“Wellbeing” has become a buzzword in recent years, particularly in the workplace. Hustle culture has finally been identified as the toxic problem it is, and now UK companies are clamouring to stamp “wellbeing initiatives” on the list of benefits they offer their staff. As the Great Resignation thunders on, business owners are aware they need to maintain a healthy work environment if they want to retain and attract talent.
Many people wrongfully assume that a company’s culture and working environment are influenced by lower-level employees, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. CEOs play a vital role in the wellbeing of their staff, and you could go as far to say a CEO’s leadership style can make or break a company.
Let’s explore what CEOs need to know about creating a healthy workplace environment.
As a CEO, it’s your job to show your staff the standards and values you expect of them. Your employees will be much more receptive to doing what you ask them to do if you practice what you preach. Setting rules or expectations for your team but failing to hold yourself to the same standard is likely to lead to negativity and even resentment.
Leading by example doesn’t just relate to work but should be incorporated into your company culture too. For example, if you get involved with the after-work socials or the lunchtime meditation sessions, your team are more likely to participate too.
It’s crucial to prioritise your employees’ wellbeing and ensure they feel safe in the workplace. For example, if your staff work with chemicals or hazardous liquids you should always ensure there are adequate supplies of PPE such as masks and disposable gloves.
Your employees’ mental wellbeing is just as important as their physical health, so consider providing mental health support such as counselling, to support your staff through difficult times. While taking care of your staff’s health and safety will mean you have to part with a certain amount of money, it will be a worthwhile investment for both your team and your business.
The people you hire to manage your teams can have a significant influence on the culture of your company. Providing all management staff with adequate training will set them on the right track to becoming a leader who is looked up to, rather than feared.
Be aware of the limitations of your managers and ensure you don’t blur the boundaries of what they are expected to be able to handle. For example, managers should not be expected to act as mental health professionals, unless they have undertaken specific mental health first aid training.
Your employees are more likely to be happier if they feel confident that they can develop their skills and progress. As CEO, you have the power to invest in training for staff and create new roles as your company grows, allowing your employees the opportunity to stay with the business long-term and continue to flourish.