Employee Engagement – Professional Wellbeing
Work is always going to impact your headspace one way or another, but how big that impact is, depends on those of you who run the joint. Taking steps to make people feel better in themselves and their work is bound to be a feel-good process for you, but it’s also likely to make a big difference in your team’s mental health.
But I’m not just talking about giving your office a fresh coat of paint and a pool table (you know who you are). I’m talking about creating the kind of initiatives that give your employees the support they need to feel better in their work and even in themselves. And making your workplace kind on the ole brain has never been more important, with mental health problems on a steep incline, affecting 1 in 4 people – and that’s what the NHS said back in 2016, before anyone was concerned with a world changing pandemic.
Mental health struggles aren’t just a burden to the people who suffer with them. In the workplace last year, mental health accounted for an estimated $1 trillion loss in GDP for America ALONE. And while it’d be nice to imagine those of us across the pond are any different, wellbeing at work is very much a global project.
Creating initiatives to make your team feel more confident and positive won’t just create a pleasant work environment, it’s also likely to boost productivity. Oxford University reports that people who are happy at work are 13% more productive!
So, what does a good dose of Professional Wellbeing consist of? As always, we have 4 pillars to point you in the right direction.
Pillar 1 – Positivity
Positive Mental Attitude, or PMA, gets a lot of talk right now. It’s a concept rooted in the psychological theory that a positive outlook in turn encourages positive outcomes and achievements.
Obviously, telling your employees to ‘just think happy’ is unlikely to have the desired effect, but creating an environment where PMAs can flourish is a smart move all round. Not only does positivity inspire creativity and productivity, it also improves mental and physical health. Positive people are 13% less likely to suffer a heart attack or similar cardiovascular problem, and even people with anxiety disorders can relieve the intensity of their symptoms through a PMA!
So when your workplace encourages positivity in a healthy way, you’re making your employees: more at ease, better in their jobs, and less likely to be off work with a cold next winter. That’s a win-win-win.
Pillar 2 – Composure
Stress is estimated to cost the American economy $300 billion every year in healthcare and lost working days. And they’re not alone – us Brits lose around £28 billion a year, with Australia coming in at $12 million.
Employees who have higher composure (lower stress levels) are not only more likely to show up to work, they also tend to have increased morale and motivation; improved customer care; and even less workplace accidents.
All this considered, it’s staggering that so many companies still neglect to give their team’s composure levels the attention they deserve. Ultimately, if you’re not helping your employees to feel as though their head’s above water, you’re hurting not only your profitability, but also your staff.
Pillar 3 – Recognition
No matter how long you’ve been in the biz, or how senior your position, a good old-fashioned pat on the back can go a long way.
Studies have shown that if the amount of praise given to each employee is doubled, the quality of their work will improve by 24% and their absenteeism will decrease by a honking 27%. Gallup also found that employees who were not given recognition for their work in the past 7 days were twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year. Surely with all of this at play, every company’s got to be giving people proper recognition, right?
Wrong. Another survey showed that only 26% of managers strongly agreed that their company rewards or even comes close to thanking their employees enough.
Luckily, recognition’s pretty easy to get right. You just need to schedule in a little time for some sincere thank-yous – Gallup reckons every 7 days is about right. And if you’re still feeling a bit lost, have a think about how you’re compensating your staff in ways that aren’t their salary.
Oh and by the way, people even respond well to recognition from a robot! Which is kind of sad when you think about it…But if a robot can make that kind of difference, imagine what you could do.
Pillar 4 – Company Care
When your employees feel that their company cares about them, it’s hard for them not to reciprocate. Building a two-way relationship with your team feels great on both ends, not to mention that people are more likely to go the extra mile for you when they feel that you’d do the same.
And when your employees feel cared for, they’re obviously more likely to stick around. Forbes report that 96% of employees believe that a company’s empathy is a big factor when it comes to upping retention – and that’s straight from the horse’s mouth.
I’m sure that you’re already concerned with company care though – most CEOs are, with 92% of them proudly stating that they run an empathetic organisation. However, only 50% of their employees say their CEO is empathetic. So even if you’re the biggest softie going, making sure you’re actively showing your employees you care about them through every one of your initiatives and interactions.
And that’s everything for Professional Wellbeing, category number 5. Congratulations on sticking with us! We really do appreciate it.