Don't you do wellbeing any more?
The subject of this week's Lift Blog has been 'brewing' for a while. It's a question I've been asked on and off for a few months now. But I've been asked it by 3 different people this week (and this has been a short week!)
Don't you do Wellbeing anymore?
This question in itself sits at the heart of the problem I've had since starting working in charity wellbeing back in 2018.
Basically, Wellbeing is a $h!t word.
It's totally inadequate (especially when you're looking for images to help depict it)
It can be interpreted in a million different ways. And yet the more common connotations with the word include yoga, hot stones, massage, scenes of sweeping beachscapes, crashing waves and beautiful people walking along the sand.
This is NOT what I mean by wellbeing. But I haven't yet found or invented a new word to replace it, so I'm stuck with it.
Wellbeing intrinsically is derived entirely differently for me than for you. The things that enhance my wellbeing will be TOTALLY different than the things that enhance yours
The one thing wellbeing does have in common for everyone, especially those working in the charity sector, is that there are many opportunities to remove or reduce those things that negatively impact on our wellbeing.
And, having reduced and removed them, we make space for more of those things that positively impact our wellbeing.
Making space for wellbeing
The other thing that is also true, again especially for those working in the charity sector, is that the rollercoaster of life over the last few years has added more or deepened existing negative impact at work.
In 2018, I was already slightly uncomfortable in challenging amazing colleagues in our sector to "find time to do the things you love". I could see eyes roll as people questioned their choice in making the time to listen to me!! Time is not something we have an abundance of.
So, when the proverbial hit the fan in 2020, and uncertainty and additional challenge played one-up-man-ship on a weekly basis, Time became even more scarce.
We had always talked in terms of balance - where can you reduce the incidence of things that cause "unwellbeing" AND where can you increase the incidence of things that improve your wellbeing.
Like the notion of Resilience, there was always a focus on wellbeing being your own responsibility - You need to find the time to fit in wellbeing. You need to work smarter. You need to be more resilient.
But in some places, this felt like a gaslighting move - "we're not prepared to look at any of the unwellbeing things, not even prepared to acknowledge they're a problem. You need to take your own responsibility."
What does "Doing Wellbeing" mean?
In 2018/19 we conducted the UK's first piece of fundraiser wellbeing research. More than 700 fundraisers took part. And they told us, in no uncertain terms, what the things were that impacted their wellbeing as a Fundraiser. We had the evidence. We knew where to look
So, "doing wellbeing" for us means helping to reduce and "lift" the areas in the workplace that we know have the ability to impact wellbeing negatively AND positively.
And overwhelmingly, from our own research and the work of others far greater than us, we know that the areas that have the ability to impact wellbeing negatively AND positively sit under one or both of the headings:
Workload, systems and processes that work, communication, clarity of priorities, support and guidance, the space to grow and learn, the breaking down of siloes, being able to be your whole self, authenticity, psychological safety, diversity of thought, embracing of opposites, holding difficult conversations, giving productive feedback - these are just some of the many things we work with people on to help improve wellbeing.
Once we're happy these are being looked at, and are starting to be lifted, THEN we will talk about personal wellbeing, about self care, about the basics, about finding what you love, about identifying the people who add to your internal battery and those who take from it, about what your secret ingredient is and how to prioritise it, about carving out a little bit of life for you and for living it to the full.
Don't we do Wellbeing anymore?
You bet your @ss we do!
And this is how
Want to find out more? Drop us a line / Send us a DM
Claire & Lisa xx