Engaging and retaining colleagues by promoting well-being

Engagement is more important than ever. Many companies see it as a way to enhance business performance by increasing job satisfaction, happiness and fulfilment. The top 3 actions identified to drive performance were : A focus on organisational talent; building a high performance culture; engaging employees.

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When employees are engaged at work they are likely to have higher levels of job satisfaction and lower levels of absenteeism, and presenteeism. They are also less likely to quit, are more innovative and productive and their companies are likely to be more attractive to both clients and candidates. Businesses will need to focus on well being programmes in order to attract and retain staff.

So how do we engage more effectively? Increasing motivation by making jobs rewarding and interesting, ensuring cultural fit aligning personal and company values, encouraging good interpersonal relationships (especially the relationship the employee has with their boss), and fulfilling the psychological contract – the unwritten expectations of the employee and the company will all help.

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In addition we have seen an increase in mental health issues across the UK, and businesses need to understand and embrace what this means for their organisations. We need to promote both the physical and emotional wellbeing in both society and the workplace. Many companies are now focussing on their employee value proposition (EVP). Leaders who help colleagues find more purpose in their work are engaged in a humanistic cause which helps companies win because they get more form their employees.

Flexicurity is a model in Denmark which looks at employment security rather than job security – which can result in less fear of losing a job due to globalisation.

Be like a BCorp – set rigorous standards for social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency – demonstrate the company is genuine, authentic and has a commitment to society and the natural environment.

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So well being is key to increasing engagement and retaining staff. Martin Seligamn PERMA model comprises of 5 factors to make up wellbeing:
• Positive emotions – happiness, contentment, pleasure
• Engagement – connecting, absorbing and creating interest in an activity = motivation
• Relationships – positive aspects of relationships outweighs negative and involve mutual feelings of caring, support and satisfaction
• Meaning – having a sense of purpose and direction in life – feeling connected to something bigger
• Accomplishment – pursuing success, winning, progressing or mastery for its own sake.

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MBTI research showed the key activities rated as most effective in improving wellbeing included – spending time with family and friends, exercise, listening to or playing music, focus on the positives and reading. Going to work was most frequently mentioned so there is an opportunity to create a virtuous circle where a earthy workplace increases wellbeing etc.

Personality plays an important part of workplace wellbeing. People of all personality types experience positive levels of wellbeing in the workplace, but things that are detrimental to well being (eg stress) will be different for different people. By understanding their personality types better they can manage their stress triggers more effectively. Similarly managers can adapt workplaces to suit different types.

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So the positive effect of supportive relationships, exercise and good diet all support enhanced wellbeing. Companies that focus on this will set the pace in engaging and retaining colleagues, will benefit form improved performance and greater resilience form their employees.

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