It follows that, if employees feel happy and healthy at work, then everyone benefits. A government guide to promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace tells us that workplace wellbeing programs make great business sense, increasing engagement, reducing absenteeism and increasing productivity.
But what are the tried-and-tested ways to truly boost your employees’ wellbeing? We take a look at five evidence-based practices to put a smile on their faces, and a spring in their steps, as they go about their everyday activities.
1. Let Employees Take Control
Start with an employee survey. By simply asking your teams what they think would benefit them in the workplace, you are giving them the power to take ownership of their personal wellbeing.
Be sure to seek their opinions and act on the findings in a timely manner. So if your employees say they need a quiet space to use at breaks, make it happen. The same principle applies to working practices. Instead of prescribing how to do things, let your employees find solutions to challenges. They will appreciate the autonomy and sense of achievement.
2. Compassion Rules
If you treat your employees with compassion, you will be rewarded with a happy, and productive atmosphere. In fact, a study by the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration recommends that leaders have an obligation to promote compassion in the workplace, treating employees as individuals with complex emotions.
But how do you apply this in the workplace? By ensuring your policies are written from a compassionate point of view. Rules around sick leave or absence after a bereavement should take into account the emotional impact these circumstances have on an individual. Compassion can also be found in the little things. If you’re a manager, recognise when your team are struggling, stop work, and have a chat with them over a drink. Your care will be noted.
3. Mindfulness Matters
Did you know that mindfulness – being engaged in the moment and switching off from distractions – makes you more productive? Many studies have proven this, showing that being in a state of mindfulness reduces beta waves associated with stress, and increases density in the pre-frontal cortex, literally maxing out brainpower!
So how can you help your teamwork in a mindful state? Make spaces – literal and figurative – where they can switch off from constant emails and messages. Create quiet zones for work and leisure where they can work undisturbed or take a break from the buzz. Before long, these “sacred spaces” will instil a sense of quiet productivity in your organisation.
4. Goodbye Performance Management, Hello Career Coaching
Research shows that “performance management” of employees, with the constant addition of new goals and targets to achieve, doesn’t work. Instead, it creates a cycle of negativity, in which the team member loses confidence in themselves, and so begin to underperform.
A more efficient way to get the best out of your team is to adopt a “coaching” approach to their performance. Identify their positives and what they would like to achieve, and enable them by providing opportunities to discuss and plan their careers, as well as supporting access to a range of courses, workshops and team development. Working and growing together is the key.
5. Nurture Relationships
It makes sense that positive workplace relationships mean a positive and productive environment. A recent study found that high-quality working relationships translated to higher rates of commitment, less stress and a general feeling of wellbeing at work.
How can you replicate this for your team? To encourage socialising at work, make space for your employees to do this – a comfortable restroom, for example. Organise social events and team-building days, and encourage different departments to work together on projects. All these actions will help nurture work relationships and create a more positive workplace.
For all these tips, the key lies in a holistic approach that encourages employees to live their healthiest life, both in and outside the workplace. This means a better working environment for all. Do you agree?
If you would like to find out more about EVP or ideas for employee engagement, wellbeing programs or recruitment & retention strategies please feel free to contact the Team @ Be: [email protected] or just PM me.