How happiness helped Boundless grow in leaps and bounds

Wellbeing @ Work Event

Teamwork and mindfulness at work helped rebrand membership club Boundless and transform its culture. CEO Carl Fillery, a speaker at the Wellbeing @ Work Event in November, offers personal insights on developing a happy mindset in the workplace.

I’ve been at the helm of membership club Boundless for over three years now, and in that time, I’ve noted a welcome in any discussion on how we can be productive in our working lives.

It seems too obvious to miss, yet we’re only now realising how intrinsic (and easily attainable) a happy mindset is to the results we deliver. We want to get the very best from those who work alongside us.

But to do so, we have to respect their status as people and put effort into knowing them as individuals, not just a cog in the broader scheme of profit or statistics.

The Wellbeing @ Work Event

The CEO of membership club Boundless, Carl Fillery, is speaking at The Wellbeing @ Work event in London later this year, sharing his thoughts on what happiness can do for the value of your organisation.

The Wellbeing @ Work Event will be held in central London on 1 November.

See the speaker line-up here, and buy tickets to hear Fillery and his fellow panelists explore wellness at work and corporate satisfaction.

Essentially, we must hold emotional intelligence as high as other traits we try to maintain in our team – technical capabilities, reliability and so forth. Everyone deserves to be happy. And it’s heartening to find that, time and again, it’s the driving energy behind doing what we’re hired for, to the very best of our ability.

Changing attitudes in the workplace

There’s been a tectonic shift in corporate attitudes over the last four or five years. Mindfulness has been brought into the mainstream: wherever you look, you’ll find TED talks, apps and home-tutorial kits on how to be ‘mindful’ – that is, conscious of what you’re feeling, and the mental static that prevents us from seeing the needs of others.

These traits come into sharp relief when we’re dealing with clients, colleagues and ancillary services that support us. Thoughts can restrain us when we least want them to.

Always focusing on past failures, or future worries, takes us away from the present. It traps us in a cycle of grievances and despondency. Moreover, if we perceive our treatment to be unfair at every turn, then we’ll treat others unfairly, seeing them as an impediment instead of an asset.

Being honest with ourselves (both in terms of the things we do well, and those we could do better) engenders some much needed humanity in the workplace.

For instance, our CSMA team (before the Boundless rebrand) were prone to taking days off for stress, confusion and hierarchical issues. People felt lost in each ladder of the company. Few workers understood one another, both in emotional terms and the roles they were filling.

Such negative associations made it tough for departments to align their goals, or even really know what their measure of success was.

However, by embracing a mindful work culture – that of openly asking where employees see themselves in life, and reshuffling our corporate structure to make it more transparent – we realised large-scale change.

The same can be true of your business too, if there’s a constrictive, ‘head-down’ atmosphere to the way your staff spend most of their current working days…

How we succeeded in fostering mindfulness at work

Boundless worked hard to de-mystify the differences between our departments, and resolve underlying issues. Once people could recognise the value of their peers, jealousy and resentment were eliminated.

As a result our workers were a lot happier, and found they got more done when they were enthused about the job.

But I’ve personally made sure these attitudes haven’t diminished since that first flush of optimism. Recently all Boundless employees attended a half-day workshop on emotional intelligence that’s overseen by psychology experts.

During the session, they learn how to manage their perception of stress and achievement, as well as their sense of responsibility.

Now we make sure that personal experiences and individual contributions are acknowledged, without it feeling like a process. There’s a robust framework to measure this, from a management perspective, in the form of a digital support system. This is a great instigator, letting people know they can come to us for advice, should they need it. If a problem occurs, either at home or within the team, it’s far more likely to be addressed before it gets out of hand.

With further initiatives in place – such as more emphasis on rewarding those who perform well, even for the subtlest of things – we’ve seen a huge spike in good timekeeping, attendance and the quality of what we produce.

This is just a sliver of my thoughts on staying mindful and how harnessing positivity can benefit you, your employees, and the people’s lives they impact.

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