How managers can manage employee wellbeing
It can be a significant management challenge to maintain a healthy and happy team, especially in a semi-virtual ‘new normal’.
Here are five considerations for managers to help foster employee wellbeing:
1. Mental health issues are prevalent.
- – One in six employees experience mental ill health in the workplace (MHFA).
- – Globally, 12 billion working days – or 50 million years of work – are lost each year to depression and anxiety. (Guardian)
- – 61% of UK employees said they left a job or planned to leave in the next 12 months because of poor mental health. (Deloitte)
It is important to create a workplace culture where it’s as acceptable to disclose a mental health issue as a physical one, especially when some employees are at a remove from office life and harder to connect with.
2. Be mindful that remote working makes it easier for staff to hide anxiety. Be sure to schedule in regular 1-to-1s that allow your employees to be open about any challenges they face. Familiarise yourself with the symptoms of stress to look out for, and know the support available in your company. For employees struggling with working at home, help them establish routines and healthy boundaries.
3. Allow flexibility for healthy habits. Fitting in exercise and eating well can be challenging in a busy day, so allow some extra time for those who want to fit in a class or a lunchtime walk. Remember to also set a good example by not working through lunch at your desk. Your productivity will also get a boost from a lunchtime break.
4. Discourage an ‘always available’ attitude. The prevalence of instant messaging and emails can make it impossible to truly switch off and relax. Countless studies show email (when used wrongly) makes us miserable. Avoid sending emails out of hours and encourage employees to disconnect from their devices when their working day is over.
5. Allow time for deep thinking and development. So many of us now work reactively rather than proactively. Provide protected time for your teams to do strategy, development or creative work by having a meeting free block of time or even just a ‘power hour’ each day to enable them to concentrate more deeply. This is good for productivity, autonomy and greater feelings of personal achievement. (MIT Sloan)
Realise offers several training solutions for helping managers to foster a culture of wellbeing. Find out about our Manager Training here.