Your company is only as capable as the individual healthy lives that give it a pulse. So when was the last time you addressed their well-being and made sure they felt valuable, cared for, and happy?
At CC Wellness, health has always been the priority aspect of every decision we make. We understand the importance of wellness both within and outside of our company (it’s baked into our name, after all). But the term “wellness” extends beyond corporate weight-loss challenges and step classes—it also includes the mental health of our employees.
Workplace stress has always been a hurdle to overcome for many teams and organizations, and the condition has hardly improved following the COVID-19 pandemic: research conducted by Zippia in 2021 reveals that 83% of workers in the United States suffer from workplace stress. Further, depression costs American companies roughly $51 billion annually due to absences in their work force, and over 50% of workers are not engaged or productive at work due to stress.
With so much at stake for remote-working companies and in-office teams alike, overall employee wellness is an imperative factor to consider for worker satisfaction, workplace productivity, and the retention of your staff; it cannot be ignored. Here are 5 ways to make sure your staff are heard, supported, and living out a fulfilling career under a common, collaborative vision.
1. Always Listen and Stay in Touch
One of the biggest employer downfalls occurs when a lack of communication is experienced between upper management and the smaller teams handling day-to-day tasks. An “us against them” mentality is the last thing you want to encourage amongst your workers—like a festering weed, discontent can grow into an uncontrollable mess, leading to mass resignations, plummeting productivity, and an environment of staff who resent their work.
Instead of clouding corporate decisions in ambiguity, be open and personal about your business operations with all of your employees, always explaining your honest reasoning behind changes. Transparency here is the key: communicate as a team, and never leave someone blindly following directions. They’re players in the company as much as you are; be sensitive to that!
Equally as important is to give your staff opportunities to voice their opinions and make suggestions to improve the work environment. Anonymous pulse polls can be a great way to make your workers feel comfortable about sharing their feelings. Be open to implementing changes your staff would like to see. By listening to feedback and granting everyone some control over their work environment, employees are more likely to feel confident and content rather than trapped in a system they have no influence over.
2. Be a Leader, Not a Boss
Let’s be honest: no one likes being told what to do by someone who never contributes in an obvious way. That isn’t to say you (or your managers) don’t put in hard work hours to run a successful and fulfilling business, but if you aren’t leading by example, your workers will develop feelings of distrust and become disconnected from the company vision. Workplace stress is sure to arise as a result.
No matter your title or position, remember that no one is above small deeds or menial labor. Take some time each month to make brief visits with each of your teams—talk to them, work alongside them, and show that you care enough about the wellness of your employees to humble yourself to their level. Not only will this provide opportunities to bond with workers personally, but it gets everyone on the same page and working as a team.
In a tug-of-war metaphor: bosses sit on the sidelines and yell at their team to pull the rope harder with a commanding tone. Leaders, on the other hand, place themselves at the front of the line, grip the rope with white knuckles, and inspire their teammates to pull harder without a single word. Actions truly speak the loudest.
3. Unite the Team
The workforce is rife with uncertainty and worry which instigates immense amounts of stress on workers: bills, health, home life, career decisions, workload, and a limited locus of control all facilitate feelings of stress. Even with teams working together under the same management, it’s easy for employees to feel isolated from—and even at odds with—their co-workers.
The effects of the pandemic have provided a great opportunity to bring your staff together (virtually if necessary) to socialize, recalibrate, and reconnect with the company mission. Bonding together under a common goal grants your staff purposeful drive to inject excellence into their work, creating a better work environment for everyone involved. Taking a moment to refocus everyone on the task at hand through enjoyable meetings can bring clear up workplace drama and get everyone pushing in the same direction.
4. Respect Work Boundaries
Your employees shouldn’t spend every waking hour of each day thinking about their careers. Every worker is a valuable asset to the company and adds their jobs to a unique life you may know nothing about (though you should certainly try to connect with them!). As such, management which is overbearing or too intrusive can place additional stress on your staff. This can be an easy mistake amongst groups who work remotely; does anyone enjoy receiving work-related emails over the weekend? Most likely, no!
Construct clear boundaries around your teams and make an effort to never overstep them. If the workday ends at 5:00 p.m., don’t call a branch manager at 5:30. If an employee is taking a day off, don’t reach out for them to pick up a shift on that day out of desperation.
It all boils down to being respectful of each person in the company and treating everyone equally. If employees feel respected—especially by their higher-ups—they will place more value on their work and seek to live up to higher expectations.
5. Remain Innovative and Efficient
Technology is rapidly transforming workplace processes across the globe every day. Methods of getting work done in the past may have worked well, but are they antiquated today? Are there ways of doing things which could be improved? Are employees wasting company time by using software created decades ago?
Inefficient work practices are especially felt by workers who interact with them on a daily basis. Outdated procedures and legacy technology can make staff feel like there is no point to their work. Unfortunately, many companies stumble into the pitfall of not updating their systems to streamline work, meaning employees might toil harder or longer for little gain.
Instead of utilizing the “tried and true” workplace formulas of yesterday, invest in better, more modern solutions to problems your staff struggle to overcome all the time. Poll your teams to see how your business can remain relevant in an age of enhanced productivity—if you can make your workers’ lives easier, they’ll repay you ten-fold with better work quality.
Wellness Comes in Many Forms—Don’t Neglect Them!
Your staff should be working in harmony under a common company vision that you demonstrate and reiterate as often as possible. It’s only by caring for the overall wellness—both physical and mental—of your company that you begin to see greater results than ever before. Listen, understand, and implement. You’ll impact more than just the business in the process—you’ll enhance the lives of your dedicated workers, who will gladly honor the company’s goals in return.