When employees feel cared for they are happier and more productive and when it comes to the bottom line the stats don’t lie. Here’s our guide to making your team’s wellbeing a priority.
Create a culture of conversation
Set up a system where you ask staff “how are you?” and really listen to the answer. To do this you need a structure, for example coffee mornings on zoom, or one-to-one chats with a designated mental health officer. Don’t make the conversation just about problems, ask your teams to share more. “Let them speak. What are their ideas? What are their opinions? Acknowledge them. Let them feel part of the organisation and the company, so they are happy where they are,” suggests Janaina Tavares, a HR specialist, who heads up Organisational Development at ActionAid in Brazil.
Featured in the Daily Telegraph, new yoga programme at Deutsche bank was set up by employee, a director at the bank, Scott Robinson, aka the yogi banker. He realised his passion for yoga was helping him perform well at work – and in life. As his own practise and teaching progressed he, with the help of colleagues, offered yoga classes to the rest of the team. Yoga started face-to-face but at the start of lockdown Robinson launched virtual classes and within months they filled. To date £4,500 has been raised for Hospice UK, the UK bank’s charity of the year.
Lead by example and share positivity
As a leader make talk about exercise and healthy habits the norm, be open about mental health and share your personal wellbeing goals. Writing in Forbes, Jim Purcell, former CEO and wellbeing expert says: “If companies hope to see an ROI from wellbeing, CEOs must treat it as a central organising principle.”
Focus on employee wellbeing – not productivity surveillance
With the rapid rise of remote working some employers have felt justified to peep behind the digital curtain during the pandemic. Microsoft recently had to apologise and amend their 365 productivity score feature, what critics called a ‘surveillance tool’. Corporate health tracking – monitoring sleep, hydration and movement using wearables – has also increased following Covid-19. But this is surveillance that can be a positive for your company and staff. In the short term it has helped companies monitor and track the virus remotely to see if staff can return to work. Longer term, data collected by wearables can be used to develop personalised wellbeing strategies and corporate training programmes. And all of this leads to employees living a healthier and happier lifestyle and protects against illness.