Saturday, April 16, 2022

8 Aspects Of Team Well-Being Drive Business Results

adult-business-businesswoman-choicesEvery entrepreneur and business leader I know realizes that it takes a dedicated team to build and run a successful business, and nurturing that team is one of your most important priorities. Yet I find, as a mentor and outside consultant, that many of you focus only on working conditions and compensation as the key factors determining team engagement, health, and productivity.

I’ve always known it was much more complicated than that, but I have struggled over the years to pull together all the elements. Thus I was pleased to see a much more complete and broader perspective of employee support recommendations in a new book, “Employees First!” by Donna Cutting, who is a globally-recognized guru on employee culture and optimizing customer service.

Among the key factors which I believe are often overlooked, she emphasizes that you need to focus on all the dimensions of employee wellness, as originally defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and other experts. I will summarize these here, with my insights, for your review and implementation:

  1. Physical health. You probably already understand this dimension, which includes how well your team members observe healthy living habits, including nutrition, exercise, and rest, both at work and outside. In my experience, a healthy team is a prerequisite for a thriving business, innovation to meet market needs, and high customer loyalty.

  2. Emotional stability. This one relates to every team member’s ability to manage stress, control emotions, and cope with business and personal challenges. I find this one to be just as important as physical health, but often overlooked by business leaders and personnel managers alike. It is the key to coping with stress and adapting to change.

  3. Financial strength. Financial well-being is the ability of every team member to feel comfortable with the financial rewards provided by your business. They must manage to these daily, have savings plans in place, set financial goals, and stay on track to meet those. Of course, you as the business leader have a key role in making all this happen.

  4. Social interactions. Every person requires some level of positive human interaction with co-workers and others to be satisfied and productive. For you, this means providing a positive team culture, being a role model for good communication, and creating a support network of colleagues. This translates to better motivation, productivity, and collaboration.

    The recent pandemic and remote team members have made the focus on social even more critical. It is your responsibility to facilitate regular communication between team members and all constituents via all channels, including social media, email, and video.

  5. Spiritual connections. In business, this is all about the company values and purpose that give meaning and direction to your team. You need team members who understand and share these values, if you want commitment and accountability from them. Every team member wants to be part of a higher purpose than just survival and profit.

    For example, Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, set a higher purpose of donating a pair of shoes to the needy for every pair sold, driving a spiritual cause for employees and customers. Other studies have shown a return of up to 400 percent for this approach.

  6. Environmental safety. This begins with making every team member’s workplace a safe and enjoyable place to be, with a feeling of order and harmony. In my experience, it also extends to your solution’s positive impact on customers, and the greater world environmental issues, including global warming, toxins, and the culture of others.

  7. Occupational satisfaction. You as a business leader can greatly influence this factor by providing the resources and training to allow team members to do their job better, and appreciate the impact of their work. They also need to feel the rewards of doing the job well, including positive customer feedback and career advancement opportunities.

  8. Intellectual stimulation. Let your team members feel that they are constantly learning new things, and allow them to share their talents through coaching and mentoring assignments. Delegate decisions, and support their creative efforts through positive feedback and creative compensation. Ask for creative thinking, and listen to feedback.

You need to recognize that building and maintaining a highly productive and engaged team is quite different from creating and maintaining an innovative solution. Remember that team members are people first, not just another technical solution component. With the right product and the right team, you too can have a thriving and satisfying business for all concerned.

Marty Zwilling

*** First published on on 4/1/2022 ***



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