Embrace Effective Employee Engagement: Mental health in the workplace continues to be more important than ever. According to a recent survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and software company SAP:
- 1 in 4 U.S. workers have considered quitting their job amid COVID-19
- 75 percent report being stressed over juggling their professional and home lives amid COVID-19
- 50 percent still want their employers to provide perks such as increased sick leave and better mental health services
Within the same month, the American Psychological Association (APA) reported that 1 in 5 people believe their mental health is worse than it was at this time last year.
The evidence is clear – and it’s mounting.
For years, I have argued that the success and failure of a business can hinge upon employee engagement. Thus, I want to introduce you to The 5Ls, a program that promotes healthy work-life balance and helps business leaders protect their most valuable assets: people.
Introducing the 5Ls of a Balanced Life
The 5Ls concept is the brainchild of my friend, Sal LaGreca, and Mike Mannix, a well-known leadership expert at New York University (NYU). They are both cofounders of the training and leadership development company, Unparalleled Performance.
The system provides individuals and teams with real-world tools, not just high-minded theory, for five essential life elements: Love, laughter, labor, leisure, leave. It has helped countless people – not just professionals – work through difficult times by focusing on attaining and sustaining their mental wellbeing.
In my experience, you must love yourself before you can love others. While you always want to approve, you must first accept who you are, including your “flaws.”
Important things to remember about love:- Life fails without it.
– You cannot help anyone until you help yourself first (known as the Oxygen Mask Theory).
– You need healthy relationships in your life for balance.
– Love what you do and focus on the positive impact you can make.
I spent too many years being a perfectionist or – should I say – trying to be a perfectionist. It’s an unattainable state that caused me to suffer more and not have as much fun.
Leaders must remember that everyone is always looking to you. While you may be dealing with serious issues, in my experience, it’s better for your team to see you smiling.
Important things to remember about laughter:- It makes the world less serious.
– It’s essential for stress management.
– It’s good to laugh at yourself.
– Conquering your fear of failure builds mental wellness and success.
– The power of positive thinking sets the proper tone and environment for your life.
– Laughter has been scientifically linked to mental health improvement and stress reduction.
As another colleague of mine says, “Work-life balance is BS. It’s work-life self!”
We are taught in the workplace to produce what our function requires of us. However, you must learn how to work on yourself and your relationships, whether professionally, socially, or romantically.
Standing still kills great leaders. You can’t be the same person you were six months ago and deal with the business challenges of today. You should constantly evolve all the time as you step forward to meet your new reality.Things to remember about labor:- Work on yourself without feeling guilty, as self-development is critical to balance and success.
– Positive relationships in life do not just happen. You must work on them.
– You must help your people work on their own life balance, as it’s critical to their success and the organization’s.
Early in my career, I canceled vacations. Even worse, I worked during the vacations I didn’t cancel – much to the chagrin of my family.
I eventually realized that you must unplug for more than a couple of hours at a time. Schedule regular time to get away and be fully present with the most important people in your life.
If you work on vacations or cancel them, it means you feel like you can’t take a vacation without worrying what your company or department will look like when you return. And that’s a problem – for you, your family, and your work.Important things to remember about leisure:- Leisure is an investment in you! Studies show people who take time off are happier, healthier, and more successful.
– Exercise daily, as science has proven that this small investment is critical to physical and mental health.
– Mandate this for your team, since this critical decision can increase engagement and productivity while reducing turnover.
Life is short. We’ll never know when our time is up, so we shouldn’t waste the time we do have.
Thus, if I find myself in a toxic relationship, I work hard to improve it. But if it stays the same after I invested time and energy into the situation, it’s time for me to leave.
I then take the time to reflect on my part in the toxic relationship so I can identify my mistakes and not repeat them. Admittedly, it can take another time or two before I learn my lesson. But once I learn them, life is so much better.Important lessons about leaving:– Know when it is over.
– Change is a constant, so you must develop the ability to adjust.
– Learn that you can only control the controllable and how to let the rest go.
– Fear of the unknown and failure will cripple your ability to attain positive change, balance, and success.
– Stay focused and realize that brighter days are coming.
Using the 5Ls to Increase Employee Engagement
It is this simple: happy, balanced employees = engagement, retention, and productivity.
Stress, anxiety, depression, and employee discontent are at reported all-time highs. With teams being both remote and onsite, an impactful employee engagement program is more critical than ever.
Ultimately, investing in your team will reinforce your commitment to their day-to-day wellbeing and their long-term success. When you empower your team with your expert-level knowledge and insights, it connects them to you, re-energizes them, and makes them more productive.
Written by Rob Lynch.