Top tips for helping employees to reach their potential
The latest trend, not just in the workplace, is wellbeing and finding new ways to improve our health. Big-name companies are investing money into the wellbeing of their staff to build a healthy workforce and other companies are being encouraged to sign up to a ‘Pledge to Thrive’ scheme that highlights their commitment to prioritise employee welfare.
In helping staff to feel their best and truly thrive, companies will not only have a happier workforce, but they’ll also see an increase in motivation and productivity. And, an added bonus is that staff will be less likely to need time off for illness, meaning less absences logged in the HR system.
But helping staff to feel their best is about more than just providing a discounted gym membership – it’s also about making wellbeing a key factor in the culture of the company and ensuring that policies are in place to help staff on a day to day basis. Here are some issues to think about if you’re trying to help your employees to reach and exceed their potential.
Create a Healthy Work Environment
The surrounding environment that your employees work in plays a big part in their wellbeing, both on a mental basis and physical. For example, if you’re forcing people to work in a dark and dingy office with poor ventilation, or in an environment that is so loud that they can’t concentrate, you can’t expect them to perform their best. If you’re limited with what you can do in terms of the actual space, try adding extra lighting or repositioning how the office is laid out to maximise the potential of the area.
Provide Open Communication
Lack of effective communication in the workplace can impact your business. Staff should feel they can speak up at work about issues that are troubling them, whether it’s personal problems or issues at work. Bottling up anxieties can lead to overwhelming stress which can burden individuals and make working really difficult, as well as leading to health problems over time. Make sure there are avenues or platforms for staff to use if they need to speak to someone about workplace bullying, overwhelming workloads or any other issues that might be limiting their performance.
Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance
An off-balanced work-life mix can cause problems for employees as well as making them unhappy. One way to combat this is to provide flexible working options for staff so that they feel they can create a healthier work-life balance for their lifestyle. Modern technology has made this an easy option for so many sectors and it could be a huge motivator for staff to give even more than before as a result.
Life isn’t always straightforward and if a staff member is having a difficult time, it’s incredibly beneficial to them to have a supportive employer who understands. Whether it’s a relationship problem, a family illness or issues with debts, it really helps if employees have a manager who is sympathetic to their problems and will help in any way they can. Plus, employees who feel part of a supportive team and company are more likely to return the favour and help out in times of need at work too, so it’s a great culture to cultivate.
Prioritise Mental Health Problems
No wellbeing initiative is complete without mentioning mental health, as it’s a problem that affects one in four people at some point in their lives. From stress and anxiety to depression, there are various ways in which people can be affected by this condition and that may be exacerbated through work. While there is still a stigma around mental health, many companies are becoming more understanding of the needs of employees who struggle with depression and other mental health problems. From a business perspective, organisations need to create an open environment where staff feel comfortable talking about their mental health, as well as providing managers with training to spot signs and symptoms.
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