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The Role of Leadership in Well-Being and Happiness
Don’t ignore how you and others feel.
A happy boss leads to a happy team. Or?
You are bombarded with articles about how leaders should focus on improving well-being. Workplace happiness is vital. Leaders are now expected to increase workplace happiness. As if you didn't have enough duties already.
But happiness belongs on your radar.
Well-being is not the responsibility of one individual. It belongs to the entire company and team. Let’s support it the best we can.
You might not recall that happiness was a hot topic before the pandemic. It wasn't the case. In 2020, businesses pulled up their sleeves. They devised plans and programs to assist people.
Since 2020, leaders have returned well-being to its former position. Employees, on the other hand, were not. They now have new and more serious factors to consider when they think about their job, including if their employer cares about their well-being.
According to research, people are:
3x more likely to be positively engaged in their jobs
5x more likely to trust the leadership
69% less likely to search for a new job
71% less likely to experience a lot of burnout
Yet, unhappiness is on the rise. Negative emotions have been on the scene (stress, sadness, anger, or worry) since 2021.
How do you feel? Is everything going well at work? How about others? According to the CDC, how employees feel can directly impact productivity.
So, if you're not satisfied, chances are your team isn't either. Emotions spread like wildfire. It’s time to exercise empathy.
The role of leaders is to be receptive
Leaders you remember are concerned with both their internal and external environments. They are aware of what is going on in their company and teams. They care about how their teammates are feeling. If they are worried, overworked, and dissatisfied.
How do they know this? They listen.
They may run employee workshops and surveys to understand trends. But unlike companies that suck, they read comments, talk to people, and respect their opinions.
Don’t ignore how people feel.
Yet, don’t ignore how you feel either. You are responsible for yourself. Imagine you and the people you work with are connected in one circle. You influence each other.
Workplace well-being is a two-way conversation between equals. Leaders and their teams share responsibility for creating a positive culture.
Act in alignment with your values
Your leadership mindset translates into the values you adhere to and live by. Examples of such values include:
Openness: Be truthful in what you say, even if the news isn't always positive.
Kindness: Be kind in everything you do and say.
Compassion: Be understanding of the challenges that others face.
Relationships: Be a part of something bigger; you rely on others, and others rely on you.
Health: Make wise decisions that benefit both your physical and emotional health.
Security: Make people feel comfortable and free to speak up.
Discover the values of others. What do they regard as critical? To collaborate effectively, your team should share similar beliefs and agree on what is crucial
When team values are unclear, you work with a bunch of individuals. Each will fight for their own interests regardless of others. That can create a toxic atmosphere and make others unhappy.
Keep it tight.
Direct actions to improve well-being
Well-being should be an ongoing topic. Yet, there are quick actions to make people smile today.
1. Cancel lunch and meetings at 5 p.m.
Balance work and time away. Having meetings when you are hungry is horrible. Likewise, meetings at the end of the day. Just why? Leaders are never too busy to squeeze discussions around these times.
2. Mind your capacity management.
Hiring is a big issue in businesses. When you face stress and overload regularly. That is a warning sign. You must strengthen your capacity management skills. Keep track of the time. On time, hire extra power.
3. Offer flexibility.
Work from home, a cafe, or an office. It makes no difference where, as long as the job is completed. Similarly, some processes may not need to be rigid provided work is delivered. Allow them the time and space they need to pursue their interests and find solutions. Please, no more micromanagement!
4. Keep regular 1-1 meetings.
Maintain contact with others. These meetings are essential.
5. Express gratitude.
'Thank you' is entirely free. Use it. Tell people how well they are doing. Give them a day off, send them to a conference, and provide them with a free subscription to educational resources. Even the slightest advantages make people happy.
6. Explain the big picture and clarify long-term goals.
A job is an important aspect of a person's life purpose and aspirations. Help your employees see the big picture. Explain how their job fits into their career and personal aspirations. It's not about titles, but rather about discovering what makes them happy.
7. Be creative with well-being benefits.
Well-being is associated with physical and mental health. But a discount to a fitness center might not solve all the problems people may have.
Make your well-being benefits more applicable to your daily life. Health in a variety of areas:
Physical health (discounts to gym memberships or nutritionists)
Spiritual health (free access to meditation apps and self-awareness courses)
Financial health (partnerships with financial advisors)
Mental health (partnerships with coaches)
Intellectual health (discounts to creative courses or learning programs)
You can be creative with well-being benefits. Don't limit yourself to the traditional. Needs have shifted.
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Keep an eye out for well-being trends. Well-being should not be tucked away in a drawer.
Be open and attentive to how others feel.
Align happiness with team values.
Get creative with benefits.
Last but not least, look after yourself. You can't help people if you are exhausted. Enjoy a nice meal today. And no meetings after 5 p.m.
See you next week, Ivona