It’s 6:07 PM, you are walking away from your computer so you can grab dinner with the family and then get back to the screen so you can finish those final emails.
As you finalize those emails - and the project you remembered you needed to complete, how are you feeling? How is that reflected in the way you interact with your family, your direct reports, your peers, your customers, or your boss?
We have been working very differently over the past 14+ months, whether we are in person, remote, or a mix. As we continue to transition to a new way of working, the need to be a role model and promote well-being with our teams is even more critical.
Well-being can be defined as a focus on physical and mental health, as well as how we are connected at work, school, and within our communities. It also includes how we think about our careers and our financial stability.
Here are 6 tips for promoting well-being with your team:
1. Promote physical and emotional health during team meetings
The more we talk about what we are doing to take care of ourselves and invite others to share, the more we will create a community that supports one another as we learn new ways to be healthy.
Teams can start every meeting by sharing a new app, a new recipe, or something they are trying to be more active, practice mindfulness or change their eating habits. We have heard of teams setting competitions and recognizing wins for team members. When you can start to talk about physical and emotional health, it creates a great environment that fosters open dialogue, as well as a supportive community.
2. Take Meetings on the Road
Everyone is tired of screen time or sitting in long meetings. We recommend you modify your approach with meetings, for example, one organization decided to have every meeting attendee pick up their phone, put their earbuds in, and walk and talk. You would be amazed how much the group really “heard” as they were away from their screens and focused on what they were hearing.
Another idea for meetings is to change up where they take place. If you are back at the office, host the meeting outside or a different part of the building - newness brings new ideas and a breath of fresh air.
3. Encourage breaks
So many teams have been operating at full capacity for a long time and this can take a toll on our physical and mental well-being. Planning breaks and scheduling time off when each team member can disconnect is essential. Team leaders need to make sure their employees are getting the time away so they can do their best work when they return.
The same is true during the day. Promoting lunches away from the screen, walks, family time and when to “shut down” is important in our remote and hybrid lives.
4. Set Boundaries
The key to remote and hybrid teams is to establish boundaries. It is important to know when people can be reached and when they cannot. A great way to do this is to ask the team to identify operating principles in how they want to structure the workday, meetings, and communication. There are so many great tools today that can help provide clarity around availability, expectations, and how to interact with each other. Sharing this understanding is key to strong peer relationships on a team.
5. Connect 1:1
As a leader, it is important to check in frequently with the individuals on their team. A simple 10-minute conversation can go a long way. As we continue to work remotely, talking about career aspirations, development, and goals is essential. Ongoing feedback and recognition is also critical as people need to know they are adding value and the work they are doing is appreciated.
6. Have Fun Building The Team
Teams are evolving and growing every day. As your team continues to change, take the time for people to get to know one another. Building connection and a sense of belonging is critical for high-performing teams. Great ways to have a little fun while you are remote: Introduce furry friends or family members during meetings, take tours of workspaces, ask people to share their favorite pictures, host virtual chats and when you can meet in person for lunch or dinner - take the time. We all want to know the people we work with and building relationships is a key to team success.
We are all working a lot more these days. As leaders, it is important that we find ways to be role models and promote well-being across our team. Employees today are looking for work experiences that promote wellness, empathy, and a supportive environment. By implementing these 6 tips, you will start to promote a great experience where employees support one another and deliver high performance.