Companies with a proclivity for protecting the well-being of their employees have far higher staff retention rates. Why? Because now more than ever, it counts.
Some roles may be a means to an end, but there is a function required by the employer to the employee, and an expected rate of performance for both company and worker.
Therefore, logic dictates that a natural consequence of nurturing the well-being of staff leads to improved engagement, superlative performance, and a happier atmosphere too. Here are eight methods to successfully manage employee well-being in the workplace.
Create a Solid HR Department
HR is the short form for Human Resources. This department is responsible for the people, their well-being, their training, and engagement, and all of the onboarding activities alongside, often, payroll. The addition of a strong HR team means there is a lead person to manage all the administrative aspects that are a natural consequence of running a business.
The cognitive connotation of the collective workforce derives that HR is a place they are able to go to rest their woes, find resolution, seek advice and have a personal connection to those higher up in the company.
Aside from the emotional benefits for staff, there are also practical advantages to be considered. Properly trained HR employees are experts in comprising training courses in line with company demands, creating a fine-tuned onboarding and hiring procedure, and creating effective incentive schemes to boost general engagement amongst the team.
Promote Open Communication
Open communication between the management side of operations and workers on the floor is essential. Staff members who feel shut out feel invalid within the wider company.
Real, effective communication is a core prerequisite for an employee to feel as though they count in the workplace, are valued members of the team, and create a hospitable environment for productivity.
Regular meetings are a solid approach to keep the whole company up to date with initiatives, alongside management supporting an open-door policy during certain hours of the workday for questions and similar.
Staff automatically feel more at ease and engaged, and therefore more resilient when they have a connection with the people high up making decisions. With only 32% of the US workforce feeling connected to the bigger picture, this is something that requires significant improvement.
Invest in Protective Measures
One factor that many businesses fail to consider before the fact is the protective measures around accidents in the workplace. For example, insurance for specialist businesses like retail stores, as explained here in this article that breaks down the insurance costs, is a common policy taken out by thousands of retail businesses around the country.
A significant part of that, alongside protecting the company from going under, is the inclusion of workers’ compensation, which protects staff if they become injured or sick for work-related reasons. It is a moral obligation for companies to make provisions for the people that work hard under their roof, should harm befall them.
Contracts with insurance companies provide a security blanket for paying wages and, therefore, protect the company from the loss and ensure there is an action in place for the employee that will support them in their recovery journey.
Take an Active Approach to Misconduct
Misconduct happens and is a natural consequence of a large group of people (or a small group) together in the same environment for long hours. People disagree, hold differentiating values or opinions, and unfortunately, workplace bullying or harassment is a common occurrence as it is just human nature.
Not everyone was taught how to be kind and being hostile is a self-taught defense mechanism to feel superior and in control. While this is not ideal, it happens everywhere and needs addressing. Should an incident occur, the company has to have a clear line on its approach to resolution. Let the employee know that their grievance has a voice, that it is valid, and that there will be a solution.
Set Clear Expectations Before, During, and After Onboarding
Onboarding is the process of setting a new employee up for their life at work. It may include:
- Meeting the wider team
- A tour of the workspace
- Any training such as health and safety proceedings
- A shadow shift or mentor arrangement
- Paperwork for personal details and work administration (work email, login, etc.)
It is argued heavily that the onboarding process is a crucial part of the new hire’s experience, as it is those first impressions that count towards the wider perception of the new workplace. A person demotivated and disheveled at the end of their initial shift is far less likely to want to return and engage on day two.
Whereas if they were made to feel welcome, an immediate part of the wider team, and valued by management, psychologically they will naturally be finding their organic place within the other team members, and mentally synchronize with the bigger picture.
A part of this process should be to set clear boundaries around what the role requires. While this may have been visited briefly as a topic during the interview process, it always benefits both employee and employer to initiate a reminder when the role begins. Define someone’s role clearly, and they will have more autonomy over their identity.
Provide Workplace Etiquette Training
It is the responsibility of management to ensure HR training programs take place when they are supposed to. There is value in training schemes that focus on workplace etiquette. What may be intuitive to you, might be an alien concept to others.
Basic manners, how to address the opposite gender, not being racist: These are all things that don’t come naturally to some people and unless it is explicitly explained, they may not even realize consciously that their language poses a problem. Preventative measures are always better at combatting problems than dealing with an incident after the fact.
Nurture Mental Health
4.3 million American people resigned from their roles in December of last year alone. That is a staggering amount of the active workforce. The reason? A lack of communication, feeling undervalued, and poor mental health because of a hostile work environment.
Taking time to teach about mental health and creating widely accessible resources and tools are good first steps for any company to embark upon. Training programs are a tried and tested route to promoting positive language around mental health and encouraging conversation while curbing the sometimes detrimental attitude certain people tend to take towards these types of problems.
When a business is seen to be taking common mental roadblocks under consideration, and showing their staff there are steps in place to support them, the natural consequence of this is heightened general well-being in the workplace.
Engagement Incentive Programs
Employees need something to look forward to in their work life just like in their personal lives. Engagement incentive programs, often powered by HR, do just that.
This could look like performance-related bonus schemes such as reward vouchers or wage bonuses, prize specials for those who go above and beyond their KPI expectations, or company-wide recreational activities hosted and paid for by the business.
There is a reason company retreats are so popular. Human beings crave approval, it is simple psychology, especially when the person in question suffers from low self-esteem or any other spectrum type disorder. Rewarding employees for impressive work is a simple equation that yields amazing results for everyone involved.
Making employees feel important is an easy thing to do. Solid lines of communication are the best place to begin, cushioned by supportive training schemes, open and transparent expectations, and complete intolerance for misconduct.
Make employees feel safe, make them feel heard, help them to recognize their value, and they are ten times more likely to stick around for longer as opposed to leaving after the first week.