At the beginning of the New Year there is a temptation to set all kinds of resolutions of what you are going to do different/better/more of/less of, which you then fail to keep. We have all been guilty of doing this in the past, but this got me thinking about what questions HR and Managers should be asking themselves at the start of 2017 to help bring about change within the workplace to improve things. To my mind, 2 key areas to support improvement should be around wellbeing and employee engagement. Therefore I would suggest the 2 key questions to ask at the beginning of the year should be:
Will the Company introduce a Wellbeing policy?
In the report ‘The Business Case for Employees Health and Wellbeing’ completed for Investors in People UK prepared by the work foundation, it found the benefits which can derive from a healthier workforce included fewer accidents, higher productivity, higher commitment, improved resilience, reduced sickness, improved ‘brand’ and improved retention which is all positive for a business.
A wellbeing policy doesn’t have to be an expensive, complex or time consuming thing to implement, it can be small changes like increasing the length of lunch breaks to allow people time to attend exercise classes, providing information regarding healthy lifestyles within the break rooms, providing fruit in the workplace, training managers to make sure they have the skills to hold conversations with employees about their welfare and having regular meetings with employees.
As a manager, will I help my organisation improve employee engagement?
Although employee engagement maybe seen as just another buzzword, at the core of it is employees that are present at work wanting to do a good job, are looking for ways to contribute to improvements within the workplace and feeling positive towards the work. This of course means by having an engaged workforce, it can have a positive impact on performance within the workplace.
The 2009 MacLeod Review summarised four ‘enablers’ that should be fundamentals of any employee engagement strategy, with one being line managers who motivate empower and support their employees. So how as a manager, can you encourage employee engagement? Research has shown managers who communicate regularly with their employees and build good working relationships results in a higher percentage of engaged employees. Therefore as a manager you should look to communicate regularly with employees giving them the opportunity to engage in a two way process. The other area as a manager you can help encourage employee engagement is around performance management. You should be setting clear objectives and goals for employees which are communicated to them with a chance for them to influence those objectives. By having the employee influence the objectives it will provide them with a sense of empowerment over their role and tasks. Managers should also be focused on a person’s strengths and look at ways in conjunction with the employee areas for development ensuring training and support is put in place. Overall one of the best things you can do as a manager is to acknowledge the work your employees do and ensure that you thank them for their contribution.
Those are my two suggestions that managers and HR need to consider for their new year resolutions for the workplace, what else would you suggest? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us @HPC_HRservices