Give your managers the tools they need to help support employee wellbeing and productivity while strengthening their leadership skills. This collection explores best practices to help managers empower their people to achieve common goals while driving meaningful change from the ground up. Read the previous part of the post-pandemic leadership series.
COVID-19, the ensuing adoption of remote and hybrid work models, along with the Great Resignation, have created an unprecedented level of volatility in the workplace that is predicted to continue well beyond 2022. As a result of this volatility, several trends are expected to shape the new world of work, and among them, experts believe that wellness will become the newest metric companies will use to understand employees. Moreover, wellness has become a major consideration for the post-pandemic workplace as employees continue to experience prolonged negative effects on their stress and happiness levels.
Many companies have realized the importance of expanding wellness benefits but few have been able to ensure the added investment paid off. For companies that did succeed in getting employees to utilize their wellness programs, the scale of the impact was as follows: 23% increased levels of mental health, 17% increased levels of physical health, and 23% improved sleep. Employers that recognize wellness as a competitive advantage and are able to ensure employees reap the benefits of wellness programs tend to cultivate workforces that are more productive and more likely to stay.
In order to thrive in a post-pandemic world, managers and HR leaders will need to address the challenge of creating a culture that supports the wellbeing needs of a geographically-distributed workforce. Managers play a key role in the lives of the employees they manage: when an employee feels their manager cares about them, burnout is 70% less likely to occur on a regular basis. Therefore, it is critical that managers encourage their people to learn and adopt effective strategies to support their wellbeing.
The dedication of managers to wellbeing initiatives is pivotal for success – here are five key recommendations for managers leading remote and hybrid teams:
- Prioritize work-life balance: a healthy balance can enhance mental and physical health. The ‘always on’ culture among remote employees can be detrimental to long-term wellbeing. Make sure your team knows when, and that it’s okay, to unplug. Offer sustainable ways of working so your people can have greater control over juggling home-life and work-life in a way that suits them best.
- Curb work-related stress: increase strategic thinking and innovation while combating burnout. Ambiguous expectations and unmanageable workloads can create a stressful work experience. Schedule regular check-ins to address challenges, answer questions, ensure schedules are stable, and deadlines are reasonable.
- Foster workplace connections: relationships in the workplace play a strong role when it comes to purpose, satisfaction, and collaboration. Guide employees on developing supportive connections at work by creating peer mentorship programs and delegating projects that require teamwork. Initiate remote and in-person team bonding activities to form and strengthen relationships.
- Get buy-in at all levels: being part of high-level improvement initiatives fosters wellbeing. Hold sessions where employees are given the opportunity to voice their concerns and come up with solutions to the issues identified.
- Create an inclusive culture: to foster belonging, wellbeing, and build confidence. Make sure all feel valued and respected, empower employees to bring their authentic selves to work, and remain vigilant in challenging biases. Ensure that your team members have equal opportunities for advancement and track important metrics to monitor DEI strategies.
The world of work that emerged in the aftermath of the pandemic is one that has seen a considerable rise in a variety of employee wellbeing issues. And it is up to managers to support their people’s mental and emotional health as they are the first point of call for addressing, preventing, and managing wellbeing in the organization. Equipping managers with tools to provide effective wellbeing support for remote teams is a crucial way in which organizations can set themselves apart from the competition, and make sure that they are prepared to serve the needs of the workforces of the future.
Montara continuously examines the many digital behavioral elements that impact wellbeing and produces daily updates to promote sustained feelings of resiliency and belonging. Learn how to ensure your workplace is conducive to your people’s changing wellbeing needs every day.