It’s 13th November which means that it is World Kindness Day! This is one of my absolute favourite days of the year, it is so much better than the other random days such as national donut day (yes there’s actually a day for that!)
World Kindness Day is celebrated annually on 13th November. On this day, people from all over the world attempt to make the world a better place by celebrating and promoting good deeds and pledging acts of kindness, either as individuals or as organisations. The day was was first launched in 1998 by The World Kindness Movement. The mission of the World Kindness Movement and World Kindness Day is to create a kinder world by inspiring individuals and nations towards greater kindness.
Today is world mental health day and whilst social media is alive with support, I can’t help but think about how mental health has become such a wider issue and how this has been responded to within organisations.
Long gone are the days where people “leave their problems at the door” before walking into their workplaces each morning, now there is a much greater emphasis for organisations to be more proactive when it comes to supporting employees mental health and wellbeing.
Promoting positive mental health at work is a great place to start, many employers have Employee Assistance Programmes, Occupational Health facilities and some are taking it that one step further by implementing Mental Health First Aiders within their businesses to proactively support employees.
Many people believe that the harder you work, the quicker you’ll climb the career ladder quicker, resulting in more money and a greater sense of achievement. WRONG!
Researchers from City University have collected information from over 500,000 people in 30 different European countries, and considered the effects of long working hours hours, verses the effort put into an individual’s job against measures of wellbeing, and have linked this to career outcomes.
The research is a painful read, especially for those who put in the hours in a bid to increase their prospects. The study revealed a connection between an increased work volumes and reduced wellbeing. The results also highlight the negative effects of working too hard such as increased stress levels and increased risk of burnout, this is shown to outweigh the reward for demonstrating commitment and going the extra mile.
A recent report produced by the Chartered Institute of Managers (CIM) has revealed that managers are working an extra 44 days per year above their contracted hours. This is leading us towards a concerning management crisis.
In days where it is the normal expectation to never be “off duty” managers have a tendency to work unpaid overtime, and with continued advances in technological ways of communicating, there is an increasing culture of always being available. The report highlights that 59 per cent of managers admitted they check their emails outside working hours. The increased presenteeism combined with technology is having a detrimental impact upon managers’ health and wellbeing.
In short; the way we are working now, is simply not working at all.
“A bad boss can take a great workforce and destroy it, causing the best employees to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation”
After all the festivities, it’s time to head back to the office and it’s no surprise that January is notoriously known for being the most depressing month of the year (yikes, tough crowd you’ve got here January!).
However, despite the dark days, dark nights and miserable weather, January is a month of opportunity and a perfect time for organisations to review their working practices to make improvements for the future.