Rachel Arkle: Detox your team

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The traditional January detox is a foot
The traditional January detox is afoot

So it’s that time of year; the time to set ‘life changing’ resolutions that we hope will build healthier and happier lives for 2016.

The idea of setting resolutions for our personal life is often exciting; we go about planning
ambitious adventures, health routines and travels that we expect to help us reach new heights in
many areas of our life.

However research shows that many of us focus on every thing but work during this our ‘wellbeing’
review. Manager’s in particular have a poor track record in harbouring their team’s renewed energy.
Surely it’s a rarity that all your colleagues are aligned to a single purpose at one time; a purpose
focused on cleansing old habits and behaviours and embracing new ones?

So what are you practically doing to make the most of this motivation? Try our simple 5 step process to ‘detox your team’ and figure out how to authentically foster a sustainably positive culture that sticks beyond Q1.

Step 1: Start with yourself

As John Maxwell states, ‘a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.’! !
Therefore in order to support others to make a long term commitment, you need to start with
yourself. As Jenny Kido’s employee study states, a key place to start is by reflecting on your own
‘toxic thoughts and behaviours’ (2015) or ill being.

This idea of toxicity is not new but something we often avoid. Therefore it’s important to take time
out to sit, reflect and ask yourself honestly ‘what do I need to let go of that didn’t serve me in
2015?

This could be by looking back on examples where you felt stressed or situations where your
sparked resistance in others and see what patterns repeatedly occurred. It’s all to easy as a leader
when we are under pressure to seek blame from. However if we apply the Dalai Lama’s wisdom
we realise we have a responsibility to identify our roll in the process too.

‘When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realise that
everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.

Step 2: Share it

Self awareness is powerful but also what many academics, including Markakis et al (2000), identify
as the key to cultivating healthy professional relationships.

Empathy, connection and team work start with sharing. As a result be bold and start the new year a
fresh by holding a ‘Detox workshop.’ The forum is respectful, open and informal and starts with you
articulating your personal learning and commitments to moving towards healthy ways of working
together. Then you can widen the interaction and ask all members to share their own reflections.

Critically at the end you all make a shared commitment to a clean slate and identify clear
behavioural priorities for a positive 2016. And as Pfeffer’s organisational studies (200) highlight,
this process of detoxification, sometimes referred to as the more ‘humane’ approach, not only
increases wellbeing but is also associated with companies who are’ more profitable’ too.

Step 3: Reward process

As the basics of neuroscience proves, at a basic human behavioural level we move towards
reward and away from risk. This simple idea emphasises that in order to get the new attitudes to
stick we need to reward those that make a conscious effort to change themselves.

Such rewards need to be aligned to the purpose of your priorities. For example if you identify a
need to genuinely support each other to get fit via lunch time gym sessions, then a healthy reward
could be a massage voucher for the most positive monthly contributor (voted collectively by your
team). Such rewards could build in importance through the year to encourage on going
commitment.

Step 4: Invest

As CIPD (2015) shared quality, independent training and coaching programmes are consistently
proven to have the most impact on behaviours and attitudes.

From Yoke Consultancy’s perspective treating individual’s mental, physical and emotional
wellbeing is the key to unlocking their transformation. This includes providing a cost effective
mechanism that continuously supports your team’s transition.

On a small scale this can include delivering Yoke’s ‘Expert Wellbeing Webinar series’ that
promotes practical approaches to changing attitudes through live expert interviews and
Q&A sessions

Or to go deeper our structured ‘Wellbeing Training & Coaching Programme’ helps to
proactively and sustainably embed and improve wellbeing across your organisation

Step 5: Recognise the sceptics

The final piece of the jigsaw is to recognise the sceptics and provide target interventions that
directly address their reluctant role. Such sceptics are a risk to the success of the transformation
and can ensure old, negative habits keep your team ‘stuck’ in 2015.

Intuitively you may know how best to meet and alter their needs; however one approach Yoke has
found effective is to share valuable industry research that articulates how respected organisations
have utilised a ‘wellbeing’ approach to generate greater productivity, retention and cost
effectiveness.

www.yokeconsultancy.co.uk

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About Rachel Arkle

Rachel has over 15 years of Management Consultancy experience and an MSc in Organisational Wellbeing. She is the key driving force behind Yoke and so excited to be at the forefront of such an inspiring industry.

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  1. So true that the process must start with the manager. Brilliant thought for starting the New Year off well for your team.

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