Well-Being is a Team Sport™: How to Lead a Winning Team
New Book Giveaway!
Leave a comment on this guest post by Dr. Richard Safeer, Chief Medical Director of Employee Health and Well-Being at Johns Hopkins Medicine, to become eligible to win a complimentary copy of his new book, A Cure for the Common Company. (20 copies available)
Deadline for eligibility is 1/23/2023.
International winners will receive an electronic version.
You got promoted. You got your MBA.
No one ever said your leadership would impact the health and well-being of your team; your workforce.
On average, a doctor spends 17-24 minutes with a patient. Your employees spend 2,000 hours in the workplace each year. Who do you think has more influence on your team’s well-being? Their doctor or you?
Five easy steps to lead a winning team:
#1. Be a well-being role model.
Visibly demonstrate well-being is part of your day. If your employees can’t see your healthy habits, be sure to weave them into the conversation so they know that your well-being is a priority. What the boss says and does gets noticed.
#2. Make well-being a team priority.
There are very few strategies that fundamentally improve everything for your team and one of them is to be healthy and well. You can make well-being a team priority by:
- Including well-being on the team meeting agenda.
- Creating an annual team well-being goal (one that doesn’t require your employees to step on a scale).
- Removing barriers to well-being.
#3. Lead with gratitude.
We can’t tell our team members enough that we appreciate their contribution. Find what’s going right and say, ‘thank you.’
#4. Practice self-care.
When you are not well, you will not be the best boss. Most workers experience tension and stress during the workday. When the stress is coming from the boss, everyone feels it. Make time to take a breath, take a walk, and check in with yourself.
Smiling at work can enhance your mood and help others feel happy. And research shows happiness increases productivity.
How might leaders support the well-being of team members?
Learn more about how to lead with well-being by listening to Ten Minute Well-Being Tips for Managers.
Dr. Richard Safeer is the Chief Medical Director of Employee Health and Well-Being at Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the author of A Cure for the Common Company: A Well-Being Prescription for a Happier, Healthier and More Resilient Workforce.
Connect with Richard on LinkedIn.
I would LOVE to read Dr. Safeer’s book, A Cure for the Common Company! I am a high school assistant principal for a school that launched our PBIS framework this school year. We celebrate students who demonstrate our school’s four core values, one of which is well-being. I would love to facilitate a focus on well-being for the team of English teachers I lead so that, in turn, they can lead their students to a stronger sense of well-being.
Great read and reminder for us to show all of our employees that we care!
Interesting article and I would love to read more about it in Dr. Safeer’s book. I appreciate the tips raised. No one can dispute how beneficial it is to lay the foundation to support the well-being of a team.
So many times my attitude affects my team. I always have to watch myself.
I appreciate this post. Well being is so important, but taking time to role model this can be difficult for me when I’m caught up in getting the “work” done. I recently came across a powerful quote that aligns with today’s read. “Check in with yourself as often as you check in on social media.” That has reminded be to slow down and be more reflective. Now I need to share that with others!
Thank you for the reminder to take a walk and check in. I’ve seen the negative impact I can have on others when I don’t do that for myself. Smiling is such an incredible switch. Yesterday I was having a truly awful time mentally as I was upset about something outside of my control, but I was able to get my head straight, focus on my team and the great things they were doing, and one of them who had no idea what was going on with me actually thanked me for being really positive. Intentionality wins!
Wise words for a Thursday morning. We spend as much time with our employees as we do our family. Relationships need to be nurtured as they are living, breathing things.
Wise words on this Thursday I would absolutely love to read this book
Very salient advice. As leaders we are all accustomed to giving of ourselves to the people who have made it possible for us to lead. But there are times when we need to have the self awareness to practice self care by investing in the things that bring us joy and increase our energy levels.
Great post and I appreciate the comments from readers. Sure, I’d love a book!
Dan, hope all is well with you and yours!
Well-being is an important topic. I’m interested in learning more about how this can take place at work within leadership.
We’ve been talking about things like eating in the lunch room (instead of our desks) and starting meetings 5 minutes late to allow for movement and bio breaks so this is spot on and I’d love to learn more!
Hi – great article. Wellbeing in work is so important and often overlooked by senior managers too removed from the workforce. I’m a middle layer manager and try to promote wellbeing for myself and my team but find I leave myself to last.
This was a helpful post for me, especially in light of my improvement plan for 2023.
Like others, well being and self check-ins is a focus for me this year. I’ve already found small reminders to drink water, eat at regular hours and taking small walks has a big impact. My mini announcements to my team now include reminders and small tips to create space for well being in their schedule. The ‘post-pandemic’ work force needs this.
Great post, as usual! Of course, I would love an electronic version of the book. Warm greetings from Mexico City!
This is such an important reminder! I had a boss who never took a lunch. She ate at her desk, never took breaks to walk away. She was bitter, jaded and angry all of the time. A true workaholic. She taught me a valuable lesson…to step away and care for yourself so you can care for others. Fill that cup!
I would LOVE to read Dr. Safeer’s book, A Cure for the Common Company! I am trying every day to be a well-being role model. Thank you for the daily reminders.
We have recently set forth to set up a wellness committee with the primary focus of bringing wellness to the employee versus getting the employee to the wellness activities outside of work. Hopeful that we will be able to continue to grow and learn and have a positive impact on some, if not many.
Excellent concept, thank you. I manage a team who provides programs and services to older adults. We are still trying to shake off some the pandemic fatigue. This book sounds like an excellent resource. Thanks for the consideration.
A leader should always be aware of their attitude. Sometimes easier said than done!
Nothing better than working on a team that laughs A LOT!
Love it, and would love to receive this great book as well!
The importance of well-being extends into all areas of your life. Your relationships, your spiritual health, and your emotional health. With that in mind, a great leader must be solid in all aspects of their life before they can truly be effective in the workplace. Dr. Safeer is bringing to light what, deep down, we all know to be true.
Thank you for this article and all the others and for this book.
It’s much needed.
So many people skip over these steps
Great pointers here! Appreciate the emphasis on it being a team event rather than. taking on the burden all on ourselves.
I truly loved this article as it rings true to the culture and dynamic I am feeling from my team recently. I have been racking my brain on how to make them feel more appreciated, motivated to be their best, and feel supported. This has given me a different perspective and jumping off point.
I easily agree with 3, 4, & 5, these smaller things (doesn’t mean they are less important) must be witnessed and they can be contagious. Gratitude, smiling, and having your team be aware of the need and watching you benefit from those examples of self-care are super-important. If those are “ok for the boss to do”, then they’ll see it as “ok for me to do as well”.
To me, 1 and 2, feel like they can become “forced” which may have people stepping away.
The examples need to be subtle, not forced on people. (example if you have a Steps Challenge, don’t make people participate to feel like it was a success.)
Having said that, I agree that being around people who care about their health, can be catchy and you may care about your health a little more.
I’ll agree to a point that a healthier team may find less challenges on their way to being a winning team. I’m not sure it is a causal relationship (I don’t believe it was intentionally stated that way, although the heading “Five easy steps to lead a winning team:” does have a feeling of “this is all you need”).
Great reminder! My focus this year is on well being and have shared the commitments I’ve made with my team to help reinforce the importance of prioritizing well being.
Leading people is a trait I do well but it has taken me years of practice and learning from mistakes to be where I am today. I would love to add Dr. Safeer’s book, A Cure for the Common Company, to my leadership library. It is a tool to continue to bring out the best in all team members.
Find what’s going right and say “thank you”, so easy and so powerful, yet most of us don’t do it nearly enough. The best part is, being gracious or showing gratitude helps the giver just as much as the receiver. Great post and guest today Dan!
Pick me!! Pick me!! In all seriousness.
As a leader, I totally have an impact on my entire team. Leading by example is so important, yet at times very challenging and humbling. I would love to receive a copy of this book. I am in health care and these past 2 years have been so draining. I want to start asking my team on huddles what they are doing to take care of themselves, and I need to be the leader in this and demonstrate the importance of taking care of myself. When we care for ourselves, we care much better for others.
This is such an important yet often neglected topic which is one that is becoming a major focus for everyone. You cannot give what you do not have so leaders focusing on their well being and demonstrating that are very crucial.
I know that in the past I have been influenced by my leaders behavior and habits for well-being. I just moved into a leadership role and I want my team to be successful! Would love to read the book!
Well being is so important! Thank you for sharing the insight—and reminders of how easily we can positively impact someone’s day. So often we (leaders) can get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities that we forget we are modeling behaviors. In turn, our team gets caught up in their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities and no one is focusing on wellbeing. These 5 steps are easy enough to do, now, to make it happen. Thank you again!!
Wonderful advice! So many times it is easy to get “lost” when leading a team & so focused on the task that you forget these five points. LOVE this reminder 🙂
I regularly share wellness tips with my staff. I remind them that self care is the most important thing they can do to serve others. We work virtually so I am not with them face to face. There are times I will tell a staff member to close their lid and walk away for a bit when I can see/hear they need a break. I have to be intentional in modeling what I want for them. I tell them to close their lids at 4 every day. I meet with them online every Friday and remind them to close their lids at 4, keep them closed for the weekend, do not open until 8 am on Monday, work will be there, this is time with family and friends. I wish I would have had that guidance when I was younger! I took a lot of time away from family after work hours.
I would love to read this book. I work in the senior housing world and am always looking for ways to keep the team engaged.
My company is totally on-board with well-being, but I do not see the message delivered via the manager to the individual contributors. Wish all managers could get this message and be an example for their teams. I will definitely do my part to be a wellness ambassador!
I’ve usually “pushed through” when medical or personal issues posed a possible interference to my teaching schedule. I’ve been learning to “practice what I preach” now that I am responsible for educational assistants. I want them to know that they AND what they contribute to the teaching team are important enough that when they are not well, they first need to take care of themselves. And I need to demonstrate the same for them.
Well-being is a practice — our people do what we do not what we say. So if we say that well-being is key to overall organizational health, we as leaders must practice to model that success for our team. What an inspiration and reminder that we can improve our org’s health by first engaging in these activities ourselves. And we can affect change with this simple change in our behavior — at any level and any size of organization. I’m excited to read more and find other gems to support my leadership!
How to take care of ourselves, and each other, in our world non-stop, 24/7 “busyness” is a topic that every organization must consider and act on. This book sounds like an essential read – I would LOVE to have a copy and share my learnings with others.
I work in education and we talk about this all the time. I would love to see how the ideas in the book translate to this industry.
Dan, thanks for another great read! I needed this reminder and it is timely for me!!
Great post! Trying to use more of my PTO days and letting my team know when they are for personal or family enjoyment!
Great insight! I am the imaging manager for a new pediatric hospital. We spend so much energy caring for everyone else, we many times neglect ourselves. Your words ring very true in my work – thank you for articulating this and helping me to realize this underutilized influence. I plan to explore this opportunity more to create an environment of well-being. Much appreciation to you!
Good info. Please send book. Hah!
It’s amazing how much a smile can change the energy on a team. It is such a simple act, but as you note here, it can boost enthusiasm and positive feelings!
Great reminder! As an Imaging manager sometimes the stress of our day to day lives, caring for patients, handling problems makes it easy to put self care on the back burner! Modeling this for employees is the first step to creating an environment of well being.
Working in a PK-6 public school self-care is vital.
This is a great read. I’m constantly concern about our team burning out. Usually, they are just overwhelmed, and they have forgotten about themselves. They say yes, when they should say no. It becomes a snowball of stress. I want this book.
Yes and Yes! Our actions speak much louder than our words. Thanks for the reminder!
Thanks for today’s post. Strong four out of five. But, I fall down on number four. In that area I am more of a do as I say and not as I do, but I’m working on it!
Appreciate the post. Nothing great is achieved without the well-being of the Team
This is GOLD. And so timely, as I set out to create impactful goals for our team, this is simply and obviously the most important goal of all. Thank you so much for putting this out there, Dan! I’m going to read this book and share with my managers – thank you, Dr. Safeer.
Smile and say thank you – it is amazing how these two simple gestures have gotten lost and can change a whole culture! Would love to read this book.
Thank you! : )
very important topic and one that I have and continued to struggle with throughout my career …
Thank you for reminding us to take care of ourselves first, as this affects our ability to work productively and effectively.
What you model gets replicated. Model the important things. Care for yourself and help others do the same. Love it. I shared this with my husband who shared it with his colleagues.
Thank you for sharing. I definitely need to practice #2 and #4 with my team. While the healthcare consulting firm I work for stresses making work, life, balance a priority, it is not always visible practice by more senior leadership as well as myself. We need to prioritize this as the role models for our team so they too dont experience burnout.
liked the interview…would love to read the book
Loving the articles and am taking notes. Thank you.
Working in the healthcare space, being short staffed across the industry, and a leader of service, it is hard to remember that self care is not only important for ourselves, but it speaks volumes to your team members, staff, and colleagues. I tend to put myself last to ensure that my staff have the support they need. It’s time for me to show them support by showing myself some love. Thank you for this very important reminder!
The more stress there are in the workplace, the more support your team going to need! Glad you’re supporting them!
I would love to receive the book
The articles on leadership have been of great help and inspiration. I have used the concepts to help me in my mentorship.
The book would be extremely helpful.
Great post, and one that seems so simple but one that is so overlooked! Consulting with teams, I am regularly reminding them of the importance of the quality of their relationships, their need to truly care for one another, and to be humane with each other. It’s unfortunate that we even have to discuss this, yet we don’t do this as naturally as we should! Great post, and thanks to Dr. Safeer for addressing the need to improve our organizational health–starting with ourseleves! Would love a copy–thanks!
This was such a great read and a great resource as a new manager.
Lead by example. Lead with gratitude. Both so important! And always remember the instructions from the flight crew- put your oxygen mask on before trying to help others! If you don’t take care of yourself, you cannot care for others.
Excellent advice and interview. Would love to read the book for more insight to leading with health and wellness at the forefront.
Well-being with others (teamwork) helps all involved even if some don’t realize they need it.
Absolutely! It’s also good to make sure folks know that developing a community of care in the workplace doesn’t just mean that they are reasonsible for self-care…the organization is also responsible for not wearing out the team members through overwork, lack of support, etc. Care is a two way street!
There are many reasons for wellbeing to be a group project. I totally agree. I would love to read Richard Safeer’s book. I Live in Warsaw, Poland.
The machine (self) must be maintained and cared for or it (I) will never preform as it (I) should or reach its (my) potential.
This is such a timely and important focus.