The Increasing Responsibilities of an Employer
by The Yorkshire Mafia , May 16
With conversation around mental health dominating the headlines and National Mental Health Awareness Week (13 – 19 May) encouraging people to talk more, employers are becoming increasingly accountable for the impact that workplace culture and procedures have upon the wellbeing of their workforce.
As a result, behaviours and attitudes which have long been associated with professional success are being challenged, with ‘burning the candle at both ends’ recognised as counterproductive and detrimental to an employee’s long-term productivity.
Achieving a better work/life balance is high on the list of aspirations for many and is undoubtedly a major factor in reducing instances of stress-induced illness, which is a leading reason for employee absence from the workplace.
In fact, with 15.4 million working days lost during 2017/18 (source: hse.gov.uk), employers across all industries have been forced to consider how they can improve staff wellbeing within their organisations.
For larger companies, offering free-of-charge meditation sessions, yoga and mentoring schemes is growing in popularity as a way to support staff in channelling those everyday pressures in a positive way. Though, despite absence having a crippling effect for smaller businesses, these organisations are often lacking the resources necessary to subsidise out-of-work activities.
This is however no excuse, and just because budgets are tight it doesn’t mean that an organisation is unable to make small cultural changes which can have a significant impact.
Take a break
In an ‘always on’ society, encourage team members to switch off and take time to re-charge. Taking regular breaks is not only good for the mind, but it helps to limit procrastination meaning that the time that is spent at the desk remains productive. As the well-known brand reference goes, ‘Have a Break Have a Kit Kat’ – after all, a little energy boost goes a long way!
Stick to office hours
Putting in extra hours was, and still is in many industries, seen as a measure of dedication. However, a burnt-out team will never perform at their best and certainly won’t create the best impression when representing a business. Where workload allows, encourage employees to leave on time and, better still, show your appreciation for the extra effort as and when it’s required.
Not only because it leads to reduced stress levels and increased creativity, but also because cultivating strong relationships between team members makes your business a much happier place to work.
Furthermore, a team that becomes self-appointed ambassadors for a business is invaluable. Employees may not realise it, but they could become the strongest talent sourcing service that a company didn’t have to pay for.
Instil a sense of shared purpose
No matter where employees are in the hierarchy, everybody should have a sense of shared purpose. Whether it’s the handyman, administrator or a senior member of the team, having an idea of the ‘bigger picture’ and how each person contributes to that is vital to making individuals feel that they are a valued as a member of the workforce.
There’s not a person on the earth who would like to go to work and be constantly criticised. While critiquing and providing constructive feedback is necessary to get the best out of workers, balancing this with positivity is the key to retaining an upbeat vibe and a group of people who are excited to face the challenges ahead.
Make networking a priority
Contrary to popular belief, networking is not only a way to generate new business, but is a great way to meet others who can become a support network. They do say that a problem shared is a problem halved and we’re inclined to agree. Plus, taking some time away from the desk is never a bad thing.
If you’d like to find out more about how the Yorkshire Mafia can help you and your employees to develop a trusted network of their own, come along to one of our future events which be found on our events page.