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Bringing Organizational Well-being to Life

Commit to a broad, participatory learning process to enhance staff resilience

As the world faces the climate crisis, international protests for racial justice, a global pandemic and an economic downturn, the social change sector is struggling. Organizations across the spectrum are experiencing funding delays and decreases, project slowdowns and staff reductions. In the midst of these challenges, staff resilience, collaboration and innovation are emerging as sector-wide priorities, and leaders are asking what steps they can take to create healthier organizational cultures that support these needs.

Our research at The Well-being Project (TWP) has shown that leaders who advocate for and model individual well-being and self-care, and engage with their staff in a well-being learning process can create healthier, more effective organizations. Self-care practices includes actions as diverse as self-inquiry, cultivating emotional intelligence and spending time in nature. Leaders committed to promoting well-being within their organization can also benefit from working with a coach or facilitator experienced in group dynamics and dialogue, co-developing an organizational well-being strategy with staff and integrating well-being strategies into the daily workflow through incremental changes to structure, policy and practice. Indeed, many leaders believe that now—when so many organizations are necessarily changing the way they work—is an optimal time to enact small shifts that foster organizational well-being.

While organizations need to tailor their approach to their own unique needs and culture, those that commit wholeheartedly to organizational well-being, lay a strong capability groundwork and engage all staff members in the process can boost both staff resilience and mission achievement. 

Please select this link to read the complete article from Stanford Social Innovation Review.

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