Leading with Employee Well-being in Mind
Synopsis: Employees today want more from their jobs than just a salary and insurance. They’re seeking a workplace that cares about their well-being in addition to their productivity. Leaders want to strike a balance between being professional and supportive, without crossing professional boundaries. Striking the balance between professional and supportive is easy with the right guidance.
It’s been said that “actions speak louder than words”, and when it comes to changing a workplace’s culture that absolutely holds true. Today’s employees want a workplace that provides challenging and fulfilling work while giving space for rest. When these conditions are not present, employees will swiftly and without hesitation move to a company that honors that philosophy. Therefore, to build and retain a loyal workforce, leadership must show that employee well-being is valued.
Talking to employees about how they’re doing personally is not a skill that many managers come by naturally. There’s a delicate balance between taking a genuine interest in how your team members are doing and driving accountability for organizational goals. It’s a challenging balance that can be an obstacle in developing a holistic approach to leadership. Healthy performing employees make high-performing employees. By prioritizing employee well-being, leaders can foster team cohesion and drive growth. Here are some easy ways to develop a supportive workplace:
1. Acknowledge challenges. Effective leaders don’t ignore difficult times. It’s okay to acknowledge challenges and offer a listening ear without divulging confidential information. Employees appreciate managers who are willing to hear their concerns and share information as it’s available.
2. Celebrate small wins. Celebrating the small wins that result in big gains is good for team morale. Whether it’s giving a shout out in meetings or using internal channels, such as newsletters, publicly acknowledging progress boosts team morale and shows appreciation for everyone’s efforts. It’s the rule of reciprocity – when people feel appreciated, they provide loyalty and high-quality work in return.
3. Lead by example. Show them how it’s done. A team leader can tell employees to “leave work at work”, but a team leader who isn’t living that motto themselves sets a confusing tone for others. If you want your team to prioritize work-life harmony, demonstrate it yourself. Avoid sending after-hour emails and set clear boundaries for communication during vacations. Show them how it’s done, and they’ll feel permission to follow your lead.
4. Keep the door open. It’s important that employees have access to and permission to ask questions of or seek support from leaders. Even if they don’t always reach out, knowing that they won’t be viewed as intrusive fosters trust and open communication.
5. Let the professionals help. Incorporating leadership training that effectively addresses employee well-being can benefit team cohesion and growth. It shows employees that their overall well-being matters to the company, and it gives leaders the skills and resources to appropriately support their team members.
At Evans Consulting, we know that high-performing teams aren’t sustainable unless they’re also healthy performing teams. Contact us to learn more about our leadership development workshops and 1:1 leadership coaching that cultivate effective leadership skills and nurture employee well-being for the benefit of all.