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Effective Leaders Focus on Team Wellness in 2021…and Beyond

Updated: Feb 17, 2022

Whose responsibility is the health and wellness of an organization’s teams? This question has risen to the forefront of many effective leaders’ minds in the past year. The global pandemic and economic aftermath have also left leaders with an important realization: a focus on building up team members is more important than ever before. Employee wellness featured in many news articles in 2020 as more workers reported burnout and increased amounts of stress. Abrupt changes in most workplaces including work-at-home situations added to the stress.

Leaders too, were stretched thin as they worked to keep teams organized and motivated working remotely, in addition to learning new software systems and platforms. What’s come out of this time is the knowledge that the health and wellbeing of employees is an area requiring continued focus and attention.

Serving as a Leader: What Teams Need from You Now

The top 10 leadership trends and hot topics for 2021 were captured by DDI. Surprisingly, employee wellbeing topped the list at number one. While this trend was already growing, the pandemic and its aftereffects have only reiterated its importance. How can leaders best support the well-being of their teams? Through coaching, setting realistic performance goals and assisting in the prioritization of work tasks.

Companies which have built-in employee wellness programs, incentives for things like healthy eating and exercise, and other focused attention on team members health are ahead of the game. Executives, however, play a role far beyond that which any health-focused program offers. Effective leaders know that wellness goes far beyond the physical to include mental and emotional health. For example, employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times likelier to feel empowered to do their best work, says this article in Forbes magazine. Additionally, the article states, “96% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention”.

“Good health IS good business” –Paul Drechsler, CEO, Wates Group Limited

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