Since the global pandemic hit, “workplace wellbeing” is a term we hear mentioned A LOT these days. While some businesses manage to get it right, others struggle to strike the balance.
So, when it comes down to it, what does workplace wellbeing mean – and how can employers champion it as part of their company DNA in a way that offers genuine support and value for employees in the long term?
Wellbeing in a remote-working world
Whether you’re back at the company office or the home set-up is here to stay, these past 18+ months have taken their toll on everyone mentally. While the emotional well-being of employees may never have been at the top of the company agenda, businesses that now choose to prioritize mental health and the well-being of their employees are taking steps in the right direction. From lack of face-to-face contact to inescapable ‘Zoom fatigue’, to feelings of isolation, it’s no wonder many of us have struggled to adapt to these trying times.
As teams continue to find their feet and operate from multiple locations, leaders who go above and beyond to check in with their employees regularly can only hope to strengthen these all-important relationships – and bolster the confidence and wellbeing of their workers as a result.
Leadership and the role of empathy
While many of us may still be confined by the familiar four walls of home, the ever-hectic “business as usual” – exacerbated by the increasing distance between teams – can risk leaders failing to see things from other points of view. Perhaps technical issues got in the way of an important video conference, or a colleague’s child was off school (and making noise in the background); the realization that things don’t always go according to plan can help relieve unnecessary pressure on both parties.
By making allowances and respecting everyone’s unique personal circumstances for who they are, leaders with empathy will only motivate employees to do their best, despite the many obstacles seemingly standing in their way. Before you know it, they will likely go above and beyond for you too.
The price of “presenteeism”
While traditionally the performance of employees often hinged on the number of hours they clocked at the office, the era of the pandemic has transformed the way we approach work. In a flexible working world, if the expectation of being “present” remains (even from a home office environment), then businesses cannot always hope for this to be met. This can be damaging to both the mental well-being of employees and their productivity as a result. Swap these two things around, e.g. productivity over presenteeism, and one way or another the job will get done.
Now more than ever before, leaders who trust that the employees they hired are the best for the job can support employees by physically stepping back! For the micromanagers at heart, this of course proves to be a tough pill to swallow. Yet, in the long run, this can also provide a valuable lesson for leaders wishing to grow.
It HAS to come from a genuine place
Free dinners and discounted gym memberships aside, wellbeing in the workplace has transcended the tropical fruit bowl to a place of a higher power. Bells and whistles can of course provide the often-needed pick-me-up, but businesses who take wellbeing seriously understand there’s a little more to it. Ultimately, one of the best things a company can offer is, quite simply, permission to work flexibly. With the lines between remote and flexible working often blurred in the past, the COVID-19 era has set the record straight. No, flexible working doesn’t just mean allowing employees to work from home. Rather, it enables employees to structure their day-to-day around their personal circumstances.
Think of it like this; flexible working is about empowering employees with the permission to do their very best – whatever their commitments might be elsewhere. Do this now, and years down the line when the pandemic settles, your best people will still go out of their way to show up for you and the business.
Building positive experiences
With flexible working being an easy concept to embrace given the current climate, wellbeing in the workplace also means the willingness to build positive experiences for employees. But what can you offer that’s of true value to your workforce, beyond the novelty incentives?
By investing in skills and coaching, not only is this positive for the company, but it is also a great morale booster for employees. Adding a new string to their bow enables employees to enhance their productivity, while bespoke training for employees also gives your workforce staying power. Therefore, making them feel valued in a way that bolsters their future will only encourage their loyalty to your business.
Retaining great talent through nurturing your workforce bodes well for the future of any business. With the constant need to restructure and re-adjust, a robust team that’s ready for the challenge could mean the difference between success or failure.
How to make your business future-fit for employees
Now that the stage is set, taking action to put workplace wellbeing at the top of your agenda can futureproof your business and most importantly, help your employees feel valued. Ultimately, leaders who choose to ignore the growing needs and expectations of employees risk losing them altogether. It’s also worth noting that workplace wellbeing is no short-term fix, with the repercussions of recent events felt among workforces to be present for many years to come.
Here at ADDA Infusion, we can help your workforce feel empowered to consistently give their best, whatever adversities may stand in their way. From Employee Management to Cultural Transformation, our services are always integral to the unique requirements of your business.
To find out more, get in touch by filling out the contact us form here. We look forward to hearing from you!