Blog entry by Alan Chapman
Building a Better Business Through Employee Wellness
It’s self-evident that a healthy workforce is
more beneficial to a business than one with poor attendance, high stress levels
and low energy. This can be especially evident when you purchase and then enter
an already established workforce.
Increasingly, companies are incorporating methods and programmes that support their employees in improving their physical, mental and emotional health, lowering stress levels, absenteeism and raising morale in the process.
For the managerial staff in each department to create a positive working environment, they must ensure that employees have a full understanding of several factors relating to the work they do, including:
- The goal of an activity, including any longer-term aim it might support.
- How they fit into the process of achieving the goal.
- How to gauge progress along the path to completion.
- The value of the time they must invest in the task.
This informed approach fosters a better attitude towards the work, maintains higher standards and staves off boredom, which is one of the most destructive elements that can infect the workplace and, ultimately, affect wellness.
Achieving this level of understanding requires good communication, but that doesn’t just happen, it must be included as part of a wellness plan.
Staff should know that their input is valued and have regular and frequent opportunities to give and receive constructive feedback.
With the proper outlet for minor grievances, they are far less likely to become unmanageable; with the proper outlet for suggestions, the whole team’s creativity can be utilised.
Ways to incorporate better communication should include some or all of:
- Scheduling meetings more regularly or more frequently.
- Allowing for a fluid agenda at meetings.
- Making time for one-to-one engagement between workers and line managers.
- Proper management of real-world and digital notice boards.
- Modelling the kind of communication you want to see from others.
A non-negotiable step in improving communication is listening, as this is the only way to fully determine the areas of success and those in need of improvement.
While the methods of communication may differ from colleague to colleague or within the company hierarchy, they should all be equally weighted. A culture of transparency and respect restricts the opportunity for distrust and damaging cliques to develop, which can only be a positive for everyone.
One way to facilitate good communication within the workplace is to encourage staff to get to know one another beyond the usual work parameters. Bonding exercises bring a range of advantages:
- Strong relationships raise morale, increase productivity and minimise the likelihood of disputes.
- Team projects can be managed more efficiently when everyone understands each other’s abilities.
- The competitive element provides stronger bonds and has a positive effect on production .
- Motivation can carry over from team-building and competitive activities into regular tasks.
- The relaxed atmosphere that develops after team building provides a fertile environment for creativity.
While there are many valuable corporate team-building activities available, even something as simple as socialising with one another can yield enormous dividends, such as those above.
Each of these aspects of improving employee wellness supports the others, and the three combined will boost your most valuable asset, the workforce.
By prioritising the welfare of workers, you will create an atmosphere in which trust and devotion flourish, the profit margins have their greatest potential for growth and you can rest assured that you are doing the best for your business and everyone involved in it.
By Jo Thornley, Head of Brand and Partnerships at Dynamis. Joining in 2005 to co-ordinate PR and communications and produce editorial across all business brands. She earned her spurs managing the communications strategy and now creates and develops partnerships between BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com and likeminded companies.