When it Comes to Employee Wellbeing Be Proactive Not Reactive

17th August 2020

The world of work as we know it has been irrevocably changed by the Coronavirus pandemic. To survive, become more resilient and adaptive to change and continue to thrive, organisations have had to transform at an unprecedented speed.

Now more than ever, you need to focus on optimising your engagement with your people to assure their happiness, productivity, psychological safety and sense of belonging.

Nurturing a transparent, flexible and inclusive workplace where everybody’s voice is heard will help you to achieve this while boosting your organisation’s resilience.

If a workforce is kept engaged, satisfied and inspired then, retention and productivity will increase and your organisation will thrive.

So how do you proactively engage your workforce and uplift employee wellbeing?

Let’s take a look at 7 key areas you can focus on.

1 – Be more human-centered 

Respected studies have shown that people who feel inspired at work are 150% more productive than those who classed as “satisfied” on the engagement scale.

The wellbeing of your people is crucial to the success of your organisation and is something that requires ongoing focus. However, it is often considered reactively, after a problem has become apparent.

By enhancing your Smarter Working strategy to include an everyday focus on employee engagement and wellbeing, you can take a more proactive and human-centered approach towards how you engage with your people and show them support.

It is particularly during a crisis when people are feeling most uncertain, anxious and vulnerable that organisations need to ramp up their wellbeing strategies in order to protect both the physical and mental health of their people.

2 – Focus on building positive culture 

Personal wellbeing and employee engagement are intrinsically linked; therefore, it is essential you imbue strong organisational values to promote wellbeing into your employee engagement strategy.

Encouraging people to make small, natural changes to the way they engage with each other can be a simple first step in nudging the culture of your organisation towards becoming more human, and people-centric.

Studies have shown that companies with top-rated cultures post a return to shareholders which is 60% higher than those with an average-rated culture.[2]

Also having a strong company culture with authentic values will help your people to act as a strong cohesive team and feel a greater sense of inclusion.

For example, encouraging peer recognition can help build a positive work environment were people feel appreciated.

  • Encourage small natural positive changes in behaviour
  • Foster a strong sense of inclusion and belonging
  • Champion peer recognition

Trickle’s customers such as employees at the Scottish Government, use our Fist Bump feature to show their team mates appreciation and gratitude for their hard work.

Both managers and employees can use this simple and fun tool to show their teammates that they are valued.

3 – Give continuous direct feedback

To help your people feel more engaged you should encourage continuous feedback and improvement as to how your organisation is operating day to day.

You need to take your people’s suggestions, concerns and issues on board and demonstrate that you are actively listening by engaging and collaborating on appropriate actions to progress concerns and suggestions.

Continually showing your people that their input is valuable and has impact will encourage ongoing engagement.

  • Listen generously to your people
  • Promote collaboration towards solutions
  • Bring conversations together in a structured way

Trickle’s Engage module automatically ranks the most popular suggestions and biggest concerns from your people, giving you the data you need to focus your engagement and to take actions on what matters most right now.

This enables you to bring important conversations around improvements and concerns together in a structured way and in one place where everyone can clearly see what topics are ranked highest priority.

This allows people to easily contribute to the most important discussions, with optional anonymity meaning that everyone can feel comfortable participating in the discussion without feeling there will be negative consequences for doing so.

With these insights you will be able to make much better decisions, improve your employee engagement and benefit everyone in the organisation.

If people see action and change as a result, this will nurture trust, and ultimately help increase their feeling of engagement and psychological safety.

4 – Raise awareness

To help your people remain fit, healthier and more resilient you need to make sure they are aware of the wellbeing advice and guidance that is available to them both within your organisation, and in other respected sources such as the NHS and BBC websites.

You must also sign-post clearly how they can access the information they need at the time that they need it.

Unfortunately, mental wellbeing still carries a negative stigma and often people would prefer not to discuss these issues, even if they are struggling.

UK charity Mind found that 90% of people who take a day of with stress or anxiety, will never cite that as the reason for their absence – which means your organisation is unable to help address the underlying issues to prevent further discomfort and potential absence.

  • Make talking about wellbeing commonplace
  • Ensure your people know what support is on offer to them
  • Reduce the stigma around mental health

5 – Don’t let people suffer in silence 

Trickle’s customers such as West Dunbartonshire Council use our Confide module to ask their people simple wellbeing questions which deliver instant, proactive guidance based on the way they are feeling.

This helps you nip problems in the bud before they become bigger issue that could potentially lead to people becoming unfit for work.

It’s also important to make sure that your people have a way to privately seek advice or support for when their issues are more sensitive. It is a leader’s responsibility to ensure that none of their people suffer in silence.

  • Give your people a voice
  • Ensure they have a private way to raise concerns
  • Try to nip problems in the bud

Trickle’s Flare tool provides an anonymous way for your people to seek direct support for concerns that they feel uncomfortable or unable to raise in person.

Flares are private, secure and flexible and are directed to specialist individuals or groups within your organisation, based on the category of the issue – for example, mental, physical or financial wellbeing concerns.

6 – Normalise Employee Wellbeing 

Any period of crisis can be used as an opportunity for growth and change – with the Covid pandemic, the topic of wellbeing has started to make its way in to our everyday conversations.

So, let’s take this opportunity to make employee wellbeing something that we’re all happy to talk about as part of our everyday conversations at work. It is important to recognise we all have a role to play in making our workplaces more human.

  • Be proactive in raising wellbeing awareness
  • Encourage greater openness and dialogue among your people
  • Put the human element of your strategy at the forefront

The human element of any organisation underpins key businesses outcomes, including growth and profitability.

Productivity, revenue, retention and innovation are all linked to employee wellbeing and engagement and, if left unattended, can threaten the organisation’s survival.[3]

7 – Give your people a voice 

Employee wellbeing and engagement platforms like Trickle offer your people a way to truly have a voice, contribute to the key topics in the day to day running of your organisation, and feel really feel part of a team.

Pro-actively interacting with your people on the topics that matter most to them right now promotes a positive impact on their wellbeing and helps them to thrive at work.

Organisations that take a smarter and more human approach to employee engagement and wellbeing, and the ever-changing work environment, are fortifying their operation by protecting and nurturing their greatest asset – their people.

If you’d like to learn more about how Trickle can benefit your organisation or to request a demo of Trickle’s employee engagement, wellbeing, and recognition tools please get in touch with us for more information.

 

[1] https://www.slideshare.net/adrianboucek/state-of-the-global-workplace-gallup-report-2017

[2] https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/the-organization-blog/culture-4-keys-to-why-it-matters

[3] Trickle, Employee Engagement White Paper, https://trickle.works/resources/white-papers/

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