I’ll preface this by saying that getting started is the main thing here… as long as you’re starting with the intention and commitment to continue. If you think it’s a quick-fix-just-do-something to tick a ‘wellbeing’ box, then in some respects NOT starting would be better as you’ll build some trust with your team (by starting) and then crush it by not continuing, by being inconsistent, and by giving up because you don’t see the ‘results’ as soon as you expected.
Awareness of wellbeing, and its importance in the workplace is important, however, this article is about WHAT TO DO once you’re aware there is a need to improve wellbeing in your team. You’ve got the ‘why’ (thanks Simon Sinek), and now you just want to know where and how to start.
What to Avoid
As stated at the start, wellbeing is not a quick-fix and if you begin with that approach, it may be better not starting at all. Further to that, here’s a few other things to avoid:
- One-off ‘team building’ activities that have the vibe of “we’re going to have a team day! … and everyone will love it!”
- Wellbeing related workshops with the team when senior leadership have no intention of progressing anything that comes from said workshop
- Investing time and money into random, uncoordinated, one-off wellness activities, events, challenges, or pieces of equipment (table tennis anyone?!)
- Framing up wellbeing around moving more and eating better.. as if move more + eat better = wellbeing
- Thinking that increasing salaries, giving time off/leave is the silver bullet
- Coming up with a ‘wellbeing initiative’ all by yourself without team involvement/discussion or input from outside the team
- Looking at what others are doing and believing that’ll work just as well for your team
- Short term ‘fix it’, ‘put the fire out’ thinking
Here’s What we Recommend
The key is being strategic, getting to root causes for your team, and focusing on longer term outcomes.. as opposed to being tactical with expectations of short term outcomes and ‘fixing’ the challenges right now.
Strategic doesn’t mean you need a full on 50 page strategy document either
It just means that whatever you are going to do will address the root causes of the team not being well, or struggling to get and stay well.
The Best Time to Plant a Tree
The challenges to, and lack of wellbeing we’re currently experiencing are the result of certain things NOT happening over the last 12 months or longer. (The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago…) and the best time to start a wellbeing strategy for the team was definitely before Covid and certainly during Covid if you didn’t already. So be OK with not ‘nailing it’ in a month.
Strategy is about pre-empting and preparing for what may come up, focusing on what is not-urgent and important, being proactive etc.
Applied to your team wellbeing that may include:
- Clear assessment of where we are now (individually and as a team)
- Team involvement in co-design wānanga so as many as possible are on board (emotionally committed and intellectually engaged)
- Small, simple and consistent actions, individually and together
- Measurable, with a system to recognise and celebrate progress
- Individually focused, team supported approaches
- Clear success criteria that will be true when you’ve got team wellbeing happening (it’s ongoing btw not a destination)
- Clarity on obstacles we’re aware of and some thinking about possible mini-strategies to avoid/overcome obstacles
- Confidence from leaders who genuinely believe in helping to provide the environment to nurture wellbeing
If you’re interested in finding out more, we’re running an in-person workshop here in Tauranga on the 25th August. We’d love you to be a part of it if this is something that interests you and is relevant to you and your team right now.