It was only once upon a time that employees were considered robots who were expected to work without complaints. Over the years, employee wellbeing has been taken into consideration and tied to improved work output. After all, dedication does not come if employees feel like a cog in the machine. In fact, employee happiness runs parallel with enhanced productivity. Therefore, employee wellness is of great importance in a workplace. In fact, 9 in 10 organizations provide a wellness initiative.
Employee wellbeing pushes absenteeism down and nudges employee satisfaction up by 67%. It also generates savings of employee healthcare costs. But even as employers consider employee wellbeing significant, the real role is played by managers here. They are akin to the burger patty, that is although wedged between two slices, yet is the soul of the snack. Managers lead by example. In doing so, they encourage constructive change and create an environment that is conducive to progress and wellness.
Here is a more in-depth look at how the managers can play a vital role in employee wellbeing:
1. Nip The Evil In The Bud
It is essential that a problem is cut off from its roots before it grows any bigger. This lies squarely on a manager’s shoulders. Several issues can grow between employees or emerge as a result of work overload or other reasons. Any unrealistic expectations from the employee and overburdening him with work can culminate in pressure on the staff.
Naturally, this puts their wellbeing at stake. Managers are gatekeepers who allot resources like space, time, and more. Such a crucial position, therefore, allows them to end a problem before it escalates any further. It also gives them a vital stance in managing onerous workplace situations. In this regard, it is essential that managers sharpen their observation to sniff out any problems. It is also critical for them to stay in constant communication with the employees to learn about their concerns.
2. Pay Attention To Performance Management
For some employees, annual reviews and performance discussions can be a pain in the neck. For others, it isn’t so bad. The reason behind this is the art of performance management. The better a manager is at activities of performance management, the more engaged his team is. On the flip side, a manager lacking in this field yields employees who just want to get over with annual reviews.
A case study of Tesco reveals that the grocery giant has established itself on the basis of employee satisfaction. It is crucial on the part of the managers to amp up their performance management game. Setting clarity of expectations, performance goals, and, work priorities are some key areas to focus on when taking into account employee wellbeing.
3. Look Into The Emotional Needs
Emotions can take a severe toll on anyone’s work progress. And it cannot be more accurate than in the case of employees. Unfortunately, however, this is not an area that gets much concentration from the managers. In fact, a survey showed that only 63% employees felt that their leaders attempted to create a human work aura.
To this end, it is essential that managers view things through the empathy lens. Again, it comes down to rich communication with the employees so that a manager can dig any prevailing emotional problems. There are lots of ways of distressing such as reading, but managers need to encourage the employees to take ten. It is also essential that a manager finds a common ground of realistic expectations with the employees.
4. Zoom In On The Employee Strengths
It is pretty much a rule of thumb that doing something that you are poor at makes you lose interest in that task. On the other hand, doing something that you like produces better results. Managers need to employ the same approach for an effective role in employee wellbeing. There is a need for managers to build and promote a company culture that is based on employee strengths.
After decades of research on human behavior, Gallup researchers have also concluded the same. They have deduced that people who work in areas of their strength are 6 times more likely to engage in their work. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The same research reports higher employee satisfaction, better energy levels, and experience of less negative emotions by using strengths. Subsequently, it is critical for managers to assist employees in honing their skills and developing their strengths.
5. Appreciate And Be Grateful
Appreciating the staff and being thankful is one of the simplest and easiest ways to boost employee wellbeing. There is a lot that appreciation and gratitude can offer. For one, they birth more positive emotions and less sick leaves. A study also found out that gratitude fosters greater organizational commitment and produces positive outcomes.
Managers can follow in the footsteps of several companies. For instance, the former CEO of Campbell Soups wrote about 30,000 notes saying his thanks to his employees. There is a lot to gain from Southwest Airlines too in this context. Appreciation is a linchpin of the company’s culture. One way that the company appreciates is by paying attention to its employees’ personal lives and offering small gestures such as cards.
6. Be Flexible
An important part of managing is to remember that employees have a life outside the office. There has been a recent ballooning in telecommuting with over 60% of organizations offering telecommuting in some form. Even if telecommuting is not an option, managers can always offer flexibility by adjusting timings as per employee needs.
Moreover, allowing flexible work schedules makes the staff feel that they are trusted, which enhances employee engagement. A recent survey has also shown that 87% of HR managers think that flexibility programs translate into employee satisfaction.
Summing up, managers play a significant role in employee wellbeing. The role has a broad scope and can be accomplished in multiple ways.