With the battle for talent once again heating up, holding on to staff should be top of the agenda for businesses. The health and wellbeing of a workforce goes hand in hand with the success and productivity levels at any company. Ensuring that you are looking after your staff will result in you looking after your business.
Regardless of your industry, staff size and reputation, you should always be aware that the safety, wellbeing and the health of every member of your team is an essential part of your duty of care as an employer.
It is important for employees to be able to maintain a balance between work and other commitments and feeling that the employer values their physical and mental health. This is a significant factor in determining whether people stay with their current employer or look at other options.
Here are 5 tips to help improve the wellbeing of your workforce –
1. Give workers more control over how they do their work -
In a typical workday, employees are told what they need to achieve, when it needs to be done, and how their work should be done. While deadlines are inevitable, giving employees the choice to take on tasks they want to do can improve their satisfaction and their performance. Instead of telling employees what they have to work on, allow them, whenever possible, to take on responsibilities that relate to their goals. When projects have the same priority, let employees choose which one to tackle first. These decisions may seem small, but they can make a big difference in an employee’s happiness and motivation
2. Allow employees more flexibility about when and where they work -
Employees want not only more control of what they do, but also a say in when and where they work. Several studies have found that giving workers more choice or control over their work schedules improves their mental health. This can involve simply permitting varied starting and finishing times, and easier trading of shifts in jobs that must be done on-site. Give employees more control of their schedule and environment to make work more productive and enjoyable.
3. Provide employees with opportunities to identify and solve workplace problems -
Providing employees with the opportunity to participate in workplace improvements can be an effective approach to fostering their well-being. Employees are used to being reviewed and evaluated. They sit down with their managers in a formal review a few times a year and they’re told what they need to work on. Often, this is a one-way conversation, where supervisors discuss employee performance. Yet even if those employees are invited to join the conversation and offer feedback, the pressure of the review may make them feel uncomfortable about doing so. Instead of the traditional manager-led, formal review, give employees some control back by making reviews a two-way conversation. Alongside the yearly review, adopt an ongoing feedback process that both leaders and employees contribute to.
4. Take steps to adopt a sense of social belonging among employees.
Creating a work culture in which employees can develop supportive relationships with their colleagues can be an important strategy for increasing worker well-being. When employees feel excluded, they’re less engaged in working with their team, even if it means their own performance suffers. Meanwhile, when employees feel like they belong, they’re much more likely to share ideas and work together toward a common goal. Workplace belonging can help teams feel more inspired, understood, and trusted.
5. . Provide mental health support
There are a number of different steps employers can take to provide support around mental health. It’s important for employers to provide their staff with the right training and education around mental health issues, both to reduce the stigma attached to it, but also to provide team members with the tools to deal with it. This can range from simple awareness raising initiatives to teaching managers how to spot symptoms, and know how to deal with them. Mindfulness is known to release stress, enhance focus and improve engagement in the workplace.
As these examples illustrate, many management practices that improve worker well-being whilst also benefiting employers. In the long run, companies that care about their employees’ health and well-being will be more likely to have employees who care about the company’s health and well-being too. And that’s an outcome all good leaders want.