In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of squeezing into my favourite whistle and delivering three real life (ie not virtual) keynote motivational speeches to the leaders and managers of three of the UK’s most popular brands.
It’s been euphoric to be back in a room filled with hundreds of people, all energised by each other’s company and all committed to working strongly together to make a difference to their workplace teams too. If this is the new norm, then count me in!
How Career Wellbeing Can Rock Your Business
But is ‘working strongly together’ the norm amongst your teams now they are back in the room post Covid? Why is it that only 20% of employees strongly agree that they enjoy what they do every day*? And why are the remaining 80% reporting substantially higher daily detachment, more anger, more stress and lower engagement* than work life BC (before Covid)?
Numbered amongst the 80% are those who are underwhelmed and those who are overwhelmed: There are those who clock-watch, who just about meet minimum requirements to preserve their jobs and collect their salary.
There are those who tell colleagues and customers how busy they are, whilst in reality they are either going through the motions or just not working smart.
There are those who default to tick-box or task, rather than giving sparkling service to your customers or pushing boundaries, innovating and adding value to your business.
And there are those whose confidence, purpose and va-va-voom have been knocked down by lockdown, emotionally pummelled by Putin, hit in the wallet by rising inflation and disrupted by the current state of flux that many generations have never experienced before.
The vast majority of the 80% are not deliberately work-shy or roister-doisters. They don’t turn up at work every day wishing to do a bad job. They don’t mean to be disengaged. But they are doing it on your watch.
What they are lacking is career wellbeing, which can be defined as how they feel about their job today, their career prospects tomorrow and how their work is helping them achieve what they want out of life.
And a lack of career wellbeing quickly leads towards burnout (an occupational syndrome officially recognised by the WHO).
- 35% of employees of UK employees say they have felt burned out in the last 30 days*.
- 28% of employees experience burnout on the job very often or always. And those are 63% more likely to pull a sickie, take a duvet day or go home ill*.
*Gallup Wellbeing at Work based on 100 million global interviews
Neuroscience gives us many powerful insights around career wellbeing: For example, in a far-reaching global study the scientists at Gallup gave digital devices to employees which allowed them to monitor every task they were doing throughout the day. Whilst undertaking these tasks, employees’ saliva samples were taken to assess their levels of cortisol – nature’s nasty stress hormone. (You can read more about the damage that high levels of cortisol have on the body here: https://bit.ly/3AXLpey)
Cortisol levels were high in the early morning when employees anticipated the day ahead. Levels lowered at lunchtime (and were barely present at weekends), then levels climbed steadily again throughout the afternoon until home time.
However, the most cortisol-fuelled time of the day for employees was when they spent time with THEIR MANAGERS – the very people you rely upon most to motivate and coach their teams! Indifferent, uncompassionate, uninvolved managers cause emotional exhaustion and high rates of active disengagement among their employees.
Yes, people really do leave managers rather than leave companies per se.
So here’s the good news for any business leader spotting signs of low career wellbeing in their team…you can fix it! You can crush the cortisol and dramatically improve the career wellbeing of your team.
It all starts with your managers:
- Remove the indifferent, abusive managers. They are your biggest risk.
- Upskill your managers to become effective coaches. They should become experts at setting goals with their team members and providing ongoing feedback, support and education. This means asking better questions and effectively listening to what their teams are saying.
- Make wellbeing part of your coaching and development conversations. Once they establish mutual trust, empathy and hope, managers and teams can dream big together – not just about career goals but also about life, purpose and wellbeing.
- Managers need to understand and play to the strengths of their team members. A strengths-based strategy should underpin all employee experience, from hiring and onboarding to performing roles.
When employees highly rate their manager for being empathetic and positively supporting their career wellbeing, their performance is on average 2.5 times greater than when poorly rated. Their overall wellbeing (consisting of how they feel socially, financially, physically and in their community) is also twice as likely to thrive.
So, what does this mean for your business performance?:
- Your employees will find work intrinsically rewarding, rather than just working for their pay cheque.
- They will work more hours, more productively, out of personal choice.
- They will find interest and seek challenge in their work.
- They will innovate.
- They will make friends at work. Their work life will blend more with their personal life in positive ways, such as recommending your business to their friends and families.
- They won’t take duvet days, cause disruption and disputes.
- They will be long-term loyal and wish to grow with your business.
- They will delight customers and sell more.
These are all great assets for any business.
Although stress and burnout are not new to the working landscape, the post-pandemic link between career wellbeing and business performance is becoming more acute. Managing your underwhelmed and overwhelmed staff has never been more critical to business success.
That’s why in the last month alone, RAISE is proud to have been hired by FOUR of the UK’s most progressive retail and property brands to ignite a culture of career wellbeing in their workplaces.
As your workplace wellbeing partner, RAISE helps you read the worry signs, to understand the reasons behind them and coach your leadership and management teams to implement some fantastic quick-action, sustainable tools to optimise the mood and physiological functioning of your people.
After 20 years of leading the way in career wellbeing, we know getting it right for our clients has been game-changing for them. So much so, we always offer a money-back guarantee (which has yet to be requested).
To get a taste of how our bespoke programmes can RAISE your team’s career wellbeing to world class levels, please delve into our perky new website www.rygp.co.uk where you can arrange a free discovery meeting with Stalkie and the RAISE team.