The importance of wellbeing
The New Economics Foundation defines wellbeing as “how people feel and how they function, both on a personal and social level, and how they evaluate their lives as a whole.” I’m sure you know yourself that if you don’t feel good, you can’t perform at your best. Why would it be any different for your employees?
Investing in the wellbeing of your team can reduce sickness absence, improve productivity and reduce turnover. There are some simple measures you can take. Most of these won’t cost you a penny.
Mental health and wellbeing
Managers should be approachable. Check in with your team and ask how they are. The more approachable you are, the more comfortable employees will feel talking to you. The quicker you deal with an issue, the less likely it is to become a real problem.
We are becoming much more aware of mental health issues, which can only be a good thing. What if you could spot the signs of someone struggling with their mental health much earlier? Consider training as a mental health first aider.
Stress is cited as the number one cause of sickness absence. It accounts for 44% of all ill health cases.
The demands you place on your team, could be causing them stress. Can you truly make these statements?:
- people’s skills and abilities are matched to the job demands
- jobs are designed to be within the capabilities of employees
- employees’ concerns about their work environment are addressed.
If not, are you being fair to your employees? What could you do to redesign the job or job roles to address this?
I recently had a discussion about when to send out marketing material. It surprised me that most people there looked at non-urgent work at weekends. Personally, I do not check emails during evenings or weekends. I need that space. I think we all do. Sometimes too little thought is given to our own wellbeing.
Understandably people want to offload a problem before they finish for the day. They send an email to clear their desk. The receiver may feel compelled to respond or worry about the problem overnight. By all means write those emails but don’t send them until first thing the next day. That could save some restless nights and lead to better responses.
Set up a cycle to work scheme publicise it to your team. The cost to you is very minimal but the benefits to them can be huge.
As many of my clients will know, I have to get my steps in every day. Instead of taking up a meeting room, why not allow employees to walk and talk if they have something they need to discuss? I find I can often be at my most creative when I’m walking.
A bowl of fruit won’t cost very much but can encourage your employees to eat more healthily.
According to Cancer Research, 19% of adults smoke now. The ONS say it was 22% before the smoking ban was introduced. You can’t stop your employees smoking but could you make it less convenient?
Employees want more flexibility in where or when they’re working. Millennial’s seem to value this highly.
New technology has made flexible working much easier. Cloud-based systems, sharing apps and the paperless office can all help. Greater flexibility could save you money in overhead costs, better recruitment and retention, as well as reduced absence rates.
If you would like support to improve wellbeing at work, please do contact me. I might be walking when you call but that’s a good time to talk.Categories Communication, Health and Safety, Sickness, Staff Performance