Three Building Blocks Of The Best Work Environments
Most companies offer employees a variety of resources to help them succeed. These may include trainings, mentorship programs, tuition assistance or any number of other offerings. While these benefits and perks can certainly help individual staffers, companies should also pay attention to creating a supportive work environment — one that leads to a culture of well-being.
Author Dr. Richard Safeer says that employee well-being and health are not solo sports — well-being involves the whole team. So, to create an optimum work environment, leaders can start with the three building blocks of a healthy culture. We outline Dr. Safeer’s thoughts in this issue of PromoPro Daily.
1. Peer support. Those around you — your colleagues, friends and family — significantly influence your habits. Dr. Safeer points out that when we’re around happy people, we’re more likely to be happy. Likewise, when we’re around stressed people, we’re more likely to feel stressed. He says leaders can take advantage of this strong connection by encouraging peer support in pairs or groups. Instead of only commending employees for personal achievements, try appreciating them when they support a co-worker. What the leader pays attention to gets repeated, he says.
2. Leadership engagement. It’s important for leaders to not only talk about the importance of well-being but to model it as well. Your team is watching you, Dr. Safeer says. If you take a break for lunch, so will they. And if you decide to go for a walk after lunch, they might feel inspired to move as well. Sharing what you do to stay healthy shows your team that well-being is important, he says.
3. Norms. The third building block, according to Dr. Safeer, involves norms. These might include supporting a healthy workday, like eating together to build a sense of community among team members. He recommends having a discussion with staffers to learn what health goals they may want to achieve. Then, you can drive norm agreement and address any obstacles that might get in the way. Dr. Safeer says you might even encourage a team promise by inviting employees to sign a pledge that everyone will support each other.
If you lead a team, remember to focus on well-being for the entire organization — not just individual employees. You can lay a solid foundation with the three building blogs of peer support, leadership engagement and norms.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Dr. Richard Safeer is the chief medical director of employee health and well-being at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the author of A Cure for the Common Company: A Well-Being Prescription for a Happier, Healthier and More Resilient Workforce.