Most HR professionals today need no convincing on the ROI for achieving high staff engagement. Statistics linking engagement to customer loyalty, productivity, sales revenue and workforce productivity have been amassing for decades.

Yet when we look to the top performing organisations in the engagement stakes globally, their concept of engagement is evolving into a new dimension.  These organisations are not merely focussed on engaging their people to lift performance and thereby sustainability, they are taking stewardship of the wellbeing of their people and making their workplace THE place to change people’s lives through raising the bar on wellness.  Why?  Because evidence is mounting that high achievement based on wellness is an extremely attractive proposition and one that is proving surprisingly infectious (no pun intended)!

Pioneering work in this field has been done by Gallup in monitoring the core components of wellbeing (purpose, social, financial, physical and community) in over 150 countries.  The findings are pointing to millennials as leading the charge in seeking organisations where they can contribute to a greater good (a known driver of wellbeing) and to wellness naturally going viral, extending to three degrees of separation.  How you feel impacts family, friends and even friends of friends.

When referring to wellness in business we are not talking about the increasingly common fad-like approaches to corporate wellness programs.  Tactics like gym memberships, fit bit challenges, yoga classes at lunchtime, massages during a peak period, communal fruit bowls or annual corporate triathalons will only create some short-term impact unless linked to a mindset shift for the entire system that is purposeful and fully backed by leadership.  Then we have a true movement and not a fad.

Deepak Chopra in a recent corporate leadership workshop in New York educated leaders on the concept of radical wellness.  Radical wellness is more than happiness, an emotion that can come and go.  It is linked to our core human purpose and life legacy.  The focus is to first change the mindset of the leader so that strategies and solutions emerge naturally and meeting topics begin to change of their own accord.  It begins with the exploration of what it means to be a human leading a purposeful life and leads on to how to build an organisation of people that are not merely engaged but thriving.

Before you ditch your annual engagement survey and book a meditation leadership retreat, here are some steps to get started:

  • Begin with the soul: Have leaders tap into their core motivations for choosing to be leaders in the first place, what achievement looks like in relation to this and the legacy they want to leave behind.
  • Identify the mindset shift: ask people what is the change they are most passionate about for the future of the organisation and then, what is the mindset needed to bring this future forward?
  • Make wellness personal: consider the fundamentals of living a thriving life and how work can support this. Go beyond happiness.  Address wellbeing as it relates to personal purpose and embrace its physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects.  A leader can’t authentically optimise the workplace if they have not yet first taken steps to optimise their life.
  • Give leaders the skills: not in the usual domains of goal setting, project implementation and business planning but in how to inspire lasting mindset change and tap into internal and external resources for peak performance.



Deepak Chopra:

Tom Rath and Jim Harter, Ph.D. “Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements”.

Leading Well is a boutique leadership consulting and coaching firm which recognises that it is no longer enough to improve surface-level leadership skills without ensuring that the foundations on which they are introduced are as strong and healthy as possible. We offer the highest standards in leadership development, cultural and strategic facilitation and wellness mentoring programme design.

To find out more about how Leading Well can help you, please contact us.