Feel the love: 7 things you can do for your people this Valentine’s Day
Want to help your people feel appreciated? Focus on supporting employee wellness. Here’s how....
This Valentine's Day, help your employees feel appreciated by offering them the holistic support they need to develop new habits, establish boundaries, and feel psychologically safe to use their voice in the workplace.
Here are 7 ways to get started.
1. Create a supportive environment where people can ask for help
Your employees feel psychologically safe when they’re free to speak up when they’re at or approaching workload capacity – or simply need a break.
Creating a workplace environment that supports these feelings and behaviors means maintaining a two-way dialogue about bandwidth – and reminding your employees it’s okay to push back when they’re asked to take on too much. Likewise, make sure your employees know they can ask for help, and that they’ll be supported when they do.
When it comes to work-life balance, encourage your employees to not only take time off, but also fully log off when they’re not working. Lead by example by taking time off and logging off yourself. And remind employees that taking a break isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength – and that feeling recharged is better for their health and their work.
2. Ask employees for feedback about their wellness at work – and take action on that feedback
To better understand how your employees feel about their wellness, simply ask them. Employee listening tools help you quickly and nimbly get a pulse on how your employees feel at work.
Once you’ve gathered insights about your workplace culture, take action on the feedback your employees have shared.
Be sure to communicate the changes you’re making based on their feedback. This helps employees feel heard and that you value their opinions.
3. Demonstrate the connection to your organization’s strategic objectives
Understanding the link between their work and your organization’s goals helps employees feel a sense of purpose and direction. In turn, employees will also feel a better sense of resilience and well-being.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas:
- Plan a session with your whole team to outline the organization’s strategic objectives and explain how the work your team does aligns to those goals. Then, set team goals with tangible results.
- In one-to-one meetings, discuss how an individual’s contributions tie to the team and company goals.
- Celebrate their achievements! Reinforce your team’s successes, however small, and reflect on the progress your team (and individuals) has made against the overall goals.
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4. Encourage open dialogue and new ideas
Your employees have new and innovative ideas as to how to make things better, whether it’s a simple process improvement or a new product or solution. Giving employees a forum to share their ideas openly provides them with room to grow – and a boost to feeling well at work.
5. Foster a sense of belonging in the workplace
Wellness at work occurs when employees feel a sense of belonging; when they’re able to bring their whole, authentic selves to the workplace and feel free to share their unique thoughts, feelings, and ideas without worrying they’ll be judged or made to feel inferior because of their contributions.
Our research shows that managers are a major influence on employees feeling a sense of belonging. Employees who trust their managers, believe that they care about them as individuals, and listen to their perspectives experience a high sense of belonging. Feeling supported in adapting to organizational changes is one of the top influences on having a sense of belonging.
6. Support employees in building new skills
Help employees grow more confident by encouraging them to learn new skills and experiment with trial and error. Encourage them to seek out ways to expand their abilities without fear of failure or embarrassment.
As a manager, remain flexible with the outcome – and lead by example in learning new skills yourself. Sharing your wins and losses will help your employees feel safe to do so, as well.
7. Help employees foster meaningful connections at work
We all know the power of trusted connections to offer support when we are going through challenging times, but some employees may not feel comfortable seeking social support from their peers and colleagues.
Help employees foster meaningful connections within your organization by creating opportunities for collaboration. Encourage your people to reach out to fellow employees to create broader networks and new opportunities for learning and growth. This will also help support fostering a sense of belonging for them, as well.
And remember: The most successful employee wellness programs are ones that take a holistic approach – where managerial and organizational action are complemented by empowering employees to prioritize their own well-being.
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