22 Sep 2023 World leisure: news, training & property
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Leisure Management - Be the change

Industry insights

Be the change

Mia Kyricos says the industry now has the opportunity to take a fresh, systems-based approach to the business of wellness, which is inclusive, equal and diverse…

Ecosystems of Wellbeing: a protocol trademarked by Kyricos & Associates LLC ESB Professiona/shutterstock
How employees are enabled to live and work needs to be employers’ priority

When it comes to business performance, it’s increasingly clear that a well-executed wellness strategy not only stands to differentiate a company, product, or service, but also generates greater returns while positively impacting the wellbeing of people, community, and planet.

Even before Covid, mental health was flagging, but since the pandemic mental health has gone through the floor. According to research by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence, seven out of 10 respondents said 2020 was the most stressful year of their working lives and 76 per cent believe mental health needs to be an employer priority.

A study by NHIS and the US Census Bureau, found four out of 10 adults in the United States now report symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder compared to just one in 10 from January to June 2019. Companies today can no longer stand to ignore the impact of these figures on their business.

Culture change
Although, there has been some attempts to make workplaces well, through the addition of healthy food in cafeterias, gyms, yoga classes, meditation and nap rooms, in the Western world company leadership has continued to cultivate stressful, 24/7 work cultures. The focus needs to shift from what is offered to how employees are enabled to live and work.

When it comes to mental wellbeing there’s still much work to be done. Before Covid, mental health was stigmatised and in the workplace it has been approached from a medical standpoint, rather than a human one. Most importantly, we have not done a good job of providing tools and resources for these conditions.

Ecosystems of Wellbeing
To ultimately make wellness part of an organisation’s DNA, we need to identify and activate Ecosystems of Wellbeing, a protocol which is trademarked by Kyricos & Associates LLC, which accounts for all of the stakeholders that the system touches, from leaders and colleagues to consumers and communities. If leaders make their personal wellbeing a priority, they stand to perform better and positively influence the behaviours of fellow executives, who in turn, set the tone for their teams and employees.

Employees who believe their wellbeing is supported and modelled by their leaders, will be more productive and happier at work, and better serve consumers, who will support the companies they believe care for employees and operate with reverence for the planet.

Productive and profitable companies will be in a better position to care for the wellbeing of the communities within which they operate, and will more easily recruit future talent.

Wellbeing officers
To activate these Ecosystems of Wellbeing, we need to identify C-Suite leaders who are ready to lead the charge before the world returns to business as usual and catches a convenient case of amnesia. This means naming chief wellbeing officers with job descriptions designed with the wellbeing of all stakeholders in mind.

These positions should not be side jobs or projects, but resourced by leaders who are empowered to rise above purely commercial interests or internal initiatives, to activate holistic ecosystems which truly stand to impact culture and business performance while making the world a better place.

As we reconsider the future of life and work, we have an unprecedented opportunity to view how a true commitment to health and wellness can unite us: how all of the pieces in our companies and communities could come together to create a much more meaningful whole - one which is designed to make wellness a more inherent part of who we are.

About the author:

Mia Kyricos is a globally-respected thought-leader in the business of wellness, wellbeing and hospitality with a specialty in brand strategy and communications. She has worked across 100+ countries with industry leaders. Her strategic advisory firm, Kyricos & Associates LLC, is focused on globally advancing the business of wellness.

Originally published in Spa Business Handbook 2022 edition

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