Are you a people line manager wondering how to support your staff?
Increasing awareness and making well-being/mental health a ‘normal’ subject is important. Employers see this to be a matter of offering fruit platters, fancy new offices, and gym memberships… but really is this so they can tick a box and say they are taking care of their employees?
What really matters? Fair workloads, flexibility/give and take, open lines of communication, equal and fair pay/benefits, valuing and appreciating staff – a simple ‘thank you goes a long way!
As a line manager is important to know what signs to look out for regarding stress and poor mental health to support the employee appropriately:
- Increased sickness absence or being late
- The standard of work quality decreases
- Easy loss of focus on day-to-day tasks
- Appearing tired or anxious
- Change in mood/personality
- Lapses in memory
- Loss of motivation
What can you do to support an employee going through a stressful and uneasy time?
As an employer, make sure your people managers are trained on how to raise and facilitate this subject. This will not only create a more open and inclusive workplace environment but also help manage and prevent stress levels as managers will be able to tackle any issues early on as they will know what to look for!
Did you know that the most common cause of work-related stress is due to workload? As a manager, make sure to set realistic deadlines and ensure your team has the capacity to complete all tasks required. Overtime is required sometimes, but make sure you give and take – if someone stays back 2 hours to finish a task because your team is short-staffed, then let them finish early on a Friday afternoon… And remember, appreciation is key; a simple ‘thank you’ might make a big difference!
If you notice someone working long hours, and not taking breaks, sit down with them and discuss why this is happening and going forward how can the business support their work-life balance!
Make sure your management style is what your team wants and needs. This is one of the things I hear the most as a recruiter – “my manager this” or “my manager that” – speak to your team and communicate with them. Be the manager you’d want to have.
Flexible working options/work-life balance
Respect your staff’s working hours. Do not expect them to be looking at emails at 8 pm, or be logged in at 7 am if their hours are 9 to 5. Don’t be that manager that doesn’t trust anyone to work from home because you don’t like it personally. Some people do work best and are much more productive when having a day or 2 at home. Be flexible, again life is all about giving and taking. If the job allows flexibility to take a longer lunch, pick up their kids, and log in later on, why not allow this? Flexibility can also be as simple as trusting your team to make up their time if they are late or if they have an appointment, rather than having to book a half day of holiday.
- Listen to their needs. Understand how they work and what motivates them.
- Maybe you can integrate a bi-annual survey to identify any patterns or ways to support staff.
- Provide training sessions on mindfulness and look into a discounted occupational health specialist to add to your package.
- Come up with a stress/well-being policy to add to your handbook.
Did you know that if you promote well-being internally and support your staff, you will likely experience increased employee engagement and productivity, and your business/team will experience fewer sickness absences, a better culture, and likely higher performance?
So why not chose to be an employer that cares?