Reflections on prioritising our health and wellbeing from our Services Director, Joanna Solanki

As part of International Women’s Day, I wanted to shine a light on how we as an organisation have been prioritising our colleague’s health and wellbeing, and how our senior management are walking the talk.

At n-compass we strive to have a healthy workplace culture – one in which people can bring their whole selves to work, feel supported and most importantly feel that they can be vulnerable and honest about where they are really at from a wellbeing perspective.

We offer a wide range of wellbeing support ranging from health plans right through to having an active Wellbeing Group who are always looking for ways to help make people feel supported and valued in the workplace.

This work has never been more important partly because of the type of services we provide and the emotional load this can place on colleagues but also, because of the pandemic, to ensure colleagues remained connected, felt supported and safe.

From a personal perspective I qualified as a counsellor in 2004 and throughout my training the importance of self-care was drummed into me. Despite this, I have often lost my way with self-care, and this is easily done. I am a wife, a mum to two beautiful girls, an owner of two crazy dogs, an aunt, a friend, a director, a trustee, the list goes on. Whilst I strive to play my ace card in all these roles, this is difficult to achieve whilst also looking after Joanna.

Last year, I was part of a workshop with Brad Waldron who talked to us about the 7 habits of effective leadership. One of these habits includes the importance of ‘sharpening your saw’- looking after your personal health and wellbeing if you want to keep cutting it.

This caused me to reflect on, in trying to play my ace card in my various roles, I was leaving myself with zero time and energy to look after me. Here are the things I am now doing ‘sharpen my saw’…

I engaged with an online personal trainer who helped me with my health and fitness goals without giving up my favorite foods. I worked with a PT for a short time and quickly began to see that making small changes not only improved my physical fitness but also my general wellbeing. I now regularly carve time out of my busy schedule to go the gym a few times a week at 6am and this really sets me up for the day. I have more energy and my mind is ready to take on whatever tasks I have lined up for the day.

As a Senior Management Team, we use our weekly huddles to have a Team Check – In. This approach helps me in being honest with my colleagues about my personal wellbeing, in the knowledge that I won’t be judged but only supported. It also helps foster the feelings of being heard and understood.

Acknowledging, owning, and communicating how I am feeling with colleagues is something that is encouraged at here at n-compass. Each time the SMT meet we check in with each other, not just about business goals but about how life is at home and about our physical and emotional health. We are not expected to always play our ace card, we are accepted for being human.

So – ask yourself how are you sharpening your saw?

Joanna Solanki

Service Director n-compass