As a manager or a leader of a team, it’s vital to make sure your employees’ wellbeing is a priority. A happy and healthy team leads to a more productive work environment and company success. People often focus on the perks and benefits that an employer can offer, like free snacks or free yoga, to improve their workplace satisfaction. However, those things often have minimal impact on people in the long term. What people want is a manager who listens to them and understands their needs. In this blog post, we will cover practical ideas for how to be a better manager and connect with your team better. We’ll explore how to understand what motivates your people and how to get the best from your employees while improving their wellbeing in the workplace.
Understand What Motivates Your People
One of the best ways to improve wellbeing in the workplace is to understand what motivates your people. Each employee’s individual motivations will be different, so it’s essential to take the time to get to know each person in your team. To do this, you can schedule one-to-one meetings or ask them to complete anonymous feedback surveys. Once you understand their motivators, tailor your approach to suit each individual. For example, if someone is motivated by personal development, offer additional training courses, or if someone is motivated by recognition, give positive feedback in public.
Connect With Your People Better
It is crucial to connect with your people, and you can do this by actively listening to them. Don’t just listen to what they are saying, but hear what they mean, and ask questions if you aren’t sure. This is about them, it is their time, and it is important to acknowledge their opinion, even when you don’t agree with it. Empathy and supportive listening can go a long way in improving wellbeing in the workplace. You can also connect with your people by providing personal support. If someone in your team is going through a difficult period, take the time to support them, let them know you are there if they need you and care from a distance, if required.
Empower Your People
As a manager, it’s easy to fall into the trap of micromanaging your team and wanting people to do things in a way that suits you; perhaps this stems from previous bad experiences. However, this can be detrimental to your employees’ wellbeing. Instead, empower your people by giving them autonomy in their work. Set them tasks where making a mistake isn’t critical, let them do it their way and give them your support. If they don’t succeed the first time then reassure them and let them have another attempt. Doing so will give them a sense of ownership and responsibility over their tasks, which will ultimately lead to greater job satisfaction. Employees who feel trusted to make their own decisions, be creative and innovative are more likely to be happy and motivated in the workplace.
Create a Positive Working Environment
Creating a positive work environment can improve wellbeing in the workplace tenfold. Start by creating an open and honest organisational culture. Encourage conversation and dialogue between team members, and if there is gossip then make sure you address it without delay. Your team need to feel positive about coming to work and they need to feel you are looking out for them if there is to be trust between you. Make everyone feel like they are part of the company’s vision or mission, explain to them how important their role is and the difference they personally make. When people are invested in a cause, they feel purposeful, and it increases sensitivity to the success and failures of the company. A positive work environment generates positive feelings between employees and a strong culture ends up driving the team. Don’t forget to try and connect outside of work, once in a while, a bit of money spent on a team meal or a team event such as bowling can really foster those deeper relationships.
Promote Wellness at Work
According to research, employers who promote wellness initiatives experience lower absenteeism rates and increased job satisfaction levels. Offering practical wellness initiatives such as mental health support and flexible working opportunities can help employees feel valued and taken care of. In addition, providing support for those with mental health issues is becoming increasingly important. Whilst we know that Employee Assistance Programmes can seem like a positive step, some employers are noticing the uptake on them is fairly low. Why not consider partnering with a trusted counsellor or a network of counsellors and setting aside a specific budget? This way, it facilitates a conversation between a manager and an employee, which might just be enough for the employee to ask for the help they need. As a manager, your job isn’t to solve all the problems, but you have a duty of care and that may involve signposting the employee to the correct support and help.
Wellbeing in the workplace should be a priority for all managers and leaders. Listening to employees, understanding their individual motivators, connecting with them, empowering them, and promoting wellness in the workplace can make a significant difference in improving employee wellbeing. Remember that people don’t want free fruit; they want to feel valued, respected, and heard. By creating a positive working environment and culture, we can all contribute to the overall success of the company, and ensure the well-being of our teams.