Evidence points to the fact that there is a strong link between employee’s health and wellbeing and overall performance. Did you know that work-related stress is the second most common cause of occupational ill health? It accounts for 37% of all work-related health issues and results in 45% loss in all working days. These are alarming statistics but really highlight the need for organisations and HR leaders to take the wellness of all suppliers, staff and management seriously.
There is a strong need in today’s climate to outsource roles and responsibilities and remote working is common in most organisations. This makes monitoring the wellbeing and health of the employees and contractors even harder to do. Gone are the daily face-to-face interactions, even with systems like Teams and Zoom, the challenge remains as to how to gauge how employees are really feeling and coping with their role and life beyond the organisation.
Wellness of your team provides stability, motivation, engagement and increased productivity – ultimately leading to organisational success, retention of high performing staff and attraction of good quality talent. Some organisations go above and beyond to facilitate and enable wellbeing, others are just starting on their journey of support. There are however a few key elements which can become pivotal in realising the potential in your teams:
- Promote wellbeing as a key positive of your culture
A top-down leadership approach sets the tone for the rest of the organisation. Strong HR policies can really make a difference in this space, help support a good work/life balance as well as assist with goal setting and recognition. Individuals need to feel ‘it’s okay’ to prioritise their own wellbeing.
- Provide support
By providing support throughout all stages of employee’s wellness journey, leaders are helping to both prevent and help support wellbeing issues. Regular contact is extremely important for early identification of any challenges which might later impact upon performance or focus.
- Successful virtual communications
Communicate, communicate, communicate! Communication is vital to success and provides your outsourced and internal teams with a sense of inclusion and team collaboration, also removing the feeling of ‘them and us’. Clarity and transparency are key – from setting agendas for meetings, through to openness around company objectives, challenges and direction – it all helps in building a culture of trust.
Consider each communication before sending – does it set the right tone? Will the team need more information to gain the full picture?
- Keeping it physical
Research demonstrates that a tangible connection exists between physical health and wellbeing and mental health. We know that moving is great not just for our bodies, but our minds. Remaining glued to a desk all day is neither desirable nor practical for both the employee or the organisation. It’s worth encouraging regular breaks, lunchtime walks – whatever you know if practical and achievable for your team. Some organisations are organising teams for charitable walks or runs, lunchtime yoga sessions in the park and even fitness on zoom classes.
- Tracking and monitoring
When remote working, there is a danger that an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ culture exists. Ensure regular check ins and conversations are scheduled into the diary, not just to check in on workload, projects and suggestions but also life from a broader perspective. It’s the zoom equivalent to the water cooler conversation!
Most importantly, it’s critical to remember that your people are the greatest asset of your organisation. As leaders, we have a certain responsibility to maintain or better their wellbeing whilst in the workplace and now is the time more than ever, to show you care.