“Ready, willing, and able.”
We might think of these three work-ready traits as one and the same. However, have we considered it in the context of our work as leaders? They’re not the same, and great employees/teams need to be able to demonstrate all three. Let’s take a deeper look:
- Willing – Are your people engaged in their work? Are they sufficiently connected, motivated, and equipped to be proactive? Do they have confidence in their purpose and in the job that you’re asking them to do? The purpose portion is particularly important here because it gives us something bigger to tap into, instead of relying solely on day-to-day work tasks to keep us motivated.
- Able – Do your people have the skills to do the job they’re being asked to do? In most workplaces, people have the ability to do their jobs. We hire them because they are skilled and experienced. Their skills aren’t in question; instead, the question is whether they have the capacity to show up daily in a high positive energy state.
- Ready – Readiness is the X factor, the thing that sets consistently high-performing teams apart. When a team is ready, it means they’re sufficiently fueled and capable of performing – whether it’s on a day-to-day basis or when they’re facing a healthy dose of challenge stress.
The Connection between Readiness and Wellbeing
What does readiness have to do with wellbeing? In many cases, readiness and wellbeing are one and the same.
At Regenerate, we talk with our clients about the performance equation – to perform sustainably, you need competence (the skills and talents you were hired for) and capacity (the energy bandwidth to put those skills to work). To lead and work effectively, you need an understanding of why the work matters, the competence to do the job, and the capacity (readiness) to take it on.
As an example, did you know bosses – even really good bosses — are more likely to display abusive behaviors if they don’t get enough sleep? That’s a classic example of leaders having the skills to lead, but then having their skills overtaken by the impact of a lack of capacity.
I once worked with a client who was extraordinarily talented yet who shared that their job stressed them to the point that they vomited before going to work on many occasions.. No matter how able and proficient they are, how can we expect someone to be ready to give their best when their physical wellbeing is being brought to a breaking point by work-related anxiety?
As leaders, we can make a difference for our people through energy-inspired leadership and by making a commitment to wellbeing that supports sustainable performance. To empower our people to be their best, we have to give them the resources they need to be their best. We have to invest in their wellbeing as a strategic differentiator for our organizations.
The Business Case for Wellbeing
Wellbeing must become fully integrated in the work we do and the workplaces we build. We can’t treat it as a separate, standalone benefit or a “nice to have.”
Instead, wellbeing must be perceived as the true starting point for talent to do its best work. If you have a hard time understanding how wellbeing is connected to the business, think about it this way.
To be ready, people need to meet their energy needs.
Research shows that people are more innovative, creative, and strategic when they feel well and safe in their work environments. On the reverse side, an increase of stress and lack of wellbeing can lead to lower cognitive function and a greater potential for physical injury
As a business leader, when your people are equipped to consider their wellbeing as part of a culture that values wellbeing and readiness, you see results.
Questions to Ask as you Put Readiness at the Forefront
When you’re seeking to make a shift and ensure readiness for your team, start by asking yourself these questions:
- What key factors influence readiness for your team?
- How often do you see your people come alive and get excited about a new project?
- How often do you ‘stop-and-drop your team’, and how does it affect their ability to perform?
- How well are wellbeing initiatives integrated into regular work activities at your organization? How are you role modeling and investing in your people, emphasizing that they’re assets worth investing in, instead of simply resources to be used?
- We shared some statistics about behaviors that can negatively impact readiness. Which ones affect you? Your team?
- What one change could you make to your leadership style to incorporate more thoughtful actions?
Considering these issues can help you make two different, but related, shifts – first, shifting from depleted to energy-fueled and wellbeing-driven. When your people experience the positive impact from considering their wellbeing, they’ll be ready, willing, and able to perform sustainably at a high level. The positive drive that comes from being well-fueled and energized is unstoppable, and you’ll see the impacts for your team and your entire organization.