The American Heritage College Dictionary has a few definitions of the word “heal”—1. To restore to health or soundness; cure 2. To set right; repair 3. To restore (a person) to spiritual wholeness, and finally, 4. To become whole and sound.
Many of us tend to associate healing as a process individuals undergo as they recuperate from a wound or physical illness. However, how do we associate healing in the context of the workplace? If we use the definition of healing as becoming whole, then doesn’t this suggest that healing is about connecting or bringing together that which is dis-connected? And when we hear about dis-connection, dis-ease, dis-satisfaction… whom are we talking about? Sounds like the modern day employee to me.
Never before have we had to cope with the stress of the frenetic pace of high-tech change, world and domestic terrorism, economic uncertainty and despair. All at the same time!! Futurist Melinda Davis in her book—“The New Culture of Desire- -5 Radical Strategies That Will Change Your Business and Your Life”, refers to the modern consumer seeking “The State of O, which is short for the optimal state of mind. Now, when we feel the deep craving for primal safety, it is increasingly for inner balance and sanity…to heal ourselves of inner wounds, and to feel finally whole and happy, in the safe warm light of home, inside. Consumers cite a safe, happy home and peace of mind at the top of aspirational lists once headed by houses, cars, and the latest electronic equipment. Even the venerable George Gallup says: Spiritual needs far exceed material needs.”
What’s the solution? Who will be the catalysts of change in this new world of work? The challenge for CEOs, Executive Directors and other heads of organizations in the 21st century will be the ongoing health of their companies. Although we are still recovering from one of the worst recessions in our country’s history, and many organizations are still slow to hire, in time, this too will change for the better.
As businesses continue to reinvent themselves and learn what they must do to survive and thrive in this new economic environment, they will once again prosper. But, have they really grasped that the future health and prosperity of their businesses will translate to how well they take care of, develop and heal their Employees. In the new workplace, a company’s success or true health will not only be measured in dollars alone, but in how well they retain and nurture their most valuable asset: their people.
How can we become the agents of change or *Corporate Healers in our companies? I suggest we adapt a model of work similar to the one being practiced in many hospitals and healthcare organizations today, namely the Holistic model. Holistic Nursing and Integrative Medicine look at the patient from the perspective of the whole person. Holistic Practitioners view the individual as a combination of physical, emotional and spiritual qualities and manifestations. Therefore, when meeting a new patient, not only is his/her physical history reviewed, but also their whole lifestyle, including the emotional and spiritual components. After the practitioner completes a composite examination of the whole person, a holistic treatment plan is put into action.
When adopting a similar model, which I call the Holistic Work Model®, wise companies in the new workplace will become empowered to facilitate healing or wholeness for their organizations. In a holistic work environment, employees:
• Feel their work and contributions are valued
• Find purpose and meaning in the work they do
• Know their work makes an impact, and contributes to the corporate strategy
• Feel communication lines are open, and are building healthy relationships between management and staff
• Feel their work/life balance issues are supported in a flexible way
• Feel their organization is ethical, socially conscious, and gives something back to society and the environment
• Know their creativity and spirit can be expressed without fear
It is my firm belief that in order for companies to achieve wholeness, health and economic success, the C-Suite and heads of all types of organizations need to prioritize and take charge of the total well being of their organization. This well-being can only be reached when individual employees are treated “Holistically” as described above.
What are your thoughts on this matter?
**Band-aid picture from life123.com