Hello everyone, this is Tom Hallett from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast.
And today’s podcast is all about wellbeing – and how you as a leader, can encourage and support wellbeing in your team so that you can enjoy all the benefits of having a robust and resilient team.
If you are one of our new listeners, welcome!
As our regular listeners will know, you can find a transcript of this podcast on the Excel Communications website.
You will also find several additional resources there too, including podcasts, white papers and training webinars.
So back to the topic of wellbeing – being concerned about the wellbeing of your team is a quality of all great leaders, and this has never been more poignant than this year as we have all battled the Covid pandemic.
As we continue to fight the virus, our physical and mental health and wellbeing has become one of the main themes of this year.
Supporting your team’s wellbeing is crucial, and yet, unfortunately, it can be one thing that slips when businesses go into survival mode.
Being able to spot if your team are struggling with their wellbeing, and being able to offer real practical solutions is a must for leaders.
So today, I share five key areas to help you support the wellbeing of your team as the world around us changes.
1. Managing Health Concerns
First and foremost, managing any health concerns your team might have during this time should be a priority in your leadership role.
Excellent communication with your employees is a must, as the Covid situation is ongoing and changes can happen fast. So ensure that your team are kept up to date with information about Covid in your area.
Every business has approached remote working differently.
- Some have kept offices mostly closed since the initial lockdown,
- others have partially opened,
- while some are offering truly flexible working and allowing employees to decide their working location on a changing basis.
The key is to allow employees to feel in control over decisions which could impact their health.
Have your team been coming into the office but now Covid cases in your area are rising? The government is still encouraging those who can to work from home, so it might be time to think about more long-term remote working measures for your team to keep them safe.
2. Alleviating Stress and Anxiety
Since the pandemic, health professionals have seen a 20% rise in severe mental health problems, as the extraordinary situation takes its toll on the nation’s mental health.
Covid might not be the exact cause for stress and anxiety among your team, but it will certainly play a part. People might be worried about job safety, the health of their family, they might be having to deal with extra or more difficult tasks at work due to an increase or other team members being off sick.
It is critical to maintain communication with employees to check that they are coping and to take action if they are feeling overwhelmed with stress or anxiety in their roles.
So keep in touch regularly, even if it’s just an email or a message or a call from their line manager to see how your employees are.
Typical actions many companies we work with are implementing
- You can switch up roles to support individuals who might be struggling,
- rotate employees from high-stress to lower-stress positions or departments,
- or offer extra support in the form of coaching,
- or mentoring to help employees feel secure in their roles and that their workloads are not unmanageable during this already difficult time.
This, of course, for part of the next essential approach; offering emotional support.
3. Offering Emotional Support
In the ‘new normal’ it is becoming increasingly difficult to foster the same relationships we once had – until the lockdown many individuals didn’t realise just how important their interpersonal working relationships were.
As well as offering work-related assistance, your team will also be looking to you for emotional support – to be a strong leader during this unsettled period.
Make regular time with your team; perhaps on a Zoom or conference call for non-work related discussions. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy meeting, even just 30 minutes at the end of each week, where you can talk with your team and encourage them to share with each other anything they have on their minds.
For example, any wins or challenges from the week they will feel better for sharing.
Also, don’t underestimate the importance of checking in with your employees about non-work related topics – now more than ever.
4. Encouraging Work-Life Balance
Being able to spot the signs that your team are not striking a sufficient work-life balance is something that all great leaders should possess.
Suppose an employee’s work starts to slip from their usual high standard. In that case, if they seem disengaged or start to show signs of presenteeism, it can be a sign that individuals are suffering from a lack of balance, and this has increased since the rise of remote working this year.
It is important for your team to have a good work-life balance, which you can encourage with the following –
- Focus on employee productivity, rather than the hours they clock up
- Make sure your team get enough breaks and time away from their desk, especially if they are working from home
- Review their workloads regularly
- Make sure they take holidays, even if they aren’t physically going away on holiday due to the pandemic
Finally, let’s look at how to be an exemplary role model to help guide your team to better wellbeing.
5. Being a Great Role Model
All of the strategies outlined in this guide will not have much of an impact if you insist on burning the candle at both ends, never taking time off or are failing to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing.
Leaders can fall into the trap of sacrificing themselves for ‘the good’ of the team, but in reality, all teams need leaders who are great wellbeing role models.
Often, the leader in any team is the one who is the most stressed, takes the least time off work and overworks themselves. Make sure that you are looking after your own wellbeing, only then will you be robust enough to help and support your team.
So, to recap – the 5 strategies for you to focus on to help your team increase their wellbeing are –
- Manage their health concerns
- Alleviate work stress and anxiety
- Offer emotional support
- Encourage work-life balance
- And finally – be the role model you want to see in your team
It is understandable that during the pandemic, your wellbeing both as a leader and in your team might have suffered.
If you want to improve both your own and your team’s wellbeing and enjoy the benefits of having a powerful and resilient team because of this, we can help. We offer a range of training programmes to improve all aspects of wellbeing in your organisation.
Head to our website to find out more about the range of leadership wellbeing programmes we offer.
For more information on developing your leadership skills, head to our blog, which contains hundreds of articles on all aspects of leadership. I’ll leave the link in the comments.
Remember you can access all of our podcasts on iTunes by hitting the subscribe button.
This is Tom from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast saying bye for now.
About Excel Communications
LEARN, GROW, SUCCEED
Excel Communications is a learning and development consultancy based near London in the U.K. For more than 30 years, we have been collaborating with clients across the globe.
Partnering with Excel empowers you to evolve your people and business by fuelling a love for learning.
We work with you to create unforgettable, customised learning experiences to achieve your vision of success and growth, with tangible results.
View our case studies here.
We have a team of expert trainers delivering programmes across five continents in multiple languages. Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.
If you would like to watch our leadership masterclass recordings, you can access the latest leadership complimentary guide here.
For more information on post-Covid leadership topics, head to our blog, additionally, click here to view our range of free leadership resources to help you become a better leader starting today.
P.S. If you would like to attend one of our complimentary taster workshops on working with remote teams, call us on +44(0) 1628488 854.