Employee well-ness and Employee Assistance Programmes need to go hand in hand with running your business – small, medium or large! Why? Employees spent a vast amount of time at work – your business – every day, every week, every year. More than at home for many of them! So make it a happy, healthy place to be.
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It will give you benefits by:
- Fewer absence hours through illness and anxieties caused in or outside work
- Less turnover of staff with a good benefits package
- A great public image as well as internal image
- Happier staff who are happier to help your customers!
- Healthier people are proactive, active, productive people!
Several considerations to make and things you can do to help your employees get well and stay well are as follows, and can be fairly simple to implement and maintain. Even small and medium companies can have a provision to help their employees when the going get’s tough.
I have worked with EAPs and found that employees greatly value this help in the main. It isn’t expected but when it’s needed it helps everyone involved, not just work, so it is a valuable offer!
It’s difficult to concentrate on work and your job, the details and the overview, if you have ‘stuff’ going on in your head and body!
Physical illness might be ongoing or just a new bug this week; it could be a physical pain that niggles constantly or restricts what someone can do at work. If that accident occurred at work and it continues to impact on home and family too, then it takes it’s toll on work-place accountability and trust.
Mental illness can be ongoing – reducing a person to stressed-out fanatic or basic-only depressed states that can impact heavily on your production and team morale! It can affect the whole team and the management to have to manage problems every day with little or no change in the person/s situation!
Don’t under-estimate the impact of team morale on your (un)productive team – it chips away, demeans efforts and decisions, worries people unnecessarily and definitely reduces cognitive ability to concentrate and their creativity!
Environmental stressors come under Health & Safety generally but this too can be relatively easily managed if you take the time and everyone gets behind you! And if they won’t – maybe ask why not? These are, after all, everyone’s problem and everyone can be part of the solutions!
Small efforts for big rewards
- A chance to chat – over lunch, breaks, the desk if not too long. Sharing anxieties or uncertainties is part of team work – it helps problem-solving, develops a supportive community and helps bond the team who work together and ‘live’ together daily!
- A chance to ask for advice from more formal routes – HR, management, EAP services. The HR function rarely these days offers necessary support and advice to employees, rather helps the employers to manage their staff issues. Does your HR department offer advice via managers to the team members e.g. furniture and siting help, annual eye test opportunity that isn’t shared openly or can someone ring and ask for help and advice that will ultimately help them to be a good employee for the company – not just a rod to keep people in line?
- Fruit and soft drinks available, even water, all the time for a snack or treat, a chance for down time even a few minutes of which can re-vitalise flagging energy levels! Water is free (sort of) and yet is an under-used option in schools and workplaces. A regular sip of water from a glass sitting on your desk will rehydrate you, keep your mind working effectively and efficiently and your body healthily hydrated to (not to mention skin health and looking good!)
- A smile from the team leader helps. Even when they are stressed and pressured, part of their job it to maintain and build morale. A welcoming smile rather than grumpy grimace sets the tone for day at work or a meeting we haven’t got time for! Yet some people don’t smile, they are living in their heads planning, designing, wondering and forget the people they work with around them! Remind them. And smile when you do!
- Ease the pressure. Easier said than done when there is always so much to do and deadlines to meet? Organisation and planning are key skills to have and develop at work, and you as managers or your team as leaders, need to develop them as an ongoing process.
Why? Because it helps creativity flow, it gives space for the mind to work it’s won magic, it let’s people bre – ea – athe! ( In some cases literally!)
How? Set your deadline for the team – and add in a few minutes or hours more! This also needs to take account of the last-minute crammers and the spend-days-doers but it can be done by a good manager! Tell people what you expect of them in this project management timescale – maybe not everyone has the same deadline as different tasks apply/are required at different times. Plan for each member’s input and capacity to fulfil the planned steps towards the joint outcome!
Build a successful workplace wellness programme
Do EAPs work?