Employee Wellbeing – Top Tips for Line Manager

Since Covid-19 hit the way, we work has changed drastically. Remote working has now blurred the boundaries between home and work, making it so much more difficult to switch off for the day. As individuals we have the most power over our own wellbeing through selfcare. But when you look closely, employees dedicate roughly a third of their lives, their emotions, attention, and energy to work, which means that employers can and should guard their wellbeing.

Employees are increasing seen seeking support from their line managers so here are some tips that can help you to reduce the impact of your people.

Spotting the signs

While a little pressure can help us be more productive, it shouldn’t negatively impact our behaviour at work.

It’s important to check in with those who may be showing signs of stress. Those closest to the employee are best placed to do this, so line managers should be aware of the symptoms and know how to respond.

Look out for these common red flags within your team which may signal that it’s time to step in:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Short tempered
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Struggling to make decisions
  • Worrying about routine tasks

Here are five tops to reduce improve wellbeing in the workplace:

  1. Ensure that you are offered training on how to deal with employees who are struggling in the workplace. Having the right tools and knowledge in order to be a supportive line manager can make a huge difference. It can be the reason a struggling employee feels they can stay at their job. People managers should ensure that they put in the time and effort to know each direct report, as it makes an employee much more likely to approach them in a time of need.
  2. Stress in the workplace often comes down to resourcing. Teams are overly stretched, and the amount of job resource just isn’t enough to meet the job demands which leads to the definition of work stress. Ensure that sufficient resources are provided and that workloads are distributed fairly.
  3. Where possible, allow time to plan ahead, as this can create a healthy habit making it easier to deal with new situations. Structure can help with direction and achievement so that your employee can see the end goal and feel success when getting there.
  4. Empower your employees and encourage them to take time out of their busy schedules. Whether that be booking annual leave, working from home or blocking out the diary for some ‘time to think’. A change of scenery or working space can have a huge impact on your employee’s wellbeing along with having some breathing space to actually get tasks completed.
  5. Be honest about your own stress levels and ensure employees that they can approach you for support without judgement. Actions speak louder than words – no matter what you say about reasonable working hours and taking proper breaks, the best way to encourage a healthy work-life balance is simply by role-modelling it. The same goes for showing vulnerability and asking for help when needed.

While employers have certain legal and ethical obligations, and the best ones go far beyond these, the full responsibility to relieve stress for employees does not lie with them. All of us are responsible for our own wellbeing and should make this our number one priority. Perhaps the main task of organisations is to create an environment where employees feel encouraged to do so, as well as comfortable saying “I’m struggling” – knowing that this is not a sign of weakness, but of strength.

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