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8 Ways to Boost Employee Well-Being + Workplace Performance

8 Ways to Boost Employee Well-Being + Workplace Performance

The wellbeing of your employees is directly linked to productivity and how well your business performs. A happy workforce will mean that it’s easier to recruit staff, you can retain them longer, plus they will perform well while they are in your employment.

If you want to increase the wellbeing of your workforce, it’s important that measures are implemented from the top down and each line manager should be trained in the key aspects which can make the biggest differences. Let’s look at eight of these in turn.

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1. Start Right

The induction stage is a crucial aspect of workplace performance. Get this right and you will have staff members who settle quickly, who are up to speed in their job much faster and who are invested more heavily in the future success of the business.

2. Be Clear On the Job Specification

Even before you hire an employee, you need to define clearly the job specification. If this is in place before recruitment you are more likely to hire the right person, plus the employee will recognise that not only are they a great fit for the role but that their skills are being well used.

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3. Offer Training

Offering in-house and external training is a great way to improve retention and gain better-skilled staff. For the employee it’s a signal you are happy to invest in them and that you value them as part of the workforce.

4. Play Fair With Remuneration

Naturally, everyone wants to be as well paid for a job as they can. However, this doesn’t mean people are always seeking the next increase. As long as they feel their salary is fair in terms of the market rate and the business as a whole they will be satisfied.

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5. Don’t Shy Away From Appraisals

Both employees and their managers can dread appraisal time, but approached constructively it’s an opportunity for both sides to communicate about what’s being done well and what leaves room for improvement. Ensuring staff members feel heard is an important element in employee wellbeing.

6. Implement Policies and Procedures

Staff members want to know they will be treated fairly and they also expect the same for their colleagues. The atmosphere in a workplace which tolerates bullying, whether from colleagues, managers or even clients, will quickly decline. While it’s not possible to guard against this eventuality, you should ensure there are robust policies in place to deal swiftly with any issues which arise.

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7. Create a Welcoming Environment

The workplace environment is important to employee wellbeing as you want your staff members to be keen to come to work. In part, this is down to the fabric of the building and the facilities you provide. However, a big factor will be a lively and friendly atmosphere and you should do all you can to foster this, offering benefits in terms of team dinners and staff parties.

8. Pay Attention to Your Employees’ Health

Many employees will go through difficult issues relating to their home life whilst they are in your employment. Ensure you have strategies in place for dealing with this, including a designated member of staff they can speak to or a confidential telephone counselling service they can turn to, these are often included in Private Medical Insurance cover for no additional cost.

You can also take proactive steps to encourage your staff to improve their physical health. Offer subsidised gym memberships; make healthy snacks and chilled water readily available, and provide information to help people quit smoking through alternatives such as e-cigarettes or nicotine patches. With smoking being a hindrance to employee productivity, e-cigarettes are more socially acceptable and be a great method for quitting smoking for good.

Some of these steps will take time and financial investment to implement. However, you will quickly see a return in terms of a happier and more productive workforce.

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James Timpson

Marketeer

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Last Updated on June 18, 2019

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common leadership styles and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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