Many organisations are currently finding it difficult to attract and retain talent. Recent research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and development (CIPD) and our own experience shows that many are experiencing stress and burnout due to work overload. The research also found that two thirds of staff would be less likely to leave their employer if they experienced good wellbeing support. So, what might this look like?
Proactive support – Prevention is of course better than cure, so considering wellbeing needs from the outset rather than waiting until there are absences and resignations is the aim. Holding fatigue assessments during times of high pressure by checking in with staff now and again to ensure that they are getting fresh air breaks, eating well and sleeping enough may help to prevent staff to burn out. Regularly review their work to ensure that deadlines are realistic and that the work they are being given is appropriate for their skills and experience. Offer guidance and training where necessary.
Communicate support – If wellbeing benefits such as employee assistance programmes, HR surgeries, massages, yoga, or meditation are offered, regularly communicate them to the staff and encourage uptake as best you can. The same applies to simply just letting people know that if they’re struggling with anything which is affecting their wellbeing – whether it be work related or personal – you’re there to help.
Lead by example – Staff are led by their manager’s behaviour. If their manager is working nonstop, more often than not, they will take this to mean that they must do the same to progress within the company. If they receive work related emails or WhatsApp messages out of hours, they will feel compelled to respond immediately – even if that wasn’t the intention of the recipient - and will not be able to fully switch off during their rest time.
Have regular check-ins – It seems logical to talk only about work when we’re at work. After all, that’s what we’re all here for, but really getting to know the person and not just the ‘employee’ will help staff to know that how they are feeling matters to you. You don’t have to have deep conversations, just general chats now and again will help the employee to be able to open up to you when they need to. When discussing personal issues, empathise and signpost to professional support. If it’s a work related issue, put measures in place to resolve the issue.
Doing simple things such as these to support staff wellbeing will build on trust and confidence and in turn, enhance loyalty and commitment.