Coaching for performance is common in the workplace, but coaching to enhance wellbeing is less well-known. However, it’s essential to address your team’s wellbeing to ensure they continue to perform well at work. That means wellbeing coaching should be a key part of every employee’s development.
Let’s be honest – anyone who is over-stressed, depressed, feeling put-upon or simply stuck in a rut is not going to perform at their best. It’s the part of the management team’s role to be aware of the mental health of their team members and to take positive action, sooner rather than later. If you wait until things start to come apart at the seams it’s going to be an uphill struggle to get an individual back on track.
The effects of just one person having to deal with wellbeing issues can affect the whole team and the business too. It may require time off work for that person to regroup and that means their work will need to be done by others, either by sharing it out among the current team or recruiting a temporary member of staff – with all the additional work it takes to get them up to speed.
The danger is that other team members then get over-stressed and burnout can race through the team like wildfire.
Employees are assets. They are the variable that can help the company to be an enormous success – or cause it to struggle. Every member of the team needs to be fully engaged for the team to really perform at the top of its game – and that situation is rare.
If you have any other type of asset you’re likely to look after it, keeping it safe and in great condition to ensure it retains its value. Why would you treat your staff any other way?
Before we explore coaching for wellbeing, let’s look at some strategies your company could put in place to create a healthy and productive work environment.
Encourage regular breaks: When people break throughout the day to stretch, move, and recharge it helps to reduce stress and prevent burnout.
Provide resources: Books, articles, and workshops that promote well-being are all ways people can learn new skills and techniques for managing stress and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Foster a supportive environment: If people support one another and create a culture of openness and acceptance it defuses potentially stressful situations. If your team know you operate with an attitude of support, not censure, they’re more likely to come to you with problems in time to find a solution and before it becomes critical.
Encourage healthy habits: Regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep all promote overall well-being. These can be part of the focus for wellbeing coaching.
Provide opportunities for growth: If you know what your team members’ aspirations are, you can offer opportunities for growth and development that will increase job satisfaction and generate dopamine, the ‘happy hormone’ or feel-good-factor.
Lead by example: ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ isn’t a good formula to encourage people to practise healthy habits. Promote a healthy work-life balance, by practising good habits yourself and you’ll develop a culture of wellbeing and inspire employees to prioritise their own wellbeing.
Coaching employees for well-being requires a holistic approach that takes into account the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of employees. It’s not your role as a leader to become a counsellor for your team.
As a good manager you can coach your team in a range of skills that will benefit their wellbeing. That might be helping them to manage their time better, encouraging them to delegate appropriately rather than trying to do it all themselves and instilling healthy work practices such as taking regular breaks, going home on time, making sure they take their holiday allowance and discouraging working outside hours or on vacation.
If you practice ongoing assessment wellbeing coaching fits perfectly into this process. It’s part of developing a culture within your team and your organisation that actively supports wellbeing rather than just talking about it.
Robin Damhar is CEO of Nest Healthcare, offering a range of therapies, treatments and professional development, both on an outpatient or inpatient basis. www.nesthealthcare.co.uk.