10/05/2020

How can leaders play their part in maximising wellness in the workforce?

Andrea Marlan

 

Wellness solutions are not a business expense and it’s time that we opt for a mindset shift and see the real value derived from wellness programs when embedded into organisational DNA. This year, wellness and wellbeing is more topical than ever before. The onus is being placed on business leaders to be the leaders of change and pivot their business in accordance with the changing times. With this, will come great benefit to not only workers wellbeing, but by consequence - the business’ bottom line.

Data shows that if you’re a tyrant Monday through Thursday and you’re lovely on Friday, you do more damage to your workers wellbeing than being a tyrant Monday through Friday. Unfortunately, not all business leaders are equipped with the skills, know-how, or personality type required to excel in a leadership position. Care, compassion and empathy are key characteristics of great leadership, as well as authenticity and the ability to be genuine.

According to a study conducted by the Wellbeing Lab this year, ‘workers who reported that their managers often expressed care, compassion, gratitude, and appreciation towards them were statistically more likely to be able to manage their wellbeing, and reported higher levels of job satisfaction, performance and commitment to their organisation.’ 

Now, more than ever, we need to create psychological safety in the workplace and ensure that workers feel supported. If not for creating a safe haven for open communication, how can we expect our workers to come to us to share their struggles? And if they don’t share, how can we endeavour to understand them, support them when they need it most, and provide them with the tools that they need to thrive personally and professionally?

Struggles in life are real, they’re completely normal, and everyone has them. Why then is there so much taboo around the topic? Often, struggle is seen as a sign of weakness that people are afraid to expose. Some industries, more than others, shy away from confronting their struggles head-on.  A little bit of stress or anxiety is normal, in some instances even a good thing and a potential driver to success. Together, we need to break down these barriers, expose our weaknesses, and equip one another with the tools necessary to combat the negative effects of our struggles and more effectively manage our wellbeing.

 

There are so many ways to foster positive wellbeing in the workplace. According to the Harvard Business Review, there are 4 key steps to success:

 

  1. Foster social connection
  2. Show empathy
  3. Go out of your way to help
  4. Encourage people to talk to you - especially about their problems

 

Business leaders need to connect with their workers on a regular basis in order to create a more open line of communication. They need to show empathy and regard for their workers, and go out of their way to help unconditionally. Workers should be encouraged to talk and share their problems, which can only be done if psychological safety is created within the working environment. Workers also need to understand that they need to take control of their personal wellbeing, and not rely solely on those around them for support and guidance. A little bit of managerial effort really can make all the difference to the life of one, or the lives of many. 

Evidently, the benefits of bolstering workers' wellbeing are far reaching. They’re not only effective in fostering a happier and healthier working environment, but support business’ financial sustainability by impacting the bottom line. The better we feel personally and professionally, the more likely we are to be present, commit to our jobs, and be motivated to perform. By consequence, this reduces absenteeism and turnover, improves overall productivity, and business performance. Whilst there may be an upfront cost associated with the implementation of any wellness solution, a ROI of 2:1 or even 3:1 is more than likely. It’ll be an invaluable investment for any business looking to become a workplace of choice, and take their business to the next level. 

 

Whether you’re looking to supplement your existing wellness offering, or are feeling a bit overwhelmed and not quite sure where to start in your wellbeing journey, our Drake Wellness Consultants are here to help.

Contact us for an obligation free call today. 

 

Looking for more information to start your wellbeing journey? Contact Drake today on 13 14 48  or visit us at au.drakeintl.com.

 

Discover how Drake International’s portfolio of Talent Management Solutions solves your people, productivity, and performance issues.

Visit us at au.drakeintl.com

 

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