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People leaders are key to wellbeing but still need help

People leaders are key to wellbeing but still need help.


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Wellbeing is central to productivity and a healthy workplace, and it’s your managers that will achieve the balance. However, in Skills Consulting Group’s report, Managers – the key to wellbeing, one in three people said they’d experienced an issue with an unsupportive manager.  

Wellbeing at work is essential to your bottom line. Productivity rises when staff feel happy, connected to each other and that their organisation has their back.  

When asked if their company genuinely cares for their wellbeing, 61% of respondents answered yes. But when the respondents believed they had a good manager that score shot up to 78%.  

This incredible trend is repeated throughout the report. For example, 55% of employees felt team members and colleagues cared about their wellbeing, increasing to 80% when the respondent felt they had a good manager; 54% of respondents felt the company structure ensured their wellbeing, rising to 69% if they had faith in their manager.   

Managers play a critical role in being supportive and identifying issues,” says Jane Kennelly, Skills Consulting Group Wellbeing general manager. “In both work and personal situations, employees want to feel supported. But not all managers have the skills to identify and address issues.” 

Essential upskilling 

A supportive manager was rated by 37% of respondents as key for wellbeing, vs just 6% valuing pay and benefits. When asked, employees said they wanted a manager who was happy to talk about issues and find the underlying cause, to listen, to check-in with staff and find out what their individuals needs are for wellbeing.  

But this type of management must be done in the right way. Of the respondents, 38% said they were concerned about being micro-managed and would prefer to be left to get on with the job, while 27% said they wanted a manager who was honest and exhibited genuine care, not just a tick box exercise. Clear communication, flexible working, and willingness from managers to get their hands dirty when things were busy were all cited as critical to a wellbeing culture.  

“What managers need is upskilling on how to manage the wellbeing of their team. This means learning how to identify issues and how to get the right help when it’s needed. They aren’t psychologists but they do need to know how to respond in the first instance. And this also means supporting managers with a structured wellbeing programme,” says Kennelly. “Managers can’t just be functional experts, they need people skills too.” 

The 2022 Work Wellbeing Index is available to download now, and in coming weeks further specific reports will be released that delve into a number of areas including staff attrition, burn out and millennials. They give key insights into OK-nomics, the new economics for the 21st Century in which employee wellbeing is at the forefront of successful businesses.  

Skills Consulting Group can also offer wellbeing training and consultancy services to help you get on top of this new, post-pandemic trend which isn’t going away – with 85% of survey respondents saying they expected their employer to put more focus on wellbeing now.  

A wellbeing culture results in more motivated and productive employees, lower staff turnover and improved general happiness. This leads to a healthier profit, less recruitment expenditure and a business that is contributing to the economic wellbeing ecosystem of Aotearoa.  

Investing in wellbeing makes financial sense, and it’s time to take it seriously.  

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