This month’s Well-Being Spotlight is on Joe Martin, founder of Martin Creative and author of 6 Week Cycles. He talks to us about how rethinking the cadence of the work year has allowed his team to set better timelines, consistently review project effectiveness, and establish a culture that prioritizes interests and connections outside of work.
What does well-being look like for your employees, and how does their well-being impact the organization?
Being happy. Sounds simple, but is incredibly complex. In the same way, executive development promotes situational leadership, the same is true with happiness. It’s different for every person.
Many people are happy with money, while others (especially new parents) are happy with time away from the office. In some cases, it can be a thoughtful note because their dog recently passed away.
But it’s up to the business owner to actually care about these things. It’s about putting happiness first. Not only internally, but externally, in customer relationships, partnerships, vendor relations, and networking. With such thoughtfulness, I truly believe we’re destined for an altogether different kind of working world.
What have you put in place to boost employee wellness and well-being? What were the results?
Over the past five years, my team and I have been testing a fairly radical concept. Work six weeks, take two weeks off. This is known as the 6-Week Cycle. It offers parents a better way to manage projects and optimize productivity.
The 4-day work week has everyone up in arms, but it’s a terrible idea. Don’t do it! This will only result in parents being away from their children for even longer. A parent who works 4-10 hour days will spend less time with their children, will have poorer eating habits, and feel incredibly more exhausted.
My team has been able to set better timelines, consistently review project effectiveness, and establish a culture that prioritizes parents’ time with their children by using 6-Week Cycles.
Over the past five years, my team and I have been testing a fairly radical concept. Work six weeks, take two weeks off. This is known as the 6-Week Cycle.Joe Martin, Author, 6-Week Cycles
As a busy leader, how do you practice self-care?
I regularly evaluate what’s working and what’s not working during our two-week breaks. Both for the business and for me personally.
While the two weeks fly by, just that little break gives me a chance to think about things like:
- How much time am I spending on Zoom meetings?
- Which of my methods were the most effective over the last cycle?
- It’s really been 6-weeks since I got outside and ran?!! Crap.
It is these frequent breaks, six times a year, that allow me to realign.
Additionally, we incorporate health goals into the upcoming cycle. I gave up eating fried foods and drinking soda during my last cycle. I had a couple of slip-ups, but c’mon! It was a Popeye’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich. It’s so good.
Whatever the case may be, it’s these breaks that allow me to practice self-care. Without the structure we’ve put in place through 6-week cycles, I would blow right past any self-care initiatives.
For more great advice on empowering the well-being in your employees, check out our previous Well-Being Spotlights:
- Emily Chase, Senior Vice-President of Patient Care Services at UChicago Medicine
- Ardyth Cutler, Director of Employee Benefits at Community Health Systems
- Kirk Allen, President, and CEO of Sloan Valve Company
Do you know a leader who prioritizes well-being?
Nominate them for our next Well-Being Spotlight. Send their name and email and why you are nominating them to firstname.lastname@example.org.