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31 October 2023
Creating a healthy workplace: Small business owners' guide to employee well-being
Plexals © Thirdman

Creating a healthy workplace: Small business owners’ guide to employee well-being

Creating a healthy workplace is a must if you want to retain top talent and build a small business that grows year after year. Employees are more satisfied in a healthy workplace. They’re also more productive and fully engaged in their roles and, as such, your customer support, operational workflow, and overall results improve because of it.

You can ensure your team members are happy working for you by paying attention to their needs and being consistent with small actions that promote health and well-being. The following tips will ensure your employees feel good and function well in the workplace.

Put the right team together

When you strategically put together the right team for your small business you make sure each person fits your company culture, fills a gap in your team, and is most likely to work well with everyone else. While it can be tempting to take whoever applies when you’re in dire need of help, you may be putting your team’s well-being on the line when you aren’t strategic about building a team.

For example, if you put a whole bunch of personalities on a team that don’t mesh well together, there will be constant friction that distracts members from executing projects and leads to unhappy employees.

Instead, you should map out an ideal candidate profile for every position you’re hiring for. Figure out where to find the ideal candidate and promote your job ads there. Then, take your best matches through an extensive interview process to flesh out whether they’re a good fit. Consider letting a current team member sit in on the interviews to get their perspective on team and culture fit.

You keep employee well-being at the forefront when you make informed decisions about who gets to be on your team.

Continuously boost your team’s morale

You know something is amiss with your workplace environment when team morale is low. Burnout, fractured employee relationships, being micromanaged, and lack of feedback from leadership all contribute to low morale.

When employees aren’t optimistic and enthusiastic at work, it negatively affects their performance. They aren’t nearly as productive as they could be. More importantly, your team won’t be happy.

Finding every opportunity to boost team morale is crucial to improving well-being and satisfaction in the workplace.

Check in with your employees regularly in one-on-one and group meetings to discuss how they’re feeling mentally and emotionally. Also, ask for suggestions on how to improve the culture so that it better supports them.

Ensuring everyone can participate in team-building helps elevate team morale as well. You empower your employees when you ensure even the shyest person on your team has a voice in every group project, meeting, and activity.

Employee well-being is connected to team morale. So, make sure yours is high.

Enforce manageable workloads

One of the worst things for an employee’s health and well-being is a workload that’s too heavy. Too-heavy workloads are stressful and unmanageable, which eventually leads to burnout and poor performance.

In addition, long hours can trigger more intricate problems, like oral health issues. For example, stress can cause you to grind your teeth and wear down the enamel. Your risk of getting gum disease is higher because stress impacts your immune system and inhibits your ability to fight off bacteria associated with gum disease. You might also neglect to adhere to an oral hygiene routine and schedule regular dentist visits when you’re overworked and burnt out.

The depth of damage unreasonably long hours can do to your employees makes enforcing manageable workloads that much more important. Give each employee a workload that supports a healthy work-life balance. Consider offering flexible schedule options as well to further support employees in meeting their needs and living a full life outside of work.

Be a compassionate leader

How many stories have you heard about employees leaving their positions because of poor leadership? Talented employees will only tolerate a cold, unsupportive leader for so long before they walk out of a company.

This kind of management severely impacts how employees feel and what they do in the workplace. On the other hand, if you commit to being a compassionate leader, you’ll inspire the best work from your employees and help them feel like they are safe, supported, and needed in your company.

You can be a compassionate leader by:

  • Being an active listener
  • Encouraging honest communication
  • Jumping in wherever your team needs you
  • Soliciting advice and learning from your team
  • Normalising mental health and well-being conversations
  • Having fun with your employees as much as you’re in work mode with them

Be the best leader you can be, and your team will be much more impactful and fulfilled.

A small business is only as good as its team

When employees are under a lot of pressure, unhappy, and don’t have the support they need to thrive, their performance suffers and so do your business results.

Conversely, employees who are happy and wholly supported by leadership are more likely to be optimistic, enthusiastic, and productive, resulting in a successful operation. Embrace the advice in this article to enhance employee well-being in your small business.