Wellbeing from the Top Down


It’s all very well for an employer to implement wellbeing initiatives and think great I’ve ticked that box off without really investing themselves in it.  There are many subtle and impactful ways for managers to support employee wellbeing that don’t need to be highly resourceful, time consuming or costly.

From when we were very small children all we wanted was to be told what a great job we were doing, whether that was simply tidying away our toys at the end of the day to doing well at school.  As adults in the workplace it is no different. Praise makes us feel good, empowered and happy.

Here are some relatively simple ways for employers to do that:

Get to know your employees

Set up some 1:1 time with your team members on a regular basis.  Listen to them, ask them how they are getting on, and encourage new ideas and thinking. Engage with them on a personal level as well, ask how their family is, how their local soccer team is doing or how they enjoyed an event. Make them feel like you are genuinely interested in them not just as an employee.

Be a leader and set an example

If you have implemented a ‘let’s get walking’ initiative at lunchtime make sure you get walking too. Employees will feel more motivated and encouraged if they see their manager do it and will feel it’s ok to take a break.  Let them know your wellbeing goals and how you plan to achieve them.

Recognise their work

It takes very little at the end of a day to say thank you and well done for work completed or getting through a stressful busy day.  However, your employee will leave work feeling like it was all worth it and motivated to do it again tomorrow.  Rather than going home feeling worn out and stressed, they will feel satisfied of a good day’s work.

Training and development

Invest in your team and watch them grow.  Putting in place personal development plans will provide a clear path for career progression and further learning.  It doesn’t have to big budget training courses. Cross-functional activities or an opportunity to work on new projects can provide peer to peer learning, which is a great way to develop skills and confidence levels.

Be mental health aware

It’s one of the biggest reasons for absenteeism and is often disguised as something else due to embarrassment or lack of confidence.  Managers who are open about mental health issues, who encourage their team to talk about it and assist in getting help or simply encourage some time off will ultimately reduce the number of incidences through this positive approach.

Have some fun

Introduce some fun initiatives to encourage employees to engage with each other.  Bake offs, last Friday of the month pizza day, Love Monday coffees, raise money for a charity with a sponsored walk, there are lots of things you can do that don’t have to take up too much time or cost.  Ask your employees for ideas, have a vote on the best one and run it for a few months.

Wellbeing in work and in life is about keeping stress at bay, being happy, feeling worthy and respected. It can be done!

 Ingrid O’Sullivan, Operations Manager, Voltedge Management