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How to cultivate sustainable and fulfilling workplaces


The great resignation, quiet quitting and now, the burnout epidemic. It's clear that work as we know it, isn't working for many. People are feeling fatigued and unfulfilled with work. In a recent survey conducted by Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning 45% of respondents reported feeling stressed or burned out at least once a week. The disconnect between what leaders think is happening and the reality of employee well-being is glaring, according to Deloitte's 2024 Well-being at Work report.


It's time for a different approach, one that views employee well-being through the lens of sustainability.


Sustainability isn't just about the environment

At Bluebird Leadership, we see sustainability as a holistic concept, encompassing both people and planet. We believe that thriving organisations are built on a foundation of thriving individuals. And just as we strive for environmental sustainability, we must also prioritise human sustainability.


The human sustainability imperative

Deloitte's report defines human sustainability as the degree to which organisations invest in their people's well-being, skills, and sense of purpose. It's about creating workplaces where employees not only contribute but also flourish, leaving with greater health, stronger skills, and a deeper connection to their work.


This shift is especially critical in today's human-powered economy. We've moved from an industrial era to a knowledge economy, and now to an economy fueled by the very essence of our humanity - our hearts, minds, and unique talents.



The leadership gap

Yet, a staggering statistic from Deloitte's report reveals that:


Only 43% of workers believe their organisations have left them better off than when they started. 

Clearly, there's a gap between what leaders think they're doing and the reality on the ground.


So, how do we bridge this gap and create workplaces where both people and organisations thrive? We need to create human-centred leaders.


Three key strategies for human-centered leaders:

  1. Measure what really matters: Go beyond traditional engagement metrics and focus on employee fulfillment. Understand and support the eight dimensions of well-being, including emotional, physical, social, financial, spiritual, environmental, intellectual, and occupational.

  2. Close the knowing-doing gap: Data alone isn't enough. Leaders must take intentional, purposeful action based on their insights. Translate well-being data into tangible initiatives that empower and support employees.

  3. Practice true Human-Centered Leadership: This goes beyond slogans and "people-first" platitudes. Focus on each individual's value, growth, and relationships at work. Foster a sense of contribution, provide meaningful learning opportunities, and create a culture of connection and belonging.


By embracing these strategies, leaders can unlock the full potential of their people, creating thriving ecosystems where everyone benefits.


When people thrive, organisations thrive. And that's the kind of sustainable future we're committed to building.


Ready to cultivate a thriving workplace?

Let's connect and explore how Bluebird Leadership can partner with you to create a more sustainable, fulfilling, and impactful future.



References

Deloitte (2024), Focusing on human sustainability and employee well-being. Available at: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/human-capital-trends/2024/focusing-on-human-sustainability-and-employee-wellbeing.html

Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning. (2024), Fulfillment at work requires real human-centered leadership. Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://www.harvardbusiness.org/insight/fulfillment-at-work-requires-real-human-centered-leadership/ 

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