Leading Well(ness): Executive Tips for Promoting Health and Wellness in High-Performing Teams

In the fast-paced world of executive leadership, the well-being of both individuals and teams often takes a backseat. However, fostering a culture of health and wellness within a team can lead to increased productivity, better focus, and overall improved team dynamics. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical tips for busy executives to maintain their physical and mental well-being while simultaneously fostering a healthy work environment.

Beyond the Box-Checking: Transforming Breaks into Productive Moments

Executives often encourage their teams to take short breaks, but what if these breaks could be more than just a routine checkbox? Instead of a generic walk around the office, consider providing your team with actionable tools to make these breaks not only refreshing but also beneficial for their physical and mental health.

Example: Instead of a simple walk, introduce the team to the benefits of foam rolling the thoracic spine (upper back). This not only helps in aligning the spine but also stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leaving team members more awake, stimulated, and focused. This practice enhances blood flow to the brain, promoting increased oxygen delivery and overall well-being. You’ll probably look a little funny at first rolling around on the floor demonstrating the practice, but being vulnerable and looking a little silly is a great way to bond with your team!

Personal Wellness, Professional Performance

The connection between personal wellness and effective performance is profound. Personal wellness practices are beneficial in our lives with positive effects that extend far beyond the workplace. When your team is healthier, they are happier. When they are happier, their work is better. Actively promoting wellness benefits everyone in an organization, so normalize discussing and practicing wellness in the office. Habits are contagious after all-once a few employees get on the wellness train, the rest will follow!

Example: Try having a “wellness minute” at the beginning of company meetings. Starting out your meetings this way shows employees that caring about yourself and others is a top priority on your team. (If caring about others isn’t a top priority on your team, well, you’ve got problems all the “wellness” in the world won’t help solve.) Invite employees to share what has been energizing them at home. Encourage and congratulate those employees who share experiences; promoting positivity is itself a wellness habit. 

Sharing Strategies and Tools: Leading from Behind

True leadership involves more than just directing from the front; it requires looking back and lifting the entire team. Executives should pay it forward by sharing the strategies and tools that have contributed to their success with their trusted team members. But make sure the activities you’re sharing are accessible to every member of your team. Touting the benefits of your daily Peloton rides to an employee who makes $12 an hour is not a good look. 

Example: Demonstrate the wellness practices that have made you a better individual with your team. Talking about practical tools for wellness is great, but demonstrating them is even better. Let your employees see you stretching. Lead a guided meditation group. This type of action will foster a supportive environment.  Leaders who invest in the well-being of their team members empower them to succeed, creating a positive feedback loop of mutual support.

Promoting health and wellness within a high-performing team is not just a checkbox on a company’s wellness program; it’s an investment in the long-term success of both individuals and the organization. Busy executives can lead the way by transforming routine breaks into opportunities for well-being, integrating personal wellness into their professional lives, and sharing strategies that uplift the entire team. In doing so, they not only enhance their own leadership but also contribute to the overall success and vitality of the organization.

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