Updated: Feb 17
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
Increased Agility in Leadership Promotes Good Health of Teams
One obvious sign of a good leader is consistency. However, sometimes overly extended, and stressed executives fall into the trap of being too rigid in their approach. This can quickly lead to a “this is the way we’ve always done it,” mindset, squashing agility flat.
So, how can leaders strengthen their agility muscles in a new way without undoing the hard work they’ve done to date? The answer is two-fold: first, it’s essential for leaders to use good self-regulation skills. Learn to recognize the stressors and potential for “rigid thinking” and reframe it. Secondly, effective leaders use that momentum to push their teams forward in a positive way. It is much easier for an executive or leader to encourage innovative thinking and agility when their own needs in these areas are being met.
If you’ve ever worked with a personal trainer, you know that the first step is an assessment of your current physical fitness level. From there, the trainer gives you exercises to perform to balance out your strong and weak areas.
It’s the same with consistency and agility. You want to keep the strong work ethic, focus, and drive you currently have while exploring opportunities to be more agile and think outside the box more frequently.
What Else do Healthy Teams Need?
Healthy teams need a healthy leader…take care of yourself so you can take care of others. Taking care of yourself by dealing effectively with stress, and making certain your needs—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual—are met is critical, now more than perhaps ever before. What starts at the top, after all, always flows downward.
Excellent listening skills, consistency, and agility are key elements to effective leadership. Having great emotional intelligence is another area of extreme importance. Leaders who excel in these areas position themselves to succeed and maximize the ROI in business.
Would your team say you’re concerned about their health and wellness? If you want to increase the wellbeing of yourself and your employees, why not get in touch with us today? A complimentary introductory call can make a significant improvement in your business.