Promoting Employee Wellbeing 

Published on November 25, 2020.

Whether it’s taking a break to walk outdoors, pausing for mindful meditation, or carving out time for meaningful connections with colleagues, friends and family, even the smallest efforts for self-care add up and can restore our sense of wellbeing. 

This month we explore strategies to incorporate wellness into our work life.

Feature Insight

Promoting Employee Wellbeing

Even if you’re familiar with the expression “you can’t pour out of an empty glass,” it can be challenging to find the time and space to fill your proverbial glass while the challenges of the pandemic and racial injustice unrelentingly place strain on our personal and professional lives. Though as challenging as it may be, the expression remains true—we can’t do our best work for ourselves, our colleagues, our loved ones, or our community when experiencing burnout. If you or members of your team are exhibiting signs of exhaustion, anxiety, or beginnings of burnout, it is important to steer your faculty and staff in taking holistic and personalized approaches in balancing competing life priorities, as well as creating psychological safety that will allow employees to openly express what they need to succeed.

Link purpose and meaning to roles and responsibilities 

What makes the faculty and staff at the University different from employees in most other organizations is their drive to pursue something bigger than themselves. In the fog of fatigue, it’s easy to forget why we go to work each day. Take a moment to pause and remember that each of us is experiencing the effects of the pandemic and racial injustice differently, yet we’re all in it together. Even on our darkest days our work still makes a difference in the lives of our colleagues, students, and the community. 

Strongly encourage participation in wellbeing activities

Employee engagement and wellbeing have a dynamic relationship. More engaged employees tend to also have high wellbeing and employees with high wellbeing are more engaged in the workplace. Encouraging employees to seek wellness, balance, and fulfillment in all aspects of their life will help ensure that employees are approaching workplace challenges with good perspective. 

Facilitate wellbeing conversations 

Explore ideas on how to enhance wellbeing at work and at home since the boundaries between the two may be blurred right now. Many faculty and staff are experiencing increased workloads, anxiety from the pandemic, and trauma from racial injustice. Acknowledge the realities of our world and talk about how to support one another, or even better hold one another accountable for taking routine time for self-care.

Express gratitude

Faculty and staff have risen to and overcome unimaginable challenges over the last nine months. Gratitude and recognition for these contributions is necessary to continue to move forward. Use your one-on-one meetings to acknowledge all of the work being done as well as the perseverance and commitment to continue on.