THE THIRD METRIC

October 1st, 2015

#2

A shift is occurring. A paradigm shift if you like. A shift from the old hierarchical, top-down management system, from using and abusing employees to treating employees and co-workers with respect. This includes investing in employees and making sure they are happy and healthy because, in the end, they are a company’s most valuable asset. They are what make a company move forwards or go backwards, they are the heart of a company and if they find it, sometimes literally, difficult to breathe, this will inevitably affect the company. It is still considered to be ‘normal’ for people to work unhumanly hours, give up every aspect of their personal life, get burned out, or worse, become seriously ill in order to ‘stay in the game’ or simply not get fired. But as Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post writes in her latest book “Thrive”, this is not normal, and slowly more and more people, employees and employers are starting to realise this.

If we want to thrive, not just survive, we need to redefine success.

When we strive for happiness and a balanced lifestyle we not only improve our own lives, we often improve the lives of the ones around us too, and that includes the companies we work for.

Therefore if we want to thrive, not just survive, we need to redefine success, Arianna Huffington says. We need to rethink what is really important to us. The best way to do this, strangely enough, is to imagine we have arrived at the end of our lives and look back reflecting on everything we have done and experienced. Then we will realise it was not the money, or the power we gained that made us happy or that was most important. It was the year off we took to travel, it was the career switch we made, that important decision based on our gut feeling or the laughs we shared with our spouse. This is, as Arianna calls it, The Third Metric. The third “leg of the chair which provides better balance and stability” and which is more important than money and power, but reflects real and sustainable happiness. The good news is, when we strive for happiness and a balanced lifestyle we not only improve our own lives, we often improve the lives of the ones around us too, and that includes the companies we work for. As we invest in our health and wellbeing we become more productive, sick less often, and we make better decisions. More and more research shows that increased stress has cost companies money and weighs on the health care system, which we ultimately support financially, indirectly. In the UK, stress has emerged as the top cause of illness across the nation1. Luckily, more and more companies are starting to understand this and are investing in their employees by providing yoga and fitness classes, stress management trainings, encouraging people to take proper holidays and not to work after certain hours. This has led to significant improvement in productivity and a decrease in sick days and people leaving.
It is not just the employees that are benefitting from these changes. Well known CEOs themselves are starting to reap the benefits from meditation, for example, and have incorporated the technique into their daily routines. Including Ford chairman Bill Ford, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, Twitter cofounder Evan Williams, Jerry Seinfeld and Arianna Huffington herself amongst many others2. Practices like meditation, mindfulness and yoga have a huge impact on our ability to stay focused and concentrated on the task at hand. In a society where we get bombed with information and distractions constantly, it is becoming crucial for productivity and gaining new insights. More and more people as well as companies are joining this movement every day. Although there is still a lot of work to be done, the moment we shift towards a more “third metric” way of thinking, we will reap the benefits together with everyone around us.

The moment we shift towards a more “third metric” way of thinking, we will reap the benefits together with everyone around us.

1 “Thrive”, by Arianna Huffington.

2 “Thrive”, by Arianna Huffington.

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