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As workplaces continue to struggle with the “Great Resignation”, a new study has found that 93% of Australian workers surveyed said their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing is just as important as their level of pay. So what could this mean in practice for workplaces?

“The good news is that there is a clear business case for investing in employee wellbeing,” explained workplace wellbeing researcher Nic Marks when we recently interviewed him. “For example, on a five-point scale, improving an employee’s well-being by half a point equates to $2,500 to $3,500 in additional benefits each year due to improved creativity. , collaboration, productivity and savings on employee retention. »

Nic’s research suggests that there are five evidence-based ways to care for the well-being and resilience of teams at work. They understand:

  • Relate. It’s much easier to do a great job when we’re happy in the company of others, whether we’re online or in our physical workplaces together. Teams that encourage, support, and like each other make problem solving, innovation, and success possible.
  • To be fair. Being treated with fairness and respect is fundamental to a happier job. People thrive when organizations are sensitive to their needs and appreciate the energy they put into them. Teams thrive when co-workers like each other.
  • Empower. Sharing responsibilities and leveraging people’s strengths can unleash incredible potential in organizations. When people are able to be themselves and use their own judgment, they do a great job.
  • Challenge. People are happy in their work when they are absorbed and progress in their work. By making jobs interesting, organizations draw people into a space where they learn and achieve great things.
  • Inspire. Doing work that we find truly useful is a great motivator in our lives and can sustain us through difficult times. Seeing beyond narrow business goals to see how we help others makes work more meaningful.

Specifically, Nic recommends leaders try:

  • Optimization challenges. People like to be stretched in a way that they feel they can learn, without being stretched so much outside their comfort zone that they feel overwhelmed and exhausted. By providing opportunities for playful experimentation, feedback, and reflection, teams can optimize—rather than maximize—challenges so teams can work in ways that build psychological safety, creativity, and innovation.
  • Set limits. Since COVID-19, the boundaries between work and life have deteriorated. Teams can help each other establish healthy boundaries while they work by establishing clear rituals about when they work, where they work (in the office or at home and what days), and how they work together to communicate clearly when carrying out their responsibilities. Often people are reluctant to say “no” because they don’t want to hurt anyone else’s feelings, but know what is acceptable and what is not, and what can and cannot be accommodated. when we work together, makes the ‘yes’ so much stronger.
  • Talk regularly about well-being. Well-being and happiness should be a weekly team conversation to reflect together on what went well last week and what didn’t. By creating safe spaces to discuss how a team can leverage the good and address the negative, small problems are much less likely to become big problems. It’s the repetition that builds trust and makes people feel safe talking about what’s going on in the team.

How do you meet the expectations of workers for more support for well-being?

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