Improving employee wellbeing increases engagement, productivity and performance. It also decreases stress levels, sick leave and turnover.
In recent years, many big organisations have put a wellbeing strategy in place but this can seem harder to do for small or medium sized enterprises. However, there are some relatively easy steps than can be taken to improve wellbeing for SMEs and therefore improve the performance of their business.
Prevention is better than cure. Start by looking at your business’s work habits.
Consider the working patterns of your people. Most people appreciate flexibility in their working hours or location. Where business allows, make this possible by offering flexible hours and allowing people to work from home. Keep an eye on your people’s working hours. Make sure workloads are manageable and encourage people to take breaks, take holiday and leave at a decent time. Role model these behaviours yourself.
Consider job design. Do your people know what’s expected of them, do they have what they need to get their work done? Are your people in roles that are well suited to them and enable them to use their strengths? Do they know how the work they do impacts the organisation?
Managers have a huge impact on the wellbeing of the people in their teams. Make sure your people managers have the people skills they need to be able to effectively manage their team members. Often managers have been put in manager roles because they are good at their jobs, rather than because they have the potential to lead people. Managing people requires a whole different skillset, so support your managers with the training and guidance they need to develop these valuable skills.
Encourage your people to collaborate and build good relationships with one another. This can be through shared projects, social activities, or more formal buddy or mentoring programmes. Peer to peer support and work friendships can make a big difference to people’s happiness and wellbeing at work.
Have support in place for those who are experiencing poor wellbeing or mental health. If you have an Employee Assistance Programme in place, make sure your people know about it. Investigate the offerings available to your people through any charities that support your industry and again, make sure your people know what’s available to them.
Many organisations are having some of their employees be mental health champions. If this set up would work well for your business, consider what the mental health champion role will entail and and set your champions up for success with training, support structures and sponsorship from leadership.
Please contact us at Willow & Puddifoot, if you would like to know more about improving wellbeing for SMEs. We would be delighted to help you support the wellbeing of your people.