In its first post about wellness, Spirus looked at why looking after your employees and stakeholders from the inside out is so important for the health of your business. This time, it looks at a few ways in which you can enrich the working lives of your staff and key stakeholders – and it may be a lot simpler than you think.
Letting your staff know they are valued really lies at the heart of wellness – respecting the fellow humans who inhabit our work space. This can take many different shapes. Here’s our go-to list of things you should be thinking about.
- Take care of the basics: fair pay, a good benefits scheme, up to date, functional equipment etc.
- Demonstrate value. People need to feel listened to, understood, developed, empowered to make decisions or challenge when they need to.
- Be part of the team. Don’t forget birthdays, ask after someone’s ill child… Say good morning. Often it’s the little things that make all the difference. Sometimes it’s just about doing your bit and getting the tea in, topping up the printer toner or bringing in a packet of biscuits.
- Recognise achievement. Whether it’s a 10K run or employee of the month, saying “well done” and sharing achievement is a big morale booster.
- Encourage down time. Walks at lunchtime, a decent tea break, providing a leisure room – whatever it is, make sure your staff know it’s OK to take five.
- Get some fresh air. Open a window, hold a meeting outside, take coffee breaks in the car park. Whatever. But breathe the freshest air you can.
- Do personality profiling. Understanding what makes people tick and adapting behaviours and methods to suit individuals is a big step toward employee wellbeing – and you’re likely to get better productivity if they’re playing to their natural strengths too.
- Encourage a positive culture. Work-life balance is nigh-on impossible – don’t make anyone feel guilty if they’re managing to make it work.
- Be helpful and respectful. Show new starters around, make sure they know where things are. No-one likes to feel lost.
- Take care of physical health. If someone is unwell, encourage them to rest or go home. An engaged, healthy, motivated workforce is much less likely to taking a sickie unnecessarily, so don’t make people feel bad if they’re really not well.
- Encourage fitness and physical activity (but don’t push anyone beyond their comfort. Happiness does not result from unwanted pressure.)
- Provide an environment which boosts wellness: this covers everything from clean, properly working facilities to the provision of plants in the office, a water machine, a fruit bowl or healthy snacks. Consider good lighting, temperature and comfortable chairs etc. Atmosphere is important too – is conversation encouraged? Can people listen to music? Do they need headphones? What is the dress code? People like to know where they stand.
- Consider your suppliers and customers – they’re all people too! Note personal details on your CRM, say happy birthday or well done. Be professional, yes – but always be human too.
- Say thank you. Whoever it’s to, if they’ve done something that has helped you or someone else – don’t forget your Ps and Qs.