How leaders can improve employee wellbeing

Post by Mearns & Company in News

Employee wellbeing isn’t new. It has been talked about and implemented in workplaces for decades, and those employers who have embedded it into their businesses already might be wondering what all the recent fuss is about. What has changed significantly over the last year is how leaders within organisations have started to sit up and take notice of the opportunities that an employee wellbeing strategy can bring. There is a new understanding that they can lead from the front, setting the tempo of adoption within their organisations in the recent crisis and well beyond.

Here are three employee wellbeing strategies, that I have seen leaders adopt, that have worked well for them and their organisations:

Communication

This isn’t just top down. This has to be two way, and it has to be open and transparent. How does information reach people, whether the information is for the employee, or on the feedback loop to management? Company wide messaging is important, and leaders must get the tone and subject matter right, but if there isn’t the opportunity for employee feedback, as well as the management information available from insurance providers or apps, then actions and future direction can’t be shaped properly. Regular leader updates should include references to employee wellbeing initiatives so that they become part of normal conversations.

Leadership Engagement

There is a huge difference in signing off a budget or an initiative around employee wellbeing (and in particular mental wellbeing), or being seen to be at the front of this and either sharing experiences or leading from the front and telling employees that’s its OK to talk about it. Leaders can transform their employees’ perceptions of both the initiative being launched and the organisation itself.

Facilitation

You will have a framework that delivers some elements of employee wellbeing already. Understanding that and facilitating it through involvement, promotion and resource are opportunities to embed employee wellbeing within the culture. Making sure that managers know they have a role to play is an example. Taking the issue to board level and having the discussion within the context of your people strategy is part of that process. If this is strategic then it becomes part of the path.

Conclusion

The advantages to businesses of placing employee wellbeing at the centre of your people strategy are well documented. Leaders who understand that and deliver this will see more motivated, engaged and productive employees. Leaders don’t need to be subject matter experts, but communicating, engaging and facilitating the narrative within organisations, and having a clear strategy will achieve results for all stakeholders.

Alan Fergusson, Non-Executive Director

 

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