How To Boost Workplace Wellness This Winter

Winter wellness – it’s all about rugging up warm, getting that flu jab and staying home from work if you’re unwell, right? Well, that’s part of it.

But have you thought about how you’ll care for the mental wellness of your team this winter – particularly at work?

Deadlines, demanding customers, COVID-19 worries, long hours, remote working – the list of things that can knock our wellbeing at work is endless. And the long, grey winter months can make it all feel so much worse. But improving our mental wellbeing is priceless.

So, how can you ensure you are being an ethical leader and creating an environment of winter workplace wellness? Read on to find out.

How To Boost Workplace Wellness This Winter

Why Workplace Wellness?

Good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand. There’s evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive. According to WorkSafe NZ, focusing on mental health in the workplace is essential because:

  1. It’s good for business. When people are happy in their environment, they are more productive, take less sick leave, and are more likely to remain in their jobs for longer.
  2. It’s a legal obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act (which is as much about mental health as physical health!)
  3. It’s a moral and ethical obligation for all of us to do the right thing by one another.

Workplace wellness creates a better working environment for everyone, so it becomes a pleasure to be at work despite the dreary weather outside!

Navigating The Winter Blues

The winter blues are a well-known phenomenon. They are most heavily felt throughout the workplace. As the temperature drops and the weather worsens, it is harder to get those sunlight hours that our bodies desperately crave.

As a manager, it is your responsibility to acknowledge that your team may be feeling those winter blues and have a plan to combat their impact as much as possible. One of the easiest ways to do that is to regularly check in with your team – individually and in a group setting.

Encourage open lines of communication so that your team can discuss issues or problems they are facing, have constructive conversations so that they can build resilience, and develop perseverance.

A Guide To Improving Mental Wellbeing In The Workplace

Here at Spice HR, we believe that good mental wellbeing at work is crucial, which is why we support the Five Ways to Wellbeing developed by New Zealand’s Mental Health Foundation.

Whilst these are general principles, they can be practically applied in the workplace. Here are the five areas your team should focus on for great workplace wellness this winter:

  1. Connect

Listen and talk, be present, feel connected. Speak up when you need to, and listen to others. Keep the communication lines open by encouraging discussion

2. Give

Give your time, knowledge, and presence – an essential part of connecting!

3. Take notice

Recognise the good things that your team are doing and the things that spark their creativity and joy. Even the little things count. Appreciate them!

4. Keep Learning

Embrace new experiences, see development opportunities, and provide ongoing learning experiences for your team members.

5. Be Active

Encourage your team to keep active throughout the day even if their role requires them to be at a desk. Do what you can, help them enjoy what they do, and don’t forget to move your mood and your body! Just move – no matter how you do it!

Here at Spice HR, we think that number 1 is particularly crucial: Connect. Many struggling with mental wellbeing try to hide their feelings, afraid of other people’s responses. If you create workplace cultures where people can be themselves, they will speak more freely about mental health concerns and reach out for help when needed. It all comes down to open lines of communication.

Are You An Ethical Leader?

Part of supporting good mental health in the winter workplace is ensuring you behave like an ethical leader. That means taking the time to build a healthy workplace environment for all of your team members.

Ethical leaders tend to choose people over financial reward. While economic growth is essential for many businesses, you will struggle to achieve your goals if you don’t have the buy-in of your people. That means balancing your decision-making to ensure you are doing the right thing by your employees and doing what is best for the business.

There are plenty of ways you can do this. But ultimately, it comes down to creating an environment in which people want to work. An environment that embraces excellent communication. One where people’s opinions and ideas are respected, management show transparency and shares information, and staff feel heard.

Ensuring your team leaders and management have a sense of empathy is vital to supporting their staff appropriately.

Ready To Spice Up Your Workplace Wellness?

Achieving great workplace wellness can be challenging at any time of the year, yet that challenge increases significantly during the winter months.

Need more guidance to improve mental wellbeing in your workplace? Reach out to the Spice Gals!

Spice HR support small and medium businesses who need help getting HR frameworks in place – and we love helping businesses boost staff wellbeing.

So: stop right now, thank you very much – and drop us a line!

Managing A Workforce of Different Generations

different generations

Managing A Workforce of Different Generations

Variety is the spice of life, right?  Well, today’s workforce is certainly full of variety!  It is a diverse makeup full of different generations. You have Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Z, Millennials (also known as Gen Y), and maybe a few from the “silent generation.”

So, what does that all mean when it comes to a combined workforce?

People from each generation tend to have different values and expectations in the workplace, so it’s essential to customise your management style and benefits to meet each one.

Here’s an overview of how to approach a multi-generational workforce.

Talkin’ ’bout My Generation

We’re not big fans of labels, but just so we’re on the same page, let’s clarify the generations you might see in your organisation.

  • The Silent Generation (aka Traditionalists) – born between the late 1920s and 1945

This generation was formed well before the computer age hit. However, many are still very capable of using digital tools, but may prefer personal interactions. They value fair pay, recognition and the chance to share their expertise.

  • Baby Boomers – 1946 – 1964

The Boomers are a very goal-focused generation and hold a reputation for working hard. They value job security and a more structured environment.

  • Generation X – 1965 – 1979

A generation that is completely up to date with tech, but are not shy about face-to-face communication. They value autonomy and a good work/life balance.

  • Generation Y (Millennials) – 1980 – 1996

The consummate internet babies who are all over every technological gadget to hit the shelves. They value skills development and a deeper purpose.

  • Generation Z – Born in 1997 or later

Known as the tech native, social media generation, they have lived in a technology based world since their birth. They value flexibility and social responsibility.

So, now that we know about the different generations, what does this mean for your workforce and management styles?

Use Reverse Mentoring

Cross-generational mentoring is a great way to quickly stamp out any age biases and maximise various experience levels in your team. Both young and old can learn a lot from each other! Avoid always placing similar age groups together.

Instead, pair up people from different generations and get the knowledge flowing both ways. You will be amazed by the diverse solutions that appear when combining the thinking of multiple generations. 

Get Everyone Engaged

While every generation is known by different characteristics, they are not always out of sync in every instance. What every generation has in common is their need to feel involved in their work. Ensure you find a way to motivate all employees (outside of the pay cheque) by finding common ground for them to buy into. 

Work on Your Flexibility

No, we are not talking about yoga – though if that fits your workplace, it’s not a bad idea to bring people together!

You shouldn’t expect every team member to be satisfied with the same hours of work, the same work environment, or the same tasks. Experiment with the different strengths to find the ideal balance for your organisation.

Recognition and Benefits

Not everyone wants ten-year job security and a retirement plan, although some might. Gen Zers might be looking for support with further training or help to pay back student loans, while Millennials could prefer daycare services or parental leave.

Again, each individual is different: the point is to offer a range of benefits and perks to suit different lifestyles and needs. 

Avoid Stereotypes!

Now that we’ve gone and put everyone in their box, it’s time to say – don’t judge people by the boxes you put them in! It goes without saying that every individual is different. Regardless of their age and background, they have essential skills, needs, goals, and dreams that may be vastly different from their peers.

However, it can also be useful and enlightening to acknowledge and learn from age-based differences in the workplace.

Understanding Your Team Dynamic

Getting to know each employee individually is your most important task as an effective leader. So use your newfound knowledge of generations alongside your insight into each employee, and you will be on the right track.

Another way to gain a greater understanding of your workforce is to use DISC Profiling. This is a psychometric assessment tool that can help with the personal growth, team building and leadership potential of your employees.

Here at Spice HR, we are certified practitioners of the Extended DISC Profiling system and can help you gain greater insight into the different personalities present in your team. Get in touch with us today to find out more about how this useful tool can help your business.