6 Tips for a Healthy Working Team: A Guide for Managers

The imperative of employee wellbeing

May marks the UN's Employee Health and Wellbeing Month, emphasising the crucial role of workplace health in the overall productivity and satisfaction of employees. As remote work is fast becoming a norm, the line between personal life and work life increasingly blurs, making it all the more essential for managers to foster an environment that prioritises employee wellbeing. Notably, studies have shown that poor employee health can lead to significant financial losses due to issues like absenteeism and reduced productivity, with Canadian employers losing approximately $3.5 billion annually due to stress-related absences alone. This is a global issue and could become the new pandemic. With burnout costing UK businesses around £700m every year due to employees calling in sick.

Creating a culture of health for your employees

As a manager, it’s vital to create a work culture that promotes health and well-being in your team. Let’s explore some effective strategies:

1. Encourage physical activity

Encourage your team to engage in physical activities, such as organising group walks or hikes which not only enhance physical health but also boost mental well-being through social interaction and exposure to nature. Initiatives like 'walking meetings' can also invigorate your team by combining physical activity with productivity, whilst making meetings more positive and engaging with some mindfulness at the same time, as you walk through nature.

2. Open communication about mental health

Open communication about mental health should be a cornerstone of your management strategy. Encourage discussions that allow employees to express concerns about workload and personal stressors without fear of judgment. This can be crucial in preventing burnout and promoting a supportive workplace environment. As a manager don’t forget this means you too. It is very easy for managers to take on too large workloads as well as listening and aiding in any frustrations or mental health problems your team is experiencing. If you too do not communicate these to your manager or workplace support, then these could affect your mental health. After all a large percentage of those that burnout are managers as they can often take on too much.

3. Invest in wellbeing programmes

Implement comprehensive wellbeing programmes that address various aspects of health, from ergonomic assessments to ensure a comfortable working environment to offering sessions on mindfulness and meditation. These programmes not only support physical health but also enhance mental clarity and emotional wellbeing.

An example could be ‘learn at lunch’. A chance to look at wellbeing topics, such as nutrition or sleep, alongside helpful tips. This is a great opportunity to invite guest speakers to add value on wellbeing for your employees.

Another example could be rolling out volunteering opportunities across the business. These are a great way to provide your team with time to give back to their local communities, or a cause they are passionate about. It will provide help and support to charities that cry out for volunteers, but also provide a morale boost to your team – all whilst you do your part for your corporate social responsibility.

4. Flexible work arrangements

Offer flexible working conditions that adapt to the individual needs of your employees. This flexibility can greatly enhance work-life balance, making employees feel valued and supported, which in turn can increase their loyalty and productivity. After all work should be inclusive and take into account team members responsibilities out of work, be it parenting, caring or other life factors. A flexible working arrangement has so many benefits to both the employee and employer. If you are worried about having ‘too much’ flexibility due to meetings or co-working time, why not establish some ‘core working hours’ with flexibility built in around these.

5. Foster social connections

Organise regular team-building events to foster stronger relationships within your team. Whether it’s through creative sessions like art classes or more traditional social gatherings, these activities can improve team cohesion and provide a much-needed break from routine work.

6. Recognise and reward

Implement a system of recognition that celebrates the efforts and achievements of your team. This could be through a recognition wall, a shout-out during meetings, or a monetary reward such as a gift card. Acknowledging your team’s hard work fosters a positive work environment and can significantly boost morale, whilst also getting some healthy competition going amongst peers.

Employee health and wellbeing: an inclusive work culture for all

The role of a manager extends far beyond overseeing workflows and managing team performance. It involves nurturing a workplace where health and wellbeing are at the forefront. By adopting these strategies, you can create an environment where employees thrive, which is fundamental not only for their personal health but also for the overall success of the business. This Employee Health and Wellbeing Month, let’s renew our commitment to fostering an inclusive and healthy work culture – for all.

References

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