Well-being in the workplace (or “wellbeing” if you prefer) is having a moment. From leadership trends that toute the importance of empathy to listicles from a snack company, everyone is talking about how to help employees bring their healthiest selves to work. Last month, three new books arrived on the scene, each with a roadmap to help leaders and employees alike gain well-being in the workplace. What follows is a rundown of each book so you can determine which ones to check out.
For each of the books, I’ll give you the following highlights:
- The Premise – “What’s this book about in a nutshell?”
- Golden Nugget – wisdom from the book that makes it worth the price of purchase
- “If You Like . . .” – summarizes the vibe of the book and/or the formatting
WellBeing at Work
First up is Wellbeing at Work: How to Build Resilient and Thriving Teams by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter.
The Premise: using The Gallup Organization’s mammoth database of million+ interviews, the author team of Clifton and Harter lay out the five elements of wellbeing: career, social, financial, physical, community. They also pitch a new metric—“net thriving”—that companies can use to assess the overall health of their organizations.
Golden Nugget(s): In the chapter on Building Resilient Cultures in a Crisis, the authors highlight research that identifies what followers need from their leaders in a crisis: Hope, Stability, Trust and Compassion. “Resilient and net-thriving organizations know that a crisis requires a coach more than a boss,” they write.
If You Like . . . Digging deep into data, this is the book for you. Gallup is best known for using analytics to parse out survey data, draw conclusions and inform readers. This book is heavy on statistics and appendices.
Work Better Together
From consulting firm Deloitte, Jen Fisher, Chief Well-Being Officer, and researcher Anh Phillips bring us Work Better Together: How to Cultivate Strong Relationships to Maximize Well-Being and Boost Bottom Lines.
The Premise: The ubiquity of technology that creates an “always on” culture in our society drains us and causes burnout. The way forward out of this energy-sapping existence is
a return to reconnecting as humans.
Golden Nugget(s): The chapter on Overcoming Technology Overload presents realistic and practical tips for “living well” with technology. The section on “monotasking” was especially helpful; I learned a few new tips that I plann to implement to help me tame the attention-sucking beast known as The Screen. (Emphasis mine, not the authors’.)
If You Like . . . four-quadrant models to help you understand concepts, consider this book. The authors frame up their ideas by starting with a “What’s Your Workplace Style?” and then layer that concept onto a grid that describes four different workplace cultures. From there, they offer suggestions to help create a Trusted Team culture.
Anxiety at Work
In Anxiety at Work: 8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done, culture consultants Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton frame their solutions within the context of anxiety and its impact on employee well-being.
The Premise: A lot of us are anxious. And that leads to a host of ills that impact an organization’s ability to function properly. Gostick and Elton offer eight strategies to help leaders reduce anxiety in the workplace.
Golden Nugget(s): Chapter five takes on the trait of perfectionism in a straightforward and thoughtful way, providing both a high-level conceptual overview and practical tips for helping employees who are derailed by the need to show up as the “perfect” employee. Spoiler alert: perfectionism might look different than you think.
If You Like . . . sample employee-leader dialogs as a way to illustrate concepts, you’ll appreciate this book. There is also some subtle humor embedded within the narrative (the authors don’t take themselves too seriously), as well as memorable chapter headings that make the concepts “sticky”, as the Heath brothers would say.
The concept of “bring your whole self to work” is finally mainstream and that’s a good thing. This trio of books, which view well-being from three different lenses, all offer something for the modern leader to consider and put into practice. See one that intrigues you? Pick up a copy today! And drop a note in the comment section if you have read any of these books. I’d love to hear your take on them.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.