June 22nd 2021, by Sally Laughton

The past year saw many businesses and employees across the UK adopt home working, changing spare rooms into offices, dining tables into virtual conference rooms, swapping workwear for loungewear and even becoming teachers overnight. To say the past year has been a learning curve is an understatement!

We have all been forced to adapt and change and that’s why, now more than ever, it’s important to check in with your employees. Whether they are returning to work or continuing to work from home, one thing 2020 taught us, is how significant it is to look after our mental wellbeing.

We’ve learnt so much, but here are just 5 key takeaways to help you towards your goal of having a successful and happy team!

Actually ask them how they are doing… and don’t accept, ‘yeah I’m not bad thanks’!

1. Relationships are key to our mental health.

When employees have a strong, healthy relationships with their employers everyone benefits, and the business will strive.

Good relationships involve honesty, respect, and communication. To start you could identify the relationship needs with your employees; what do you need from them and what do they need from you, understanding this can be key to building better relationships.

Ensuring your employees have the tools they need to do their job well can be a great start, this proves to them that you understand their role and won’t leave them to struggle. Actually ask them how they are doing… and don’t accept, ‘yeah I’m not bad thanks’!

Show that you are listening

2. Effective Communication is vital, and the most important communication skill is listening.

When it comes to listening, we all have room to improve.

Active listening is a great technique to adopt. Rather than trying to give the other person suggestions and advice, pay attention and really listen to what they are saying. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted about what you are having for your tea or what you still need to get from the shop after work. Show that you are listening, use your body language to show that you are engaged, smile, make eye contact and keep open posture. Once they feel that they have said what they wanted to, provide feedback, and ask questions to clarify what they said.

Active listening is designed to encourage respect and help you to understand their situation, it allows you to gain information and perspective of another person’s thoughts and feelings.

Have an open door policy and communicate this with your team, so they know that they can come to you with concerns, complaints or even great new ideas – Whether this be in person or via Zoom!

giving your team more time to focus on the important stuff

3. Setting clear tasks is extremely important, making sure everyone knows their responsibilities and what is expected of them.

This can reduce confusion and make everyone more efficient, giving your team more time to focus on the important stuff.

When everyone knows where they stand and what needs done we all become more productive.

Try following the ‘paint it done’ tool, This simply means to not just assign a task but to explain the reason and clarify how the end product will be used. This allows your team to understand the task in more detail and avoid any confusion. This will also help you manage workload and ensuring tasks are not only completed on time but are also correct.

hosting an after work pizza party once a month

4. Boost Morale, This probably should have been top of this list to be honest, especially after the past year everyone has been through.

It is important to keep everyone’s spirits up and making the workplace a comfortable environment to be in again, and no we don’t mean reclining chairs and blankets!

Some great ways to boost morale is to do fun stuff, such as team-building, we know it doesn’t sound fun but that just purely the name! We mean things like hosting an after work pizza party once a month (which if planned correctly can also be tax free) or going to an escape room.

The feeling of being supported and having a ‘work family’ makes the majority of people want to work harder towards a common goal, it also gives you an insight into people outside of work giving you better understanding and perspective of them and their lives. This can cause your employees to be more motivate, optimistic and learn faster, so it’s a win win!

People are drawn towards others that make them feel good!

5. Be Positive. This should always be a key focus as positivity is contagious in a good way.

People are drawn towards others that make them feel good! Taking ownership of your actions or mistakes encourages your team to follow in your footsteps. Its okay to make mistakes as long as we learn from them and come up with creative ways to avoid making these same mistakes. Choose your words wisely, using positive language is very important as this can affect peoples views and feelings of a situation – look on the bright side!

We really could have made this five hundred key takeaways, but we though that five was enough for one day!

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4 Soulisquoy Loan, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1BY


4 Soulisquoy Loan, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1BY