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A Healthy Approach to Leadership

by Kelli Littlechilds ASEBP | October 12 2017

Have you ever heard the tear-jerking line from Disney’s Lilo & Stitch, “Ohana means family and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten?" This is how I like to think of ASEBP. I’ve spent my entire career at ASEBP and, throughout it all, the idea of my peers and staff as an extension of my family is something I am drawn to. You may not love every member of your family—we all have that rascally, overzealous relative…ahem, Stitch!—but you work together during times of uncertainty, help each other succeed in times of adversity and celebrate together in times of happiness. Family looks out for each other.

Influence 101

Looking out for your family is important and your work family is no exception. We spend so much time with our colleagues that it’s to everyone’s advantage to encourage our teammates to be mindful team players and stand up for each other. For all of you wellness champions, the influence you have over those around you cannot be understated. My advice for you is to walk the walk rather than just talk the talk. Commit to your ideas and encourage your teammates to trust that building a healthy workplace is beneficial for everyone. We’re all in this together!  

Respectful Spaces

Setting up your work space to feel like a safe and welcoming environment for all staff is incredibly important. Provide tools for your teammates—and tools for your staff if you’re in a leadership role—to set up this kind of space at work. For example, I’ve been managing teams for years, and I still believe that having simple workplace guidelines ensures everyone knows how to work effectively with one another. It’s simple and there’s no budget needed! My favourite guidelines are non-judgement and trust; acting as a team means that you’re all working towards a common goal with no ego or biases. What guides are present in your workplace?

Stay Committed to your Team

Workplace culture is critical in building a strong work family and collaborating with others in the organization is a great place to do that. Here are a few ways you can commit to healthy workplaces, helping to develop healthy employees too:

  • Be social and encourage chatter amongst the team. Your team may have great skills to execute the job well, but how are everyone’s social skills? Getting to know colleagues builds connections past the work you do. It builds your work family bonds.
  • Participate in a wellness challenge. ASEBP has participated in the GOGA challenge for the past couple of years, encouraging staff to get their steps and daily activity in while at work. Find something similar that works for your team, inspiring you to get moving. It’ll bring you closer together!
  • Take part in physical activities. Walking meetings and encouraging staff to use the stairs is a great place to start. Instill ideas from this Sandbox resource to further integrate physical activity into your workplace.
  • Practice healthy eating. This includes eating healthy snacks during work meetings and events. How can you set up your workplace for optimal nutrition? I have quite the sweet tooth, so this is a tough one for me! But I know there are ways to integrate healthy sugars throughout the day and I’m trying to do my part by encouraging my team to do the same too.

Set the Tone

As you dig into the new school year, help your work family build stronger bonds by instilling some respectful parameters for everyone and lead with confidence and compassion as you work with your team to build an optimally healthy workplace. I’m looking forward to hearing how all you wellness champions instill these qualities into your workplaces!

Kelli Littlechilds

Kelli—or Noodle as she’s referred to affectionately—is a workplace wellness superhero of the highest calibre. As the current CEO of ASEBP and the holder of seven former roles over her 30-year career here, Kelli understands the importance of a healthy workplace and the impact that can have throughout an organization. Although you won’t catch her in a silent room to save her life, you may find her demonstrating her peculiar hand tricks to staff, flexing and twisting her fingers like she’s made of rubber. That’s okay, Noodle—we dig it!