Employee Mental health and wellbeing at work is an important strand of diversity!
“Recently my life turned 180 degrees when a close family member went through a medical complication, and I started to juggle between my role at Dynamo Talent Engine. I have been inspired to write this blog by my colleagues and line managers who went out of their way to help and support me during this testing time.” – Fareeha Usman
“The only thing certain in life is uncertainty”.
Covid-19 has taught us several things but one of the most important lessons is that life is uncertain and that is what makes it tragic yet beautiful at the same time. As leaders and managing businesses and organisations, we must understand that just like us, our employees who put in so much effort to make our organisations prosper can go through emotional turmoil from time to time. Stress influences us all in unique ways and we all have different responses to it while dealing with it at various stages.
A small act of kindness and few words of encouragement can have a huge effect on someone going through a tough phase. Showing patience and compassion during their rough patch while internalising that your colleague is struggling to keep up in this challenging time will make them give you a special place in their heart forever.
Checking in with your employees from time to time can also help foster good relations at workplace. People feel valued when they realise that they are being thought of. This is a simple gift colleagues can give each other and only requires a few minutes. This builds connection and solidifies ties with co-workers.
The Link Between Employee Wellbeing and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
To improve wellbeing in the workplace, diversity, equity & inclusion (DE&I) needs to be a top priority for organisations. It is crucial to foster a positive and inclusive workplace that is conducive to the health and wellbeing of all employees. Without a strategy to improve DE&I, the approach to employee wellbeing is incomplete.
Offering flexible working options can help employees to complete their work as well as take time off. Cultivating a working culture where our employees feel supported can bring about many benefits for all, some are listed as below:
- Improved work/life balance
- Better productivity
- Increased trust of employees
- Good mental health
- An increase in the happiness index
- Enhanced work quality
- Boosted motivation
- Sense of belonging
Since technology has provided us with various approaches to do work, we should allocate them in the best feasible way we can. Hybrid work, remote work, flextime and condensed workweeks are just few of the many examples in which we can offer our employees the liberty to complete the tasks at their own agreed schedules and timings paying more emphasis on how they work instead of where they work. This further brings about another advantage in the form of reduced absenteeism and takes away a negative impact away from work quality.
The expertise of tech workers has never been more in demand. With much of the UK workforce operating from home, businesses continue to rely heavily on IT skills in the future. To support tech employees’ wellbeing and protect them from burnout, employers need to have a support system in place to ensure they retain talent and reduce turnover and hiring costs.
Encouraging self-care and gratitude can also help the entire workforce to promote good mental health and wellbeing. Offering resources that help practice mindfulness and teach calming breathing techniques is also a fantastic way to look after the day-to-day wellbeing of your workers. To ensure that employees are feeling safe and relaxed in the organisations, regular employee surveys can also be put into practice. This will keep a track on their mental and emotional wellbeing and inform line managers promptly whether a quick team meeting, health and safety training or a get-away day is needed.
Employers should aim to establish support networks, whether in the form of counselling, employee-led groups or support from line managers. Providing employees with a space to talk about stress can ensure that preventative measures are put in place early.
Lastly, being reachable is the most important thing you can do as an employer. When your employees know and understand different work policies and they know who to reach out to when a crisis arises, they will be much more confident in the support they will be provided. Moreover, it is also crucial as managers to model healthy behaviors so our employees know that they can trust us and contact us in time of need.
Wellbeing at work impacts an organisation’s culture, affecting productivity, performance, and impacting absence rates and staff retention. It is in the interests of both employers and employees to have good mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Let’s promise ourselves that we as an individual will play our part in creating a psychologically safe, healthy. supportive and strong workplaces that should have existed all along!
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