“Those who feel they are ‘living their purpose’ report personal wellbeing five times higher than those who aren’t.” Daniel Goleman 

What has your part been in the recent phenomenon of the Great Resignation? Were you a direct contributor (resigned), an employer (recruiting) or an observer?  

Interestingly this phenomenon began in the younger-worker sectors such as hospitality and retail, but eventually the higher-paid long-tenure employees joined the movement as well. 

What was the common denominator?  

According to research by Christina Maslach, of the University of California, in layman’s terms:  

“It’s the result of being overworked and undervalued, as well as disconnected from a feeling that your job is important.” 

Using more formal tones: 

“Burnout occurs when emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment are all present simultaneously…” 

What to do? 

A common approach (from employers) has been to create mindfulness rooms, give unlimited time off, gym memberships, onsite yoga sessions etc; but these initiatives are proving to be ineffective in the long term. 

Why? We believe it’s because they provide a stimulus or distraction and only work at the ‘surface’ level of health; but this approach doesn’t address what’s going on internally – they don’t address the root cause (as we at Kānuka like to say!) 

A healthier and sustainable approach 

When we work with our clients, we approach wellness from Te Whare Tapa Whā model developed by Mason Durie (1984). Why? Because it recognises that wellness is shaped by four key contexts: 

  1. Taha Wairua (Spiritual) 
  2. Taha Hinengaro (Mental and Emotional) 
  3. Taha Tinana (Physical) 
  4. Taha Whānau (Family and Social) 

The research, mentioned earlier, found that ‘across people, places, and cultures, factors like personal support, a sense of purpose, and meaningful connections made the biggest different to employee’s health and happiness’. 

Working with this model enables us to address these exact findings e.g. How are your social connections and support networks? Do you find fulfilment in your role? Do you feel appreciated for the value you bring? Are you living in line with your own values? Do you have a strong sense of self-identity? How are you working toward your 1,2,3 years goals? 

Where to from here? 

Start by gaining an understanding of where you are now. This will highlight the ‘gaps’ or ‘opportunities’. Below is a tool you may find useful. It has four sections (Individual, Family/whānau, Team Support and Team Performance). Simply choose what you feel is most relevant for you. As you work through this tool, you will see where your energy and focus is directed – and is it aligning with what is important to you? Where do you feel connected? What activities provide most value for you and what are your highest priorities. 

 High Performing Assessment

Obviously, this process won’t answer all your questions.   

But it is a starting point….so start now! 

Nā tō rourou, nā tāku rourou, ka ora ai te iwi. With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive. 

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