Today marks the start of self-improvement month. Something which has always been high on my agenda.
Having started my career as a 15-year-old business apprentice, I have since gone on to complete qualifications with the Open University, two marketing diplomas with the Oxford College of Marketing (I receive my final results next Friday) and various other short courses.
I am addicted to learning for many reasons, and you could say that pretty much the entirety of my adult years have been spent learning in one way or another.
Learning does not stop the moment you leave education. More often than not, this is where the real education begins, and if you have career or lifestyle aspirations, it is crucial you invest in your self-development.
Self-improvement, however, isn’t just about formal learning and this is something I have learnt first-hand over the past few years. Ultimately, it is crucial to find a balance between professional and personal development.
In my desire to increase my professional knowledge in an industry which changes from one day to the next, I’m not afraid to admit that my physical and mental self-improvement has been overlooked. Working long hours to grow the business while having a young family to look after took its toll and I experienced everything from weight gain, migraines and fatigue right through to contracting whooping cough, which took a good six months to recover from!
Prior to establishing the business, I was extremely active, weighed a lot less and was a fitness blogger (I hear you sniggering behind whichever device you are reading this on). Trying to juggle so many balls meant my overall health took a huge hit over the past few years, but it has always been on my mind to somehow utilise my business to benefit the health of myself and those around me.
As a start-up, putting in place a structured professional development and wellbeing process has been difficult, especially when trying to manage cash-flow.
To mitigate this, we put in place things like flexible working and the ability to work from home. We also have a benefits programme which provides staff with mobile phone insurance, car breakdown cover and discounts on a range of leisure activities including gym membership. Earlier this year we also ran an in-depth programme of account management training for all members of staff. Our 2017 business plan delivery was also undertaken at a spa!
Moving forward though, there is still a lot more to be done and not only does the September 1st mark the start of self-improvement month but it is also the start of our fourth financial year. We have big ambitions this year, and we know that those results will be achieved from a lot of hard work, so it is crucial we mitigate the potential for burnout, low staff morale and sickness which is why we are about to commence a structured programme of workplace well-being workshops with local company, Yorkshire Yogi (who are also coming on board as a client).
I’m really excited to be commencing this activity as I believe that its impact on my employees will have far reaching consequences, which in turn will enable us to achieve both our personal and professional goals.
These workshops will enable my staff and I to take time away from the day job and develop techniques to increase concentration, memory, focus, morale, creative thinking and productivity, but it will also help us to put into practice ways to manage and prevent stress while improving physical and mental wellbeing and preventing and relieving common work-related injuries such as RSI, headaches, back pain and fatigue.
So yes, you will see us with our yoga mats, and there might even be some massage thrown in, but we can guarantee that both ourselves and our clients will be all the better off for it.
We will, of course, be sharing our workplace wellbeing journey so make sure to keep your eyes peeled, or to discover how Yorkshire Yogi can help your business, contact Kelly to find out more.