Thomson Reuters has been my professional home for over 17 years. This is where I have built my career, started my family, and where I continue to develop myself personally and professionally.
There have been many challenges, late nights, milestones and moments that have made me a proud member and leader within this organization. I am most proud of the personal commitments I have made to invest in my own well-being, supported by an organization that has made an investment and commitment to me to encourage this effort.
I have learned over my career what it takes to be successful over a long period of time at a fast-paced, competitive job – in a life where there are so many different stresses – where the grind is a daily one. We have to make a concerted effort to prioritize self-care. We have to have energy and endurance to sustain over the longer term.
We cannot say yes to getting up every day and facing the challenges before us, conquering the uphill battles we call life and work, and not say yes to ourselves – to our health – mental, physical, spiritual – all of it.
To be productive, to impact the bottom line – we have to make a commitment to our overall health and well-being. Self-care is the work that we must do to show up to every conversation and interaction – with compassion, with empathy, with resilience.
A Call to Action
The world changed in 2020. For every, single human being, for every company, for every industry – across the globe. It has become more widely acknowledged and appreciated that the line between work and life is blurred at best.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic amidst a global movement for racial justice may vary amongst different demographics and individual circumstances, but one thing seems clear – that impact will be far-reaching and reverberating for generations to come. It’s a call to action.
The commitments we make today and the actions we take on a daily basis – as individuals and organizations – define who we are now and who we strive to be.
Last May, I was sitting amongst a room full of prominent law firm leaders discussing the latest global events and trends, and the opportunities and challenges before us as we looked ahead to 2020 and beyond. Sitting next to me was David Wilkins, Vice Dean for Global Initiatives in the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School.
We had a sidebar conversation wherein I commented I was impressed with organizations that had taken early action and initiated a focus on well-being. Professor Wilkins nodded in agreement and said the two themes that will rise prominently in the coming years will be wellbeing and agility; that the most successful and sustainable organizations will make these a priority.
As I think back on that conversation, it certainly seems prophetic, as it was long before the onset of COVID-19 and the changes that would sweep the globe in the ways we live and work. Yet Professor Wilkins was absolutely right – now, more than ever before, focus on agility and well-being is an essential differentiator across organizations that will not only enable performance, growth, and talent retention, but a thriving, sustainable culture.
The competitive environment is fierce. Virtually every industry contends with challenges to retain talent and optimize performance. The question that most organizations face is how to provide support for the individual employee in a way that has broader impact across the organization.
Work burnout, for example, takes a significant toll on the individual with an increased risk of physical and emotional stress and exhaustion that can lead to disease, substance abuse, depression, and a myriad of other symptoms.
This is extremely costly to organizations as it stifles performance and productivity, and results in high employee turnover and increased health care costs. The effect of burnout is only augmented by the uncertainty and lack of control brought on by the global pandemic.
A company’s single greatest asset is its people. But all people do not have the same needs for their personal wellbeing. Organizations must make an investment – it is a responsibility – but it’s not a simple endeavor.
Now, likely more than any other time in our history, human-centered leadership will be critical to remain competitive and thrive. Employee wellbeing must be amongst the top priorities in the business strategy.
Start with a Commitment…then Action
How does an organization support their employees’ wellbeing? It starts with a commitment. And then action. When this commitment and action comes from those who we look up to, by those who lead us…with their full, genuine support – the impact on the individual employee is real, and that individual has the power to impact the greater whole.
A couple of weeks ago, the CEO of Thomson Reuters, Steve Hasker, announced a global company holiday on October 9, 2020 for Mental Health Day Off, that will be a recurring holiday for all employees globally around World Mental Health Day each year.
“It is the beginning of a broader effort to embed wellbeing into our workplace culture, which you will see and experience in the months and years to come. Please use the time on October 9 to practice whatever methods you use to help cope with emotional and physical pressures,” Hasker stated in a company-wide memo on September 17th.
This, in combination with many virtual events and resources to support mental, physical, and financial well-being, are evidence of a strong commitment and investment in the people who work for and are associated with Thomson Reuters. While too early to see the lasting effects of this commitment, the initial response has been overwhelmingly positive.
The commitment I have made personally to self-care is paying dividends on my ability to cope and thrive during this challenging time where much remains uncertain. It enables me to be more agile and adapt to the demands placed upon me in both work and life.
The simple fact that I know my employer is invested in my personal wellbeing, fuels and supports my desire to pay attention to my own needs. In turn, I am committed to supporting those around me. Together, we are a more productive, healthy, and happy whole.
About the author:
Nita Cumello is Global Client Director, Global Large Law Firms with 17+ year of experience Thomson Reuters – Legal. She is a dynamic and motivated executive with a career-long record of award-winning achievement in sales and client management.
As a Global Client Director, Nita oversees the holistic strategic relationship between global and large law firms and Thomson Reuters. She cultivates long-term, executive relationships and enables top-notch performing collaboration within cross-functional teams to execute successful sales and account development strategies.
Nita lives in the Washington D.C. metro area with her husband, Matt, and two young boys. She is passionate about health and wellbeing initiatives in her personal and professional life. She is an avid runner, Pelotoner and yogi.