Let me be clear on the topic of energy: I’m not talking about eating better, sleeping more, working out, or adding another “must do” to your schedule. Yes, all those things are important to being a healthy human being, but when I’m addressing human energy, I’m addressing the energetic frequencies that radiate from your body and impact those around you and the rest of the world. Modern science has proven that we are all made of energy. No longer can we argue the fact that we all have energy that radiates from our bodies like exhaust fumes from a truck, or like the steam from a freshly baked apple pie; you can’t see or smell it but it’s everywhere, evoking emotions and thoughts of either disgust or delight. We can compare your personal energy to garlic, an herb that has the ability to seep through the pores of our skin, filling a room with its aroma: People either love you or hate you for it; they run toward you or can’t get away from you fast enough.
Here’s an example of how unhealthy energy looks in your everyday life. Think about that person you know who, for some reason, makes you want to run for the hills as soon as she comes toward you. This is a person, when you’re around her, who makes you feel as though you just got slimed. Her presence makes you feel suffocated, depleted, and exhausted. It’s as though this person has the ability to take any negative emotion she might be thinking or feeling in the moment and dump it over your head until you have to jump around and shake it off. Ugh! Some of you might be thinking about your mother (just kidding, Mom), or that colleague you dread having on team projects. But I have bad news: The brutal reality is that for some people, this person is you! Fact. And if you’re exhausted, and being ruled by sabotaging thoughts and emotions, the energy you’re giving to other people is toxic, and is wreaking havoc on everything within your world.
Through energy everything in our world is connected and one. For those of you who like analogies, this can be compared to a body of water: Your business is like a flowing river, and every person inside your business is a water molecule that makes the river whole. Every thought, word, action, and emotion from each person changes the molecular structure of the river. Now, if you have a bunch of Yodas working for you, this can be absolutely fantastic! If you don’t have Yoda on the payroll, and you’re like most businesses that have normal human beings who are exhausted working for you, your river is polluted with the same green slime from the previous example—and you can’t eat the fish! If to improve engagement, you have to figure out how get every person inside your business operating on healthy human energy. It doesn’t matter how tight your process, systems, and management structure might be, if you have toxic human energy being dumped into the river, and employees don’t have the energy to perform, you won’t achieve squat. Create a culture of healthy energy and there’s nothing a business can’t accomplish.
Here are 3 entry–level ways to improve energy wellness in the workplace:
- Teach people about energy wellness. The concept of human energy is ancient, but the idea of energy wellness in the workplace is brand new. Have a class, brown bag lunch or simply make the topic a point of interest on the intranet. People need to learn the basic energy management techniques that can help them refuel, re-energize and become re-engaged in the culture. Awareness alone will generate curiosity and get people inspired to try something new that will bring life back into the culture.
- Change up the environment. When it comes to energy environment is key. Nature, color, light and fresh air are essential to human energy. The fastest way to suck energy out of anyone is to stick them in grey cubical land with recycled air and fluorescent lights. Don’t worry, if I just described your workplace there’s hope. Easy energy fixes include: plants (lots of them), opening the blinds and windows, adding new decor with vibrant colors and having a running water, rocks and collaborate seating arrangements throughout the building.
- Get leadership on board. Leaders in a company set the tone of the culture. If leaders are energetically unhealthy, that toxic slim will permeate through the culture and drive down engagement faster than a tsunami. Leaders need to be the champions for energy wellness in the workplace, early adopters of energy management techniques and environment changes. Additionally, leaders need to be held accountable to showing up to the workplace with high-character and learn how to create a workplace where people feel they have the permission and protection to rise to their highest potential.