For a Team to Blossom, the Answer Is Complex

Sep 21 , 2015

Workplace Vitality Depends on Many Dynamics Working in Harmony

If you plant a flower, but it wilts shorty after it blooms, it’s usually easy to spot the cause. 

If it’s shriveled, the plant is dehydrated and needs more water. A thin stem that’s not vibrant in color can be a sign of not enough light.

Much like gardening, a workplace culture needs the proper care and attention in order to see its employees bloom to their full potential. The problem is, when an individual suddenly stops growing, the root cause isn’t as easy to spot as a wilting plant.

This is because dozens of factors contribute to workplace vitality, many of which live beneath the service.

Imagine you are managing a small team within your growing organization. From the surface, all seems well. Productivity is up and the team is producing stellar work. Your team — or your garden — appears to be blooming.

On the surface, everything appears to be healthy. But how do you know if this stellar work is being fueled by 12-hour workdays because the team feels pressure to consistently log overtime? Or what if your team is just putting on a happy face during instead of being open and honest about challenges they’re facing. 

Over time, small stressors that are manageable in the moment can grow, accumulate and fester.

The dilemma of the manager becomes: How do I know if my team’s stress levels are normal and encouraging productivity, or if they are secretly skyrocketing to unhealthy levels, unbeknownst to me? How do I measure it?

The key to workplace vitality is so much more complex than something simple and easily diagnosable like a visibly wilting plant. It takes a savvy leader to understand all that contributes to vitality at work: relationships with peers, workload demand and level of job security, to name a few.

When we try to solve a workplace vitality problem, the answer is never one-size-fits-all.

This is why measuring stress levels is so important — it produces a data-filled story into how likely it is for your employees to grow. It reveals insights you would never see on the surface. 

The beauty of it all is it allows you to understand what is growing beneath the surface — whether it's positive or problematic.

Are you only addressing obvious issue on your team? Or are you digging deeper to understand more about the root causes? Visit to discover what may be lying deeper than you realize


About the Author

Jennifer Lawhead