Alisha Leytem: Hello everyone it's Alisha your host of Unlock Your Well-Being. Welcome back to the show. Before we dive into today's episode content I want to give you a little bit of some background on what this is because today's episode is a little bit different than usual. I'm actually really excited because I've never done anything like this before.
Which is I have taken the audio of a free training that my husband and I have created and done and we're putting it on the podcast as its whole own episode. You don't have to opt into anything; it's literally just right here for you to listen to. Isn't that exciting? I think it's super exciting.
So, what this training is, it’s called Leading Well-Being Game strategies for 2023. So, if you are someone who is wanting to bring a strategic way of implementing well-being into your company, your organization, or even within yourself this is definitely an episode that you are going to want to tune in to.
Michael and I have been working on this content for truly, over 6 months now. And the reason we really took our time with it is because we keep learning so much more with the clients that we're working with. All the new research and whatnot that's coming out about how to truly Implement well-being strategically. Because the workforce has rapidly changed and we're in this really powerful opportune time to make some really important changes.
But we want to do it strategically, right? You don't just want to throw something out there and, you know, host a lunch and learn, or have a one-time speaker come in and think that that's going to really solve these issues in the problem of burnout. At the highest rate really it's ever been before, so if you are brand new to this podcast for your first time listening or if you are newer to the show welcome.
If you enjoy it, consider subscribing. We release new episodes every Friday. Leave us a 5-star review and a written review if you’re open to that.
But a little bit of background on why I parted with my husband. His name is Michael Leytem and he's a CEO and founder of a company called Catching Leadership. He does leadership consulting which is the line of work that he's been in for a long time. And as you know I have been doing well-being coaching and consulting for a long time as well and so, we quite often bring our work together to bring these two elements together.
You will see it when you're listening to this training and webinar today. So, I hope you enjoy it. If you want to look at the slides that we had created from this training and audio you can hit the link in the description to access and download the files.
Then you can actually see the video training if you want to re-watch or share it with a decision-maker or with a colleague you can forward it, you know, do whatever you would like with it. It's yours to keep. You can also access it at alishaleytem.com that's A-L-I-S-H-A-L-E-Y-T-E-M.C-O-M. Okay without further ado enjoy this 28 minute audio training and we will see you next time!
Michael Leytem: Hi and welcome to leading and well-being strategies for 2023 if you're here that means that you're either someone who is very passionate about well-being perhaps leading a well-being initiative within your organization. Or maybe you're someone who's just like “Hey, enough's enough.” I need to get this stuff straight. Either way everyone is welcome we're so excited to have you here. I am Michael Leytem Founder and CEO of Catching Leadership and I'm with my wife Alisha Leytem, the founder and CEO of Alisha Leytem wellness and let's go ahead and dive in.
Alisha Leytem: So a little bit about me and my background. Hello everyone thank you so much for being here today and taking time out of your precious day to learn more and be here! Like my husband Michael said, my name is Alisha Leytem, founder and CEO of Alisha Leytem Wellness which I founded in 2018. I authored a book based on my own well-being framework called The Six G.O.L.D Keys to Well-Being. I have been in the wellness and well-being industry for the last decade and starting at the turn of the pandemic I started to bring what I've been doing for almost a decade into the corporate industry. I've been offering consulting services, I am a certified wellness coach at the Mayo Clinic up in Minnesota, I’m a yoga teacher, meditation guide, and I bring a lot of unique wellness offerings including well-being strategies into corporations and teams and individual leaders to improve their own well-being and their personal and professional lives.
Michael Leytem: And as I mentioned I am Michael Leytem and CEO of Catching Leadership is also the title of the book that I wrote. I've been an organizational consultant for over a decade now. My specialties are in talent management consulting and leadership development. I have a master's degree in industrial organizational psychology. And a fun little fact there in that picture, I love fly fishing and I've actually been able to incorporate it with some of my leadership development offerings when I get to take leaders and immerse them out in nature to become more mindful to let go of things and really think about the type of leaders that they want to become.
So that's a little bit about me and here's what we have in store for you today in the agenda for this webinar so we're going to talk about five things here. The first is going to be about the role of the organization and the individual. A lot of times companies maybe put too much pressure on the individual or individuals put too much pressure on the organization but really both roles have to be working in unison.
The second piece is going to be about how to create a culture that truly supports well-being, not just saying it, but some of the actual foundations of what that means.
The third piece we're going to talk about well-being metrics and maybe a few of the things that you are already thinking about but I promise you it'll be a few new things as it pertains to measuring well-being. We then are going to get into how leaders can role model well-being for their team's. Alisha's going to lead this section and she's going to have some good tips and advice for what you can do individually as a leader.
And then we're going to leave you with 3 well-being strategies to really kick start your 2023 if that is something that is going to be a priority for your organization which and hint, hint it should be a priority for every organization.
Alisha Leytem: So you guys know you're here, you took time out of your precious day to watch this training you completely understand. And I know that burnout and stress are at an all time high. It was at an all time high before the pandemic and now it's gone actually even higher since then as we're all trying to navigate and figure out what our work working looks like post-pandemic. And so what we found is that actually 77% of professionals have experienced burnout at their current profession and 84% of Americans report feeling stressed at least once in a typical week. And so we're trying to all really navigate how we can help us, right?
What we can do to manage our stress, what we can do to prevent burnout and what we can do to heal and recover from burnout because all of these things are happening and it's now in the forefront so much that we’re all saying “okay what can we actually do about this.” Which is why you’re actually here.
So like I said I wrote a book I have a framework on on well-being and so I really like to define well-being as very simple as feeling really good. It's feeling good physically, feeling good mentally, feeling good spiritually, and feeling good in your relationships and social aspects. And when you’re losing where you don’t have a part of that area of well-being that feels good then you’re not in sync, and not in balance. And this really can take you out and make you not feel your best. And when you’re not feeling your best this really ripples out to everyone else and everything else around you.
Michael Leytem: So when it comes to well-being as Alisha just mentioned it’s so important right now for both an organization and an individual to get it right. For it to fit into place. For myself here in this presentation I'm going to be focusing on the organizational side and Alisha's going to be focusing on the individual side for these are some of the topics that we're going to be covering.
From an organizational side I'm going to be talking about culture, how do we incentivize well-being, how do we upscale leaders, how do we embrace this new work-life integration and then talking about things like company values and competency model, believe it or not, are going to be paramount to integrating well-being into your organization.
And then from the individual standpoint this is really Alisha's forte she's going to talk about wellness behavior, self leadership, knowing how to impact others, and also how to communicate your well-being needs being open and honest with those, so that there can be a symbiotic relationship between these two pieces.
So what I want you to do right now is actually I want you to kind of close your eyes for a second and I want you to think about your organizational culture. I want you to think about it as a tree. So what kind of tree is your organization right now look like? Maybe you take a minute to think about the color of the leaves, the bark, the limbs. Is it a start up? Is it a big old tree? Hopefully it's not a dead tree. Okay I want you to come back now after you've done that little visualization and I want to talk about culture both the scene and the hidden aspects of culture.
What a lot of times companies will share with people when it comes to wellness or well-being are some of the fruits, right? The things that get glorified. “We won this award, we're a best company for well-being.” We have a wellness committee, come join one, it is a part of your employee benefits to, you know, get a gym membership or we even have a gym on site. And a lot of times people in the workforce will start to think of wellness or well-being with some of these fruits, right? But really when it comes to culture I want us to all challenge ourselves on the next slide to really look at what's the most important thing going on, is often what's most hidden.
So the roots of any tree are so vital to the survival of that tree. It’s going to help it weather the storm, is where it gets its nutrients, but we don't often praise the root system of a tree. We look at the leaves, we look at the fruit, we look at the bark. All of those things. But I want us all to really start to examine internally within our organizations some of these roots. What do I mean by the roots? Well thinking about well-being as a core value. I don’t know many organizations that have well-being as a core value. I'm sure there's a few. I hope that there will be even more in the future given how important it is.
Leader's role modeling well-being behaviors, the norms that are established. And Alisha’s going to talk more about this later on. Well-being being incentivized and I don't just mean this in terms of getting a gym membership. I mean like actually being evaluated, maybe in a performance review, how it is incentivized and part of the performance of a leader when they're taken care of and promoting well-being within their team, so that everyone can show up, do a good job, feel good and be productive.
Can we start incorporating well-being and part of the business and talent strategy how we're attracting, retaining, and developing talent. That should be part of the conversation.
Last, but certainly not least is just that there is a genuine openness and ongoing improvement, regardless of past success to say this is where we're at today and even if we thought we were a company that cherished wellness in the past, the world is different now post-pandemic. So, what are we going to do to challenge ourselves to continuously get better on this well-being front?
So really a mindset needs to shift within organization's. We’ve heard over the last couple of years this transition that's occurred from work-life balance to work-life integration. With people working more remote, with more flexibility within the hours. I think this is a great shift that’s occurring, but it comes up short unless we're going to actually integrate the well-being side into everything that we do from an organizational consulting standpoint or organizational talent management standpoint. What do I mean by that? I'm going to get to that here in a second with some specific examples.
But I want to share just a very quick story with you about when I was a new consultant a few years back and I was in Northeast Ohio. And I remember going into this client and they had this world-class gym facility on site. I thought wow this is so cool. People can come, they can work out, they can shower get cleaned up, they can go work or they can do it at the end of their day before they go home. What an awesome way to create this balance and make people's lives easier.
But most companies now are shifting gears or have shifted gears into this hybrid model. And so it’s less about this balance component about getting in getting, your work out, and showering and going to work. And more about true, full integration of well-being in your life. Maybe your hours have changed a little bit. The role itself hasn't changed. You have to get the results that you always have, but let's face it the world of work looks a lot different. So, I think we're going to be very important is to truly ask employees what they want. We’re not looking to get those fruits on the tree like I mentioned before but let's actually give them a voice and saying what's well-being integration looks like for us. What would actually make a difference for me to still get my work done but do it in a way that promotes my own well-being?
So, from a talent management perspective I want you all to start seeing well being as being job-relevant. When I was in graduate school it always came back to “is that behavior job-relevant?” Can you ask about it in an interview? Should it be evaluated on a performance review? It always came back to “well is it job relevant?” And I'm making the case right now that well-being is job relevant. As Leaders it is your responsibility or should be your responsibility to
A) Show up in the best state that you can so that you can take all the curve balls that work throws at you in a given day
B) But also be able to see the well-being behaviors or lack thereof on your team and do something about it. Especially as it pertains to mental health. For instance, you might be that first line of defense so in that regard your job as a leader is to promote well-being.
And so what we need to do then to make it even more job-relevant and not just, this nice to have, is we need to start putting things in job descriptions about the responsibilities of a leadership position. And living out the values if well-being is now a core value of our company. Maybe we ask about it in an interview question of how, you know, give me an example of a time where someone on your team wasn't in a good place. What did you do as a leader to help them along? Maybe we need to update our competency models and put a competency that is truly about well-being and forming well-being teams and improving well-being across the organization.
What about updating our performance evaluations to talk about this stuff. You see how this is all kind of integrated together because that's what's going to be needed for a solution to actually stick.
One-off programs of getting a speaker in or saying hey we're doing this to incentivize thing you know we're going to give an extra few days of vacation that won't last unless it truly has a lot of routes within the entire organization. So last couple bullets here, mean to be incorporated into leadership development coaching and training whenever possible. And then update the metrics which we will be talking about here in an upcoming slide.
When it comes to measurement in that vein I want you to think about the concept of radical transparency. What about radical flexibility maybe lately when it comes to, you know, people's rolls but this is a new concept I was thinking about the other day about being radically transparent. And what do I mean by that?
I think for a long time organizations, especially when they knew that well-being or burnout, let's just say, was a problem within their organization that we want to hide that. Let’s not be transparent about it. We need to make sure there's nothing bad online, we need to make sure people aren't saying bad things. And I think a different approach that might be more effective it's a fully embrace and own your current situation. However good, bad, or ugly it is just say we're going to be transparent about this because if we can at least say what people are feeling right now and measure it to a degree we can at least establish a baseline and then we can work from there.
You know that is kind of half of the equation for the maybe the employees who are already there and they're going to really appreciate the level of transparency. But I have to say this too. For prospective employees looking to maybe join your organization they're already going to know this information anyway. They're going to go on Glassdoor, they're going to go on Indeed and they're going to see what people are saying about your company.
So I really want you to think about how can you embrace this idea of radical transparency when it comes to well-being and then get more strategic on the actual metrics that can be used to show the progress and growth because that's a story every organization would want to tell.
Alisha Leytem: Great, thank you so much Michael. A lot of really good stuff right there. I added this quote in here because everything that we are talking about, especially with being honest and transparent of where you’re actually at in this post-pandemic world that's figuring out how we work now, right? And this quote says
“We are all living in extremely uncertain times. Get real and acknowledge we don’t have all the answers. Authentic honesty will win your trust and support.”
So I think that’s really important. We’re suggesting and giving you plenty of ideas and things that you can try that we are seeing in our clients and in the market that's really starting to work. And companies are doing to implement and actually true and make changes in well-being. But we are at these crossroads of like no one really does know the exact answers, right? And so just starting to implement anything and starting to be honest with each other like Michael just said, is going to be really important to bringing forth trust and having everyone join together, and move forward as a community and as one.
So, Deloitte has done a lot of research on the last few years on well-being in the workforce, and specifically on the importance of tracking and sharing your well-being metrics. And like Michael just said, sharing these metrics that you’re tracking is really all just about transparency for everyone who currently works there and then people we are coming in, right? And here's the results that came up with this. They found that 53% of employees and 77% of C-Suite executives would trust their company more if they publicly reported their well-being metrics.
So, what kind of metrics can you measure? What should you measure? Well the first thing to think about is the self reported data. What your people are saying. Listen to your people, okay? This is, yes you can hear this through testimonials or through “hey that was great or I would love to do this.” But you can go in a little deeper and throw in some consulting there. You can do surveys, you can do interviews, you can do focus groups, you can just have some self-diagnosed metrics.
I had a well-being group report based on my book or an assessment that you can actually take completely free online, but then if we work together we have the real group report for you. And so it’s The Six G.O.L.D Keys to Well-Being, which kind of highlight the areas that maybe we’re struggling with or maybe you thought you were doing a really good job in. Just to kind measure where you’re at and help you to see if that improves with any well-being initiative or strategies that you implement.
Some observable behaviors you can take, Michael gave quite a bit of these, but more specific examples. What percentage of workers are using all their vacation days? What volume of work-related emails are being sent after work hours? How much time is being spent working over time? What are your insurance claims looking like? I am hearing a lot of these have continued to go up after the pandemic. Presenteeism, absenteeism, all of these things are really powerful things to measure the results or lack thereof, of well-being in your company.
So I want to shift gears a little bit into the power and the impact that leaders have in creating this culture of well-being because it’s so very important, you guys. You heard likely that employees have to feel safe to express their well-being needs if they feel like hey you know this is going on or I'm having a really bad mental health time in my life where I'm experiencing this or, you know, something's going on with my family.
They’re not going to share that with their leaders unless they feel psychologically safe to do so. And what we found is that if leaders are very stressed, exhausted, or unwell then that actually reduces the level of psychological safety in teams.
And so what this is saying for you is that the well-being of your leaders can provide a safer place and a ripple to model these behaviors that it's safe for everyone else to do so. When you are a well person, okay? When you have a strong mental health, when you are well rested, when you know how to manage your stress levels, when you have a regulated nervous system you're much better able to respond to situations in an appropriate way. You are less likely to overreact or underreact because your needs are met.
And so this is really foundational for us to understand why leaders need to really take this seriously of understanding that stress is very, very contagious and so if they can manage their stress that's going to help the results of the safety of your teams everywhere.
What I’ve seen because I work with a lot of leaders individually and in my programs and at my retreats, is that leaders really tend to underestimate how impactful their own health is to being a very effective and powerful leader. They see that their teams are struggling, they see that their teams are stressed and they want to bring someone in to help their teams. But what they don’t really understand or fully grasp is that if they can change their behavior through the result of that, and they embody it, and they show others by leading themselves that they are better to lead than other people, that is really powerful leadership.
So I really challenge you to start thinking about the behaviors of leaders are also wellness behaviors. Wellness behaviors are leadership behaviors.
And so which leaders are really the most crucial? Right now in this post-pandemic day and age. And what we’re finding is that middle managers are the most crucial. We’re finding that empowering, training, and equipping those middle managers with helping them lead themselves to be able to then be more authentic, be more kind and be able to effectively communicate because their needs are met, because they're in a very great place: physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. This is what's going to help your whole work force to be more resilient. Because again we have to create a culture of safety for employees to be able to communicate their needs.
So what's a good foundation of the things that I'm talking about here with managing your stress for leaders and helping them to regulate their nervous system,and really just have those well-being behaviors? Well this is from the framework of my book The Six G.O.L.D Keys to Well-Being, which you can dive into a little bit here. If you are interested in what those six main behaviors are to really create a really powerful foundation to be able to build all those other things we are talking about.
So why is right now a really important and critical time to invest in your workforce well-being? What we’re finding, I believe this is a stat from Deloitte, all of their references are here at the end of the slide deck for you. But they found that 61% of U.S. employees believe that in 10 years, workers will not settle for companies that don’t prioritize their happiness and well-being. And so 10 years might seem like a long time from now, however it may take 10 years for any efforts that if you start now to really start to bloom and blossom to be in that place. And so for anyone that waits for 10 years, you’re going to kind of be behind.
Now is a time to do it because change takes time in organizations. Transformation takes time in humans. And so starting the journey now is really critical for the ripple and the big impact and transformation that you’re looking for.
So to wrap up these 3 well-being strategies, if you guys just want to take what we're giving you today and head on out with implementing any of these here's what we recommend.
#1 Really focus on building your well-being culture. Michael gave so many great tips and suggestions to you to start to do that.
#2 Start to measure and track your well-being data to be able to demonstrate the ROI that you're dealing with. And then take that data to determine what is your next well-being step to take.
#3 Once you have that step, once you have identified what the next thing is you’re going to do based on that data, start small. You don’t have to roll it out to everyone. Start small using personalized strategies based on what it is that they want, from the data that you’re gathering. And consider training your middle managers first because they are the ones getting hit really hard right now and we are finding, like I said earlier, that they’re going to have a really powerful impact if you work with them first.
Michael Leytem: So a client testimonial that Alisha and I have been so blessed to to work with down in Florida at had this to say about us:
“Michael and Alisha are a dynamic team. Alisha is a steady, knowledgeable, and warm guide to finding your own best self-care practices. I highly recommend taking a workshop with her. Michael has a deep breath of knowledge alongside a compassionate and passionate heart for team and Leadership building. He will bring out the best in you and your team. Together they bring a balance and rare combination of skills, mind, heart, empathy, and self-care that will help you and your team soar.”
So that's something that I do just want to highlight here is that Alisha and I both have taken the time to hone our craft and we both have written books, which is no small feat for anyone out there who has written a book. But we both come at this problem or its not a problem it’s really an opportunity of promoting well-being from different angles. And they pair very nicely together. I look at it from an organizational standpoint and use all of that industrial organizational psychology. Alisha looks at it from a well-being and wellness side and self-leadership side. And really you do need both working in tandem for any wellness strategy to stick in to take off. So this is something that we are excited about bringing our two companies together to continue to work on to bring new value to our clients.
With that being said if anything on today's call resonated with you I would encourage you to set up an exploratory call. Whether it’s with yourself or maybe making an introduction with a leader on your team. We know that this is a very hot topic right now and we're actually happy, and excited that it is because in our estimation it's been long overdue, so jump on a call with us we'll talk you know whatever your unique needs are, timing, opportunity, but get the ball rolling on this stuff you want to be that organization that is at, you know, the front of this curve not at the back of this curve.
And so with that we just want to say thank you. You can contact us at [email protected] or [email protected] We are very active on LinkedIn. You can see our websites there: alishaleytem.com and catchingleadership.com. Happy to continue this conversation with you and just say thank you for your time today. We know how valuable and how precious this is. Hopefully you learned a few new things and have some food for thought of ways you can improve well-being within your own organization.
Alisha Leytem: Thank you all again for joining us today. If you want to share this recording please feel free to pass it along to a friend or to a colleague. Like Michael said, we are really passionate about helping us to all really improve our well-being. Because I think we are just a really exciting crossroad in time and we have a really powerful opportunity to make everything better for the lives of our workers and us, right? Because now personal and business life are really becoming more integrated and it’s just a really exciting time. So thank you guys so much again for being here and we will see you on LinkedIn.