The world of work is unarguably changing and despite the virus sh*t – mostly for the better! However, mental ill-health at work is increasing rapidly and wellbeing has never been a more relevant issue in workplaces. We’ve met a lot of worried companies with concerns about how to “fix” this problem. Some creative ones have tried solutions like hiring a Director of Well Being. The question is – is this the right way to go?
An article from Harvard Business Review mentions that “Workers are turning to their managers and their HR leaders, in particular, for guidance on how to navigate their “new normal.” Research indicates that 73% of workers depend on their employer for support in preparing for the future of work”. In other words – companies have a super high impact on their employee’s overall wellbeing and it all starts with building trust.
As human beings, we all have basic psychological needs to experience wellbeing (feeling happy, well and prosperous). And (surprise!) – employees have the same needs 😊. So to meet these basic needs e.v.e.r.y manager must put on the Director of Wellbeing-hat as part of your daily responsibilities.
So what the heck is that hat? Here are five important things to DO for you as a manager, that will increase the wellbeing of your employees:
We all want to be part of something meaningful
Make sure to discuss and adjust the overall mission, vision and accomplishments for the organisation to create good things together – for society, for customers, for each other.
We want to be listened to and know where to turn if we need help
Stay in touch with every one of your employees at least every second week. And don’t just ask how a specific work project is going, most importantly ask “How are you doing and what are your needs right now?” If possible, meet your employees IRL (with social distance, of course). Walk and talks are a great way of talking about stuff in a corona friendly way. And also, it’s great for our wellbeing.
We want to feel appreciated for what we do
Show appreciation as much as you can! Be specific in your feedback in how your employees contribute to the overall work, as well as the little things. Furthermore, recognize what the person accomplished, lift great examples and by all means, brag about each other in public.
We need to get trust to give trust back
Be clear about your expectations! Make sure that everyone knows what they need to achieve but trust the employee to figure out how to meet the goals and achievements. Be brave and trust the process 😊. Decide on an individual basis how to follow up the expectations and achievements, daily, weekly or on monthly basis? Let your employees try on their own, learn from mistakes and salute development when learning from mistakes.
We all want to be healthy and feel well
Do what you can to make sure the work environment is as healthy as it can be. Make it easy to get daily healthy routines, practice walk and talks instead of fixed meetings and make it truly possible to balance the work life with a personal life. Trust the employees to take responsibility for how and when work is being done. Often in our organisations it is NOT the actual working hours that is important, it’s the OUTCOME of the work being done.
To sum up, make this your everyday behaviours instead of relying on a specific function to fix things. And you’re employees will feel more happy, well and prosperous.
👊Let’s start DOING!
PS. Read more about being a leader in good and bad times here.