The Importance of Employee Well-being as a Manager
In any organization, management must do everything possible to heighten productivity. This means, safeguarding the health of staff, and ensuring that they feel that they’re part of the company, and have a personal stake in its success.
Doing this requires a multi-pronged approach. There’s no single quick solution to fostering employee well-being, but by taking incremental steps, we can, over time, change the culture of a company, and make those working within it fitter, happier, and more productive.
Let’s start with the simplest way to bolster your workforce’s well-being: by offering them some cold, hard, cash. This might mean regular salary increases for your most effective workers, or it might mean a company-wide system of bonuses, awarded when the company (or a department) meets some pre-ordained target. It’s easier to care about the success or failure of an enterprise, after all, when a small portion of the success is going to be wired straight into your bank account.
In surveys asking what employees value, generous holiday time usually comes out somewhere near the top. An extended break will allow an employee to take their mind off work-related stress, and likely return to the organisation in a more productive frame of mind. You should look to allocate a minimum of four weeks per year to each employee, though going above that might give your business an edge.
On a similar note, employees should not feel pressured to come into work when they are unwell. For one thing, they may spread the sickness to the rest of your workforce and cause a wider downturn in productivity. But aside from the danger of contagion, time off for sickness is something that all employees will appreciate; they’ll understand that, should disaster strike, you’ll have their back.
Some jobs demand that someone be present at a specific time, in a specific place. If your business’s demands aren’t as rigid, then why not allow your employees to work from home – or to leave the office early? That way, you’ll be able to demonstrate your trust in them.
Feeling valued isn’t just about money and time off. It can also be about recognizing those small events that make a difference in an employee’s life outside work. A line manager should make a point of knowing every birthday, so that they can recognize the day itself with a greetings card. The same applies to other, more difficult occasions like bereavements; a well-judged sympathy card can make a difference at what might be a delicate time.
Your staff are valuable sources of information on the day-to-day running of the business. They’ll often have a perspective which upper management can’t take – but you’ll only be able to leverage their point of view if you listen to them. Take the time to sit down and talk, and make sure that they understand that your door is always open to suggestions – and even complaints.
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