Notes from my recent talk at Synergy Churches online conference
This week I was one of the speakers at an online zoom conference with over 300 people from all over the world! What an experience.
I was asked to speak on ‘Wellbeing in the Workplace’ to inspire other companies, community groups & churches to embrace wellbeing practices both personally, and as teams.
I’m thankful for the time and space I’ve been given at Continuity Marketing to help shape a culture of wellbeing in the workplace. I’ve learnt a lot over the past year and wanted to share some of my top tips with you.
Here’s my top 8 tips for workplace wellbeing:
1. Check up on holistic wellbeing
Checking in on holistic wellbeing is not only a relational thing to do, but is also a smart business decision. If you invest in the holistic wellbeing of your staff, you’ll see an increase in productivity levels and motivation.
- Avoid burnout
- Increase motivation
- Improve team culture
The truth is, healthy teams are happy teams. Happy teams will give more energy to their work.
2. Change the culture
You don’t have to be in a position of leadership to influence a change in culture or to look out for your colleagues.
You can start here:
- Have a ‘non-work chat’ coffee break with a colleague
- Suggest team socials
- Create team challenges
- Form group chats
- Tell stories about your own life to create a culture where this is normal
The way to turn these one-offs into a culture shift is to schedule them in regular, predictable rhythms and encourage others to take the lead once they’ve seen how it’s done. A culture is never a culture if it’s one person. But often, it starts with one or two people to get it going.
3. Lead by example
If you are in a position of leadership, it’s important to lead by example. This way, you’ll set the tone for the rest of your team about expectations, what’s encouraged and what’s acceptable.
- Start a team challenge for charity or exercise goals
- Create a culture where 1:1s are prioritised and not purely performance-based
- Get in motivational speakers to talk about something not specifically industry-related
- Buy everyone pizza every now and then!
The most important thing to remember is that managers need to look after their wellbeing too. Don’t self-sacrifice 24/7. If that’s all your team sees, that’s what they’ll think is expected of them too. If that happens, you could very quickly have a whole team of burnt out employees on your hands.
4. Celebrate diversity
The likelihood is that your team is made up on different individuals with a myriad of skillsets, backgrounds, experiences and gifts. They probably all have a few areas of weakness as well. Understanding the differences and diversity of your employees will benefit your whole team.
Personality types are a great tool for this. They can help you gain some insight into your team’s skillsets, and where you lack certain skills across the board.
If used smartly, this can be incredibly useful in recruitment processes to ensure you’re hiring the right people to fill your skills gaps.
Personality types, particularly Myers Briggs & Enneagram
5. Celebrate successes
Ensure that your team feel valued by celebrating their wins! Create a culture of praise by publicly acknowledging the excellent work of a member of staff.
This can be done in multiple ways:
- Personal messages to the individual
- Shout-out in your team meeting
- Message in a group chat
- Employee awards
‘Disco’ in Microsoft Teams allows your whole team to give ‘kudos’ to each other
6. Keep learning curves steep
As soon as your employee’s learning curve drops off, their motivation will follow. If people don’t feel challenged at work they’ll very quickly feel unfulfilled. If you’re worried about staff retention, this is a key one for you.
Discover what your employee’s interests are and encourage them to explore that area and expand their skillset.
Here’s some useful ways:
- Use LinkedIn Learning
- Industry-related training events
- Bring in guest speakers to talk about inspiring topics
7. Shake up the monotony
Stop talking about the weather! Honestly, stop it with the small talk. Literally no one enjoys it. If you’re stuck for things to chat about, why not come up with a random questions to learn more about each other’s interests or personal life. For example, “what was your first concert?” or “have you lived here all your life?”.
- Change up your regular team meetings by having a different round table topic
- Ask people about their life or goals
Every Monday ask how everyone’s weekend was.
Every Friday share lows & highs of the week.
Every month ask people what they would like to stop, start or continue.
8. Create space for vulnerability
Would your employees feel comfortable asking for time off if they were struggling with their mental health? Would they know who to go to if they needed to chat about something in their personal life?
If the answer to these questions is ‘no’ or ‘not sure’, then read on.
It’s so important for employees to be able to process their emotions and personal issues with someone safe at work. Otherwise, these issues could be left unresolved, bottled up and will ultimately effect their ability to work.
Don’t know how to create a safe space?
Consider the following:
- Get all line managers to ask about mental wellbeing intentionally (people can always choose not to respond)
- Over-communicate to your entire team that mental health days are an appropriate use of sick days if required
- Have a ‘buddy’ system for newbies so that they know who to come to if they’re struggling.
This is worth the investment, trust me.
I have every confidence that if you implement these 8 tips, your workplace will be transformed for the better.
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20 Feb 2021