that allow us to fully flourish?
We’ve witnessed workplaces where great culture makes for a welcoming and supportive space where people feel happy to turn up and do their best.
What might a nourishing workplace actually look like?
This would mean that the whole person is cared for and looked after at work. That means cognitively, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Everybody comes to work with a complex set of circumstances and needs and it’s becoming increasingly hard to distinguish between work relevant challenges and personal challenges. Where is the line with what’s appropriate for the workplace?
I’d love to see work as one of the central supporting institutions in our lives. That we know our team and managers have our back, they’re there for us in all ways, and are happy for us to bring all parts of us into work.
A nourishing workplace means broader conversations, more loving and caring 1-1s, and deeper relationships where the barrier of professional and personal are questioned and left behind.
How can you step towards this?
Many organisations are already placing a focus on good culture, wellbeing, and learning and development as ways to support and address the full person. We’re seeing more ‘Head of People / Culture’ roles with an explicit focus on the care and growth of the employees.
Becoming a B Corp (or other similar ethical marks of accreditation) offer employees real value and meaning providing that elusive tick to the more spiritual dimension of work.
People care, in the form of regular processes that support the full person, need good implementation throughout the entire organisation.
Is your workplace nourishing? Do you feel revitalised?
I’d love to hear from you and learn more about how today’s visionary leaders are transforming business to be more humane.