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Boost briefing: 12 tips for staff wellbeing

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Louise Owen is one of Boost's Business Relationship Managers and also a mentor for Boost's Growth Mentoring programme. She gives her 12 top tips on how business owners and managers can support their own and their staff's wellbeing while continuing to work remotely.

Our wellbeing is being impacted like never before. Blurred boundaries between work and home life and the fear, worry and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak continues to take its toll. For the best chance of survival and growth businesses will need to adapt to the changing marketplace and environment.

Businesses have already had to accept temporary closures, new ways of working and changes to daily operational routines. Uncertainty has also affected employees. They are concerned about job security, reduced levels of pay, increased workloads due to colleagues furlough or sickness often leading to resentment by existing employees. Adapting to new ways of working such as homeworking has been a positive experience for some but challenging for others.

On top of this they may have additional personal responsibilities like caring for their family. Employees need to feel valued, this has always been the case but has never been more important than now.

Doing Things Differently

  1. Communication: The single most important thing you can do as a business owner is to communicate openly with your staff. Let staff know what you are doing and why and try to help them to be involved in the process, builds trust. Use picture and video if appropriate as they communicate directly to people on an emotional level and it’s easy for staff to identify with and remember which increases empathy
  2. Provide the right equipment: Ensuring staff have the right equipment to do their job satisfies their basic needs, helps prevent back and neck ache due to poor posture and makes them feel valued which increases motivation and productivity. (It’s important to carry out a risk assessment of their homeworking environment)
  3. Actively listen: Listening to your staff will help them to feel heard and valued
  4. Encourage new ideas and ways of working: Giving staff ownership of a project increases engagement, job satisfaction and motivation
  5. Meet social needs: For home-based staff, new ways of communicating using software or apps meets their social needs, enables sharing of best practice, maintains teamworking and engagement. It can also reduce business overheads and increased productivity.
  6. Encourage sharing of good news stories: Whether work related or personal, sharing good news stories is uplifting and motivational.
  7. Share daily routine tips: Sharing tips on how we manage our work-life balance and own mental health, helps people feel better.
  8. Encourage regular breaks: It has been proved time and time again that if we take a break when we are at are busiest and really don’t feel we have the time to take a break that we return to our task refreshed and often with a different perspective which increases our productivity. Take regular breaks in the fresh air if possible
  9. Praise: Just a simple acknowledgement that they have done a good job makes staff feel valued and increases their motivation.
  10. Increase staff autonomy: Post-It notes and Gmail were both invented by staff
  11. Reframing our inner voice: The mind has a huge effect on ability, and learning how to reframe our often negative self-talk is a skill that we can all benefit from
  12. Seek support: Whether its wellbeing support or any other support you need to help your business, pick up the phone and talk to one of our experienced business relationship managers. We have all had many years in business and helping businesses like yours to thrive. We will listen to you, understand your needs and save you time navigating through the minefield of business support programmes so that we can direct you to the support that is most relevant for you and your business.

Our support is free, impartial and confidential. Our only goal is to help you to grow your business. Companies can find a list of mental health resources here.

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Lancashire County Council