The need to look after both body & mind should never be underestimated. Over the past few years there has been a major change in the level of care people are consciously taking over their bodies and more recently there has been a similar focus on self-care. The health & well being of the mind is equally as important as ensuring the body is running at full speed. A negative state of mind can have major adverse effects on not only an individual’s productivity, but also their physical health. A self-care routine can easily be integrated into a busy lifestyle and is likely to have benefits much more valuable than the time invested in it. There is no excuse, even within an industry such as recruitment.
The office environment
A person will spend 35% of their working life in the office so it is imperative that you retain a healthy state of mind in the workplace. Maslow’s Hierarchy illustrates the different needs required to ensure that an employee remains motivated towards their work and they remain fulfilled in their career. It’s nothing new, this pyramid has been used for years to demonstrate the requirements for an office to become a productive workplace; from basic human needs for an employee to remain focussed in work, to the needs that ensure an employee is dedicated to performing to their best ability and that they fulfil their potential. It is maybe sometimes the case that a non-productive workforce is blamed on the employees, however, it can be the case that the office has not been optimised to be a high-performance environment. Applause IT are partnered with many businesses across a variety of industries and each business has its own unique benefits package. Some of our favourite benefits are:
- A paid-for holiday, where the only catch is that you MUST take the holiday
- A company-wide cruise where no work is to take place
- A conference budget set aside for an event of the work-forces choice
- Tech & software subscriptions
- Charitable donations to an organisation of the employee’s choice
An initiative that we at Applause IT have recently implemented is to encourage our consultants to think about self-care, to ensure that they are maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Yasmin Aslam, Talent acquisition & Training Manager, recently spoke with Recruitment International on the importance of finding the perfect balance between the two, published in their August 2018 issue. Around lunchtime all work in the office comes to a halt, and everybody heads to the break area for lunch. Some spend their lunch hour playing pool, others head outside for some fresh air and a bit of exercise. We discourage working over lunch as it is important for people to switch off from work for an hour and recharge themselves before heading back to their desks to continue with the working day. We find our recruiters return from lunch motivated and keen to reengage with their work following this break and feel it is a very important aspect of the working day. Outside office hours, we have started encouraging our staff to find activities that promote self-care that help them relax and recharge when they are away from work.
Something that we have recently incorporated into the office is a personal performance review of the previous month. The reflection model that we feel encourages the greatest reflection is The Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle. We place a great deal of importance in self-reflection as this is the most effective pathway to personal & professional development. After attending a Recruitment Network event last month, two of our senior consultants have applied the ‘4 Questions’ model of reflection, consisting of:
- What am I doing well, and should continue doing?
- What am doing badly, and should stop doing?
- What do I do occasionally, that I should do more?
- What do I not do that I should start doing?
The questions are designed to help our consultants recognise their achievements and the level of success they found with new techniques incorporated into their workflow. This analysis elicits a self-awareness of the consultant which not only adds to their job satisfaction, but also encourages them to become accountable for their own work and run their desks like their own business.
Taking this time to really digest the experiences of the previous month, and how they affected productivity & performance. It is equally important to evaluate the affect these activities had on your feelings, as it is your performance, and whether this was a positive or negative experience. This realisation of the effect an experience had on your mental wellbeing can act as encouragement/discouragement of the activity in the future, e.g. a positive experience shall be re-enacted, and a negative one not repeated. Which in turn leads to an increased performance and greater affinity with the role in the following month.
What does your office do for self-care?