Google’s vision for their employees, is to create the “happiest, healthiest, and most productive workforce on the planet.” Why? Because, a consistent work overload left a lot of them feeling tired, stressed and burnt-out. End result: disengagement and unproductivity. It’s the same story everywhere.
As crucial as it is for your team members to manage their stress thresholds, even you have a role to play in helping them. There’s a growing body of research that suggests the following practices for you to implement. The good news – these are neither budget, not time intensive.
- Encourage well-being. Corporations have employee wellness policies, which get lost in the hum-drum of daily work. That’s all the more reason to reinforce it. Stress is contagious. But, so is well-being. According to a Gallup report, in 105 teams surveyed over six three-month periods, individual employees who reported experiencing positive feelings, were 20% more likely to have other members who also reported thriving. The only pre-requisite – they need to have trust and camaraderie, for their positivity to rub off on to each other.
Offer you team members some practical tools. It could be mindfulness, walking meetings or shorter work days. The essence of well-being lies in meeting your team’s psychological needs like validation, autonomy, contribution, freedom to communicate, awareness of legal provisions, etc.
- Design a schedule that breathes. Help people pause and recharge during lulls in work activity. If there are no down cycles, create some. Tony Schwarts, founder of the Energy Project, likens a work day to a series of sprints, demanding regular renewal. She urges managers to ask, “How can I help this person design a schedule, such that when s/he is working, s/he is really working?” Don’t forget your own schedule!
DeskTime, a productivity app, studied the most productive workers. The highest-performing 10% worked for 52 consecutive minutes, followed by a 17-minute break. This break was spent away from the computer.
- Express compassion. It’s all about understanding people’s motivators, hopes, and difficulties, to create a support mechanism that allows people to be their best selves. A University of New South Wales study looked at 5,600 people across 77 organizations, and found this to have the greatest correlation with profitability and productivity. Spend more time and effort developing/ recognizing people, welcome feedback, and foster co-operation. A healthcare study shows that a leader’s compassion also increases client satisfaction!
Are you wondering if it is really your job to keep your employees happy and healthy? Then, you would definitely want to know that happy workplaces have a 46% reduction in turnover, 19% reduction in the cost of sick leave, and 12% increase in performance. Go get these numbers for yourself!