4 Strategies for New Managers Rolling Out Workplace Wellbeing.
Updated: Jun 8, 2020
A report by the Mind mental charity shows that time off, sickness, and staff turnover caused by stress can cost businesses in the UK up to £42 billion per year. Wowza. The good news, however, is that figures like this have really been the kick up the bum that many business owners have needed to improve health and wellbeing in the workplace.
As a career coach, I work closely with a lot of businesses and I really can see that wellbeing is becoming a greater priority, which is fantastic. But the idea of workplace wellbeing is still pretty new, and so it’s not surprising that some managers are having a tricky time implementing new processes into their tried-and-tested ways of working.
If you’re not quite sure how to make your working environment healthier and happier for your team, here are 4 simple yet effective strategies that can make a difference:
1. Have an ‘Always On’ Support System
One of the most important things to remember about mental health is that it doesn’t like to play by the rules. The human brain is complex, so you’ll find that feelings of stress and anxiety aren’t always constant or even consistent… how your employees will rate their wellbeing will change on a daily (or even hourly!) basis, so a good strategy is to ensure there’s always a support system in place. Holding scheduled, weekly meetings to check in with staff isn’t optimal. Instead, make sure they’ve always got an outlet.
2. Monitor and Track
The Mind report suggests that as many as 25% of businesses don’t monitor or track employee wellbeing, which is pretty worrying because stress and anxiety isn’t something that’s always easy to identify in ourselves. Yet humans are quite adept at spotting something off in others. Try to pay attention to how your staff are performing and communicating, and ensure others know what to look out for in their colleagues. There’s a fine line between a little motivational pressure and overwhelming workloads.
3. Become a Role Model
Back when you were first starting out in your career, did you ever feel guilty for calling in sick, even on those days when you literally couldn’t leave the bathroom? That’s exactly how your employees feel. It sucks. But it’s true. There’s a sort of stigma over sick leave and downtime but being able to step away from stressful situations is hugely important in mental health. And so a good strategy is for managers to become role models. Take breaks. Go out for lunch. Leave on time rather than staying late. Show that it’s OK to rest.
4. Involve Your Team
Having a solid workplace wellbeing strategy is important, but here’s something you may not know: you don’t have to do it all yourself. In fact, involving your team can be massively beneficial. The Mind report shows that only half of businesses encourage employees to create peer-generated content, but this should be a big part of your strategy. Ask your team to create case studies or blog posts sharing their own experiences with mental health, and show others that they’re not alone in this.