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Wellbeing at Work: Why it’s too important NOT to be a focus in 2024.  


So, what is wellbeing?  


What does “wellbeing” look like in your workplace? Is it still fruit bowls, on-site exercise classes, and perhaps the provision of a mental health day here and there? If that’s the case, then it might be time to make a change, as you may be mistaking “wellbeing” for “wellness”.  


Gallup have identified five core elements of wellbeing which help to establish a “great life”. These wellbeing pillars include:  


  • Career – you like what you do every day.  

  • Social – you have meaningful relationships in your life.  

  • Financial – you manage your money well.  

  • Physical – you have energy to get things done.  

  • Community – you like where you live. 


In short, we are in a time where wellbeing needs to be both holistic and personalised – we need to care for the whole person, not just the employee. This will help to ensure our team members are thriving.   

 

Why should I care about it?  


Being responsible for your employee’s wellbeing is not only the right thing to do – it also makes good business sense. There are endless reports and statistics that back this up (here’s a couple by Gallup and BetterUp), but they essentially say the same thing! That is, if your team feels like you care about them, and they are thriving in all areas of their life they: 


  • perform better, 

  • are less likely to experience burnout,  

  • are more engaged,  

  • stay longer,   

  • take fewer sick days, AND  

  • become your biggest advocates!   


Wellbeing elements are additive – work influences home and home influences work – so if your employees are “well” in all areas of their life they are more likely to thrive at work.  


Ok, I’m sold. What do I do now?  


Gallup says one of the five elements of wellbeing stands out above the rest if you want to make the biggest difference in the shortest amount of time. The good (or bad, depending on how you look at it!) news is that this is Career Wellbeing! Some of the practical ways you can influence the career wellbeing of your team is by:  


  • Harnessing Strengths – when we have opportunities to do what we are good at and what we love (hint: these are often the same) we are happier at work. Uncover your teams’ strengths (we can help with this!) and then look for opportunities to re-design roles, career paths or provide projects based on these strengths (particularly those you want to hold on to).  

 

  • Not Tolerating Poor Leadership – Forbes suggest some of the most important leadership skills  in 2024 are emotional intelligence, adaptability, inclusivity, communication & collaboration. Managers who lack these skills have the potential to make your team miserable (yep, it can be that bad!) meaning you will have little hope of influencing wellbeing. Accept the risk and look at how you can increase these soft skills through mentorship or coaching, new hires and if needed, exits. 



  • Discussing Wellbeing Regularly – Building wellbeing into performance and development discussions is a great way to give your team a safe space (and permission) to talk about both their work and personal goals, and how they intertwine to make them their happiest and most productive selves. Approaching these conversations with a coaching mindset will also go a long way.  

 

  • Communicating your WHY - Job satisfaction is often based on how fulfilled someone feels at work, and how do you achieve fulfilment? Through strong alignment with the values, beliefs, and goals of the workplace. So, if you don’t have a vision, or values (or you’re not communicating them well) you’re missing a real opportunity to influence wellbeing at work.  


See!? No fruit bowls, or exercise classes in sight! The core message we are seeing and hearing (in real time from our clients’) is that people want to feel cared about, they want you to see them as the whole human they are, not just who they are at work. With the market changes we have seen recently, our teams have higher expectations of their employers than ever before (whether it be changes to location or leadership, opportunities to collaborate or be creative, flexible work arrangements, or additional benefits). We of course have the power to say no – but at what cost? 

 

Sometimes, we need to be willing to look outside the boundaries of our policies, position descriptions, and the way we “have always done things” to be adaptable to the individual needs of our team members – yes, to help them thrive, but also to make sure your business will have the opportunity to thrive too.   


If you can see opportunities to lift your wellbeing game, reach out to Streamline HR for support in defining your strategy. Remember, small changes can have a big impact!  

 


 

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