How to Look After Your Employee’s Wellbeing

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It’s been a tough couple of years, with most businesses still feeling the impact of the fallout from the GFC, whilst gearing up for another ‘boom’ run. Most business owners will agree that it’s hard to get, and keep, good staff. It’s essential, therefore, to make sure your staff are mentally resilient and ready for the pace of life as we gallop into 2013.

What can you do to make sure your staff are your prime athletes?

Set clear expectations:

Often business owners and managers are frustrated because staff aren’t doing what they want them to – but they have never clearly explained what they want. Don’t expect your staff to be mind-readers! A clear, simple job description together with KPI’s or “measures of success” is essential. Take the time to review this with your staff from time to time, you might be surprised what extra jobs have crept in (or subtly been forgotten).

Give and ask for regular feedback:

People need to know how they are doing. Find reasons to give feedback to your staff on how they are doing – and don’t wait until they have done something wrong. Create the feedback loop – ask them how they feel about the job, and what you can do to make the job easier for them.

Set standards:

You need to set your standards for quality, and make sure everyone in the company understands and complies with them – that includes you! Often we find business owners and managers who have found short cuts in systems – they might be able to get away with it due to their years of experience, but often staff fall flat on their faces when they try the same short-cuts. Be a great example to your staff.

Engage in respectful communications:

Think about the conversations you need to have. If it is delicate, or could raise personal or performance issues, find a quiet, private space for the conversation. Bawling your staff member out in front of others, not only demotivates that person, but the rest of the team as well.

Acknowledge great work:

If you’ve got something great to say about someone’s work – let them know. There’s no need to save them up like frequent flyer points, cash them in straight away! And if you are giving great feedback – make sure the rest of the team, customers and suppliers know about it as well.

Offer support:

We know that staff don’t perform at their best all the time. Sometimes there are home or work issues that get in the way of great performance. Offer your support and gently find out what is the root cause of the poor performance. Consider developing links to an employee assistance provider who can offer your staff counselling and advice.

Get support yourself:

Sometimes it is stressful managing people. If you don’t look after your own wellbeing, how can you look after others? Looking after yourself can mean undertaking skills training, working with professional advisers, and making sure you have a good work life balance.

Jayne Griffiths