05 / Feb / 2018

Written by Melanie Forbes

The first of the Elite members’ meetings of the year got underway last week with a thought-provoking call for action on the very relevant topic of employee engagement and wellbeing. The importance for us all in ensuring that our employees are engaged and happy is so pertinent following the Christmas break and the January optimism of a New Year. Followed by the need to get back to it by maximising employee performance, outperforming our competitors and developing our businesses!

There were many take-aways from the session provided by Anna Rasmussen of Open Blend Method but three things were particularly clear to me: Communication is King and this needs to be Sustainable and part of the everyday fabric of what you do as an organisation; and the Leaders/Managers of a business play the most important role in engaging and influencing the wellbeing of your employees.

There are many examples out there of companies taking a Macro view of employee engagement, a more of a one size fits all approach, but as we know with four generations of the workforce comes four different ways and needs of working. The more unique, Micro, we can make the engagement of our employees the easier it is to motivate and drive positive outcomes for everyone. Does that mean having a wish list from employees that employers need to come prepared with wallet and willpower to tick off? Not at all, it’s about giving them a voice, understanding what is important to them and being open and honest with what the business and their Manager can provide.

We need to instil Blend over Balance in our business to encourage our people to bring their whole self to work. Work-Life Balance entails a balancing act of work and life which is not sustainable, we know that when we blend these things they become far more manageable and as a result, our stress levels are reduced. A key measure of our employees’ wellbeing is their happiness, their ability to manage stress and their confidence, no surprise that these three things are linked and perpetual. In the latest studies, we understand that 65% of employees are still not reaching their full potential so the critical gains are within our grasp.

In an age when we are far more self-aware of our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing and we have already experienced how technology has reduced the need to communicate directly with each other, we need to provide our people with consistent airtime. The conditions of a job can now outweigh the job itself in both selection of a role and whether we stay in a role. The emphasis is on providing an environment where people feel that they can make a difference and have an impact. It’s important that we provide an environment whereby our employees can better themselves by specific learning and development inside and outside work.

As often said, “actions speak louder than words”. If you are not doing so already, invest in your Managers/Leaders to become better people managers, provide regular structured one to ones, encourage conversation, adopt practices at a micro level for employee needs, and start truly caring about the happiness, stress levels and confidence of your people. In doing so you will be able to support your employees to maximise their potential. The outcomes for our businesses are limitless.

Interested in becoming an Elite Member? For more information on our Elite Leader Memberships, please call Sue Evans on 0844 993 4465 or visit our website www.eliteleaders.co.uk