Culture Corner: Wellness at Work
Each month, we interview a Richter partner to gain insight into how our leadership finds balance and focus in a demanding job, and what non-technical skills contribute to career success.
With fresh new year’s resolutions on our minds, adding another ‘to-do’ to your plate can be overwhelming. How does one of our busiest partners make time for wellness while also managing work, community and family life? Stephanie Lincourt shares her insights.
Why is encouraging wellness so important to you?
Stéphanie Lincourt (SL): I love my job, and of course I love my family; for me, making it work is important. I want to be a role model for my children when it comes to having a healthy career life and a family, but I think it’s important to be honest (with them, with myself, and with my colleagues), that staying well when you’re being pulled in so many directions can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to keep encouraging each other and help others when needed.
Encouraging others to be well and seek balance in their lives reminds me to look for balance and recharge in my own life when and where needed. It’s not easy, and as a working mother, I must make choices from time-to-time – everyone does – but striving to look after myself, my kids and my work is never an “end goal”, it’s a continual process. What makes it easier is when you have colleagues, partners and team members that support you, not forgetting my husband who is my biggest help. Reaching and asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it can be an amazing strength.
How do you motivate younger team members to keep going, even if the task at hand seems like a tall order?
SL: I always say that we each have our limits. Sometimes, taking a break, a vacation, taking a day to your self is the best remedy. Getting your brain to think about something else rather than solely fixating on one challenge or issue will bring in perspective, and very likely will make you more productive the next day. In our industry we have tight deadlines and we must find ways to manage stress that works for ourselves – but I will always say that taking a break (be it a simple walk around the block) will help you sort things out.
Another key way to get through something is to communicate! Asking for help is often the most direct solution. For our team, I may not give a direct answer, but will help a team member find it for themselves, so they can learn from the experience. But if your stuck on something and don’t communicate it, no one will know! It’s oftentimes in sharing experiences that we learn the most from one another. When that happens, we grow as individuals, which makes encountering similar situations down the road much less of a winding path, and a more direct route through.
“[A] key way to get through something is to communicate! Asking for help is often the most direct solution.”
Are there exercises that help maintain mindfulness or wellness at work? Any tips for getting through a stressful mandate or situation?
SL: I put things back into perspective, that’s how I manage a stressful mandate or situation. There is always a solution to any situation. Many times, it’s important to take a step back, reframe the issue, think about it from a different angle or put it into the broad picture. Once you find where something “fits” in the grand scheme of things, it will help you manage through it.
Spending time with my kids outdoors is my way of disconnecting. In the winter months, even though it’s cold outside, our whole family will hit the slopes skiing. It helps me unwind and start fresh the following day.
What does Richter do to encourage wellness for its team members?
SL: There are many Health & Well-being special offers that have been negotiated for Richter employees to help in a variety of areas, and we also offer employees a well-being credit they can spend on fitness or gym memberships, exercise classes, or equipment.
In addition, we have a work-life integration committee. Its objective is to alleviate the stress level of employees by partnering with companies like Daoust-Valet and Exclusive Dry Cleaners, who offer pick-up and drop-off of dry cleaning. We bring in healthy snacks to the office and have organized things like a yoga-at-work class, bringing a yoga instructor to the office, and lunch and learns on topics like stress management or communication, to help our team out. We also have the employee assistance program which offers counselling solutions to our employees.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever been given?
SL: Get out of you comfort zone! I believe I became a better, well-rounded professional by accepting mandates and tasks that were outside of my comfort zone.