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How managers tackle wellbeing

Looking after the health and wellbeing of your employees starts with the responsibility of managers.

Health and wellbeing has fallen mainly within the remit of HR professionals, but recommendations from the Health and Safety Executive indicate that it is managers who need to step up in this sphere to support wellbeing and health promotion. 

Organisations recognise the significance of good health promotion, and employees want to feel their health and happiness at work is being looked after.  Identifying and addressing early signs of illness, increasingly stemming from anxiety and stress should be a managerial focus. As with everything, catching these things early can prevent escalation.

Your crucial steps:

  • A good workplace culture. Putting in the foundations of a fair, healthy environment will improve workplace function. Ensure workloads are suitable and manageable. An enjoyable working environment helps to reduce absenteeism and staff turnover.
  • With culture comes communication. Ensure employees are kept in the loop about organisational change. Avoid causing concern and stress by being open and honest with your people.
  • Be adaptable and empower your people. Managers should understand their preferred communication style, and also be able to and trained to adjust communication to suit individual needs. A manager who can read situations and personalities well and adapt their style accordingly can empower teams.
  • Empower your people. Empowerment comes from good leadership and a supportive culture. Give your employees responsibility, ownership and autonomy to encourage self-belief.
  • Lead by example. Promotion of health and wellbeing will get people listening. If employees see something is being done, they are more likely to jump on board. If wellbeing is an important organisational focus, then managers should ensure they are practising what they preach.
  • Involve your people. Listening to and learning from your people is the best way to prompt buy-in. Think about involving the wider organisation in decision-making. All managers should be listening to their team’s thoughts on improvements and be proactive in implementing change.
  • Be accessible. Encourage an open door policy to ensure people feel comfortable approaching managers with any problems. Whether it’s a piece of feedback or a request for support, any concern an employee has must be addressed. When a manager welcomes opinions, people tend to feel more valued and inspired – a great improvement of personal wellbeing.