Staff wellbeing within work – what should that really look like?

Leaders have the tricky role of finding the balance between the wellbeing of the staff and the outcomes of the organisation.

The focus for many organisations over the past few years has been providing staff with tips, tools and support for managing their mental and physical wellbeing outside of work. The missing piece has been providing leaders with the skills to build competence within work and to know how to have those challenging conversations.

The pendulum has definitely swung too far, and I am not sure if it is a result of COVID or the tight employment market – but it is definitely time to start holding staff accountable, if you are not already.

And when I say the pendulum has swung too far one way – I mean, we have taken a hands-off approach to dealing with behavioural, performance and attitudinal issues in the workplace.

Leaders are burnt out!  They are in fact fed up with not being able to hold people accountable. Here are the reasons why:

This is my list of – in the words of our clients and leaders – bullshit they are dealing with in the workplace:

  • A staff member that brought their child into a training day and put in a complaint against the leader when she was told it was inappropriate to bring your 4 year old to work
  • A staff member who demanded 5 days leave because his sister’s dog died
  • A complaint to HR that they didn’t like the manager’s tone when they gave on the job feedback
  • A manager who was ‘raked over the coals’ for asking a staff member whether they were making up hours for all the school drop offs and pick ups they were making when they were finishing work at 3:45 each day after pick up. The argument: “ I though we offered a flexible working environment”.

The list goes on and on.

Of course at eMatrix we train leaders how to have these conversations and help organisation re-align.  Our programs teach leaders how to:

  • Set professional boundaries, to protect culture, staff, customers and team performance.
  • Avoid ‘trauma bombs’ from staff, which in turn impacts a leader’s wellbeing
  • Hold staff accountable for performance and behaviour and taking charge of their wellbeing outside of work
  • Plan and frame a conversation, using guided questions to influence staff to take charge of their wellbeing.
  • Use language strategically to ensure the staff member is engaged and feeling safe, even at the beginning of a difficult conversation

And for those of you who don’t have budget for training, here are a few accountability questions for free:

  • When someone says, “no-one showed me”, try: What have you tried so far?
  • When someone says “nothing I do works”, try: Why do you think that hasn’t worked so far?
  • When someone says, “I can’t do x”, try “What’s stopping you…..?

And a video for you to watch on our take on what wellbeing within work looks like.

Jodie Bedoya

Director eMatrix

Trainer, Consultant, Speaker – all things communication in the workplace

Ph: 0438 391 500