It goes without saying, it’s been tough for small businesses and people’s lives. What the pandemic has done is bring a wave of change for how we do things and what’s important. Well-being has risen to the forefront of individuals and organisations.
Gallup recently published its State of the Global Workplace Report and concluded 45 per cent of Australian workers experience daily stress. Gallup goes on to state, “Managers need to weave wellbeing into the ‘how we do things around here’ conversation of business.”
Now is the time to re-think how we work for business sustainability and success and the physical and mental health of people at work. The good news is, it doesn’t take much time and effort to make a big difference to how people feel and perform.
“It’s time for people to shine and businesses to thrive”
It’s so much easier than you think to find a balance between work and wellbeing. I call it Workbeing – the art of being healthy, happy and productive – allowing businesses to thrive.
The seven steps of workbeing
- Take a deep, slow breath.
- Drink more water.
- Sit, stand, and walk tall.
- Get up from your chair every 60 minutes and prioritise exercise.
- Eat well by going green and cutting out the crap.
- Get to bed on time and get off the phone at night.
- Be thankful.
How business can thrive
It all starts with the boss.
When leaders are looking after themselves it spreads to the rest of the business. So, the first place to improve the wellbeing of your business is with you.
Martin Green is the boss of a manufacturing business employing 60 staff. Martin says, “Previously I struggled with mental balance which effected business decisions, now I’m far more productive and capable of dealing with issues calmly and quickly.” As a result, Martin reports his business has achieved its three best financial years since he took control in 2005, prior to the pandemic. He also reports his better emotional health has helped develop better relations and trust with his colleagues and staff.
Business owners then need to implement wellbeing initiatives to encourage their staff to be healthier by giving them access to healthier options, resources and experts. It does not have to be expensive either.
Here are some ideas:
• walking meetings
• stand up adjustable desks
• replace unhealthy snacks and drinks with healthier options
• starting a meeting with a “wellbeing win”
• wellbeing focus of the week or month such as sleep, movement, stress etc
• step challenge with a weekly or monthly prize
• a weekly group fitness session
• establish a “well-being buddy” so each employee connects regularly with a colleague which also builds relationships and trust
• organise a calendar of events ranging from monthly to quarterly activities
• provide access to experts such as subsidising personal training, dieticians or councillors
• organise a wellbeing leader to be the key organiser and “go-to” person
• ask staff what they want and what their challenges are.
Not everyone buys in but most employees value the fact the boss and the business is taking steps to look after them.
People are the lifeblood of your business. When people feel better (not stressed or burning out) they perform better. They enjoy coming to work and stay longer, reducing turnover costs. They work more productively and cost less in losses such as sick days and claims. All it takes is setting up schemes to encourage healthier habits to make a big difference to how people work and their personal wellbeing. That is the essence of Workbeing.