The My Whole Self Campaign is dedicated to helping employees feel comfortable bringing their whole self to the workplace. As a manager, you may be wondering why this is important for wellbeing in the workplace and how you can encourage this further.
The Importance of My Whole Self for Managers
When it comes to discussing the My Whole Self Campaign, it’s vital you do not separate employees from management. At the end of the day, every member of staff should be able to feel comfortable bringing their whole self to work as it is better for both wellbeing and for business.
Uniting as a team and encouraging wellbeing in the workplace helps individuals feel safe and connected which results in working better together and increasing productivity. Management plays a critical role because they manage the team. It is therefore a manager’s responsibility to drive this philosophy and build working environments to maximise wellbeing and, consequently, productivity.
“With the right time, tools, and training managers can help create healthy and productive workplace cultures where everyone belongs, and everyone can thrive.”Simon Blake, Chief Executive, MHFA England
How to Encourage Wellbeing in the Workplace
The main way in which management can encourage wellbeing in the workplace is by making sure they are an effective manager. This means building strong working relationships and helping team members navigate challenges. Here’s how you can do this:
Establish Wellbeing Objectives from the Offset
Right from the start, during the recruitment process, you should make it clear to every candidate that wellbeing is a priority. Excite them about your organisation and your commitment to high performance; give a realistic but positive impression of yourself and the organisation.
Make sure the recruitment process reflects your organisational values and encourage individuals to bring their whole self to their application too. By acknowledging that wellbeing and performance fuel one another, you can reassure them that you will help them thrive and ensure they are seen, heard and valued.
Build a Strong Foundation Immediately
The start of their new role indicates the beginning of a work relationship, so laying and building a strong foundation is vital. Take the time to get to know your new employee, making their roles and responsibilities clear, and introduce them to the rest of the team. In addition to informing them of how you are going to work together, make sure you ask them how best they work and meet their needs to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Set expectations, demonstrate support and signpost them towards key policies and services.
Bring New & Current Team Members Together
In order to create a psychologically safe, inclusive and emotionally healthy environment, you should put time aside for the entire team to develop their relationships with the new team member. Foster a culture that encourages relationships of trust with and between members of their team; this could be implementing regular team time and discussions.
During these discussions, you should set clear objectives and link these to the team and organisation’s objectives. By determining a link between individual objectives, team plans and business objectives, you can bring the team together. In turn, you will build a diverse, high performing team that find work rewarding, and are connected to the business values and strategy.
Check-In Regularly with Team Members
Regular one-to-one meetings and reviews are critical as it’s an opportunity to discuss wellbeing, performance and the relationship between the two. This process enables you to support your team and make everyone feel like they belong, ensuring they are seen, heard and valued equally.
Make sure your one-to-one framework focuses on important issues and enables you to put actions into place to remove any stressors. Also, by implementing these reviews on a regular basis, you can guarantee there will always be chances to check progress in a more formal manner. This includes creating performance and wellbeing action plans to enable you to provide high support and challenge individuals professionally.
By conducting these regularly, you will develop stronger working relationships and gain the ability to spot signs that things may not be right. This could include team members approaching you directly, or a change in behaviour, appearance and/or performance. It’s important to find an appropriate time and place to check in when you spot these signs and approach the meeting with empathy.
If individuals have been absent due to physical or mental illness, it’s important for managers to deal with this in the best way for the individual and management themselves. You need to make sure team members still feel supported during their absence but also understand that you can’t solve everything. Remember you have support from your HR team, so decide how’s best to communicate with the rest of the team and guarantee complete clarity.
Management & Wellbeing in the Workplace with My Whole Self
Evaluating your progress as a team and as a manager will help you celebrate success and identify issues, allowing you to develop and thrive together. Being an effective manager means making sure you are aware of your development as well as being mental health aware.
“29% of managers said that more support and training from their employer would assist them in creating a team in which everyone feels safe to bring their whole self to work.”MHFA England
At Training for Life, our workplace mental health training and consultancy will help you to effectively manage employee wellbeing. View our upcoming course dates today or get in touch with us directly to discuss your requirements.