In pursuit of better results, organisations face a dilemma: how to improve performance while still prioritising employee wellbeing. While the focus on wellbeing during the pandemic was essential, some leaders now question whether it’s time to rebalance the equation in favour of performance. However, potentially neglecting one for the other may have detrimental consequences.

For certain CEOs, prioritising performance means pushing for a return to the office. This approach risks backlash from employees who appreciate the flexibility of work arrangements that offer autonomy, work-life balance, reduced stress, and financial savings. They also risk overburdening an already exhausted and stressed-out workforce, leading to unwelcome attrition and legal implications.

The solution goes beyond physical presence; it requires consciously cultivating a culture that is both healthy and high performing, rather than toxic and high-pressure. It involves creating an environment where employees feel valued, supported, and motivated, wherever they work. By prioritising both performance and wellbeing, focusing on outcomes, fostering connection, and offering flexibility, organisations can attract and retain the top talent crucial for achieving long-term success.

Finding equilibrium starts with leaders valuing both aspects and setting an example. When leaders prioritise their own wellbeing and demonstrate healthy work practices, they have a profound influence on the entire organisation. Research consistently shows that when employee wellbeing is prioritised, their performance improves. Flexible work options play a pivotal role in promoting wellbeing, leading to higher job satisfaction, engagement, and overall happiness, all of which positively impact performance and business outcomes.

The key to sustainable high-performance and success lies in taking a holistic approach and building a culture where individuals can thrive, achieve their goals, and contribute to organisational success. By aligning work, ways of working, and the workplace, organisations can drive exceptional performance while nurturing employee wellbeing. In the quest for improved performance and results, my advice is to proceed with care!


About the Guest Writer

Linley Watson is CEO of Peak Performance International and REIDAR Holistic Executive Coaching: Empowering leaders to sustain their performance, find their balance and achieve more at work and in life. Find out more here.