5 effective tools to increase well-being engagement
In this article, I’ve outlined below the 5 best strategies that I use in training to improve engagement for organisations that really hit the mark with employees and get them involved early and motivated to not only attend events but also to adopt new practices that proactively reduce their stress.
April is Stress Awareness Month and well-being teams are busy putting together a plan of stress awareness and proactive well-being activities and events to support the well-being of their employees.
What does your organisation have in place for this year’s Stress Awareness Month?
Well-being in the workplace is fast becoming an essential part of the employee package to attract new employees but also to retain existing ones. Employees are looking to organisations for more than a day’s wage for a good job.
Well-being policies and initiatives that encompass good mental, physical, financial and social health and focus on reducing workplace stress and increasing workplace motivation and productivity are an essential part of employees’ professional development.
Do your Stress Awareness initiatives hit the mark?
What I am hearing from well-being teams is the lack of engagement in well-being initiatives.
The pandemic saw a huge rise in well-being activities from bike rides, meditation opportunities, yoga in the workplace and numerous PowerPoint presentations on why you need to get more sleep!
The bottom line is that wellbeing is now being regarded as yet another ‘workstream’. Well-being has lost its importance in many employees’ minds, simply because it doesn’t cater for the individual. It is not relevant to the needs of the employee, it is simply an extension of the management style of thinking that leadership teams know what is best for their staff.
Wellbeing teams are finding that getting employees involved in stress awareness and well-being initiatives are often the biggest barrier to any initiative’s success.
Before we address the strategies used, we need to outline why stress awareness activities/initiatives and training are still vital to your organisation, we simply need to improve their delivery and how they resonate with the teams.
Stress Awareness Month is about raising awareness about both the causes and cures for the workplace stress epidemic and creating a workplace culture where employees feel comfortable to talk and seek support and where well-being is recognised and embedded into working practices.
It is an essential part of business culture that improves the health of the workforce and is key to remaining a resilient business that thrives in times of rapid cultural change and economic crisis.
So why doesn’t it work, why don’t well-being programmes hit the mark and resonate with attendees?
Lack of interest and lack of engagement is now commonplace with stress awareness initiatives and whilst most organisations recognised the value of these initiatives and are committed to being recognised as a responsible employer that supports the wellbeing of all their employees so many Stress Awareness activities fall short on delivery.
One of the biggest reasons I have come across for failing well-being initiatives is that the initiatives that are not targeted.
Traditional training and presentations that offer more information to an already overloaded workforce fall short of empowering and motivating attendees.
Using the same management style of command and control in the well-being space doesn’t give the space and time for individuals to consider their needs and give them agency in their own development. Simply telling employees that they need to sleep more so that they avoid stressful triggers at work doesn’t work.
We know in the leadership space that getting the best of a team works when leaders empower their teams, giving them a choice in the way that they work and adding value to their roles.
Professional and personal development is the best way that an organisation can give long-term value to its employees. Investing in training that resonates with them and improves their life and develops them as leaders includes understanding themselves, the workplace triggers that create stress and empowers them to lead themselves.
Stress awareness is part of everybody’s personal development and employees thrive when they understand themselves, their triggers and their own unique response to stress.
Stress Awareness training that is designed around the individuals in your organisation, that recognise what is going on for them and respond to those specific needs will create the professional and personal expertise that employees crave and make well-being initiatives become a better return on investment for the organisation.
“Resilient Organisations are committed to being recognised as a responsible employer, that supports the well-being of all its employees.”
Leadership succeeds by connecting people to their needs and value.
The outmoded managerial style of ‘command and control’ where line managers talk at staff and tell them what to do, fails to motivate. Instead inviting a considered coaching approach and a managerial style that engages staff to find out their needs works best
When employees lack agency or purpose, when they are offered little value or understanding of their role, they are unmotivated which adds to feelings of being out of control and increases their levels of stress.
When employees feel that they are not in control of their jobs their stress levels soar.
When employees feel empowered and valued in their roles they thrive.
Investing in people professionally and personally and giving back to them their ownership of their role and their well-being is a great motivator.
Creating effective initiatives during Stress Awareness Month, which is individualised to your team’s needs and issues, is a great way to give employees a deeper understanding of themselves and enables the creation of a proactive response to their personal stress triggers.
Organisations I work with are committed to caring for their staff and understanding what the business can do for its people so that they thrive at work. A proactive stress response supports employees to take personal responsibility for their own well-being and create a proactive approach to their mental health, rather than a reactive one.
Allowing employees to take responsibility for their own stress awareness and choosing their response, works best. It also allows line managers to be accountable for upholding the appropriate boundaries which will reduce stress-related absences which affect productivity, creates knowledge gaps and increase staff turnover costs.
Stress Awareness initiatives that work increase team engagement, retain the best talent within your organisation and attract the best recruits.
What clients are typically noticing in their teams’ stress response:
There is mismatched communication around stress is recognised as a problem within organisations:
For example, younger team members are more open about what they need when dealing with stress, however, they don’t raise their hand until the last minute, and this lack of dialogue leaves other team members having to pick up the slack which has a cascading stress effect on the entire team and organisation.
Another communication issue around stress that organisations face is that team leaders don’t want to discriminate or say something that’s inappropriate as they are aware that mental health conversations around stress need to be bespoke, as every individual is going to have different issues.
Therefore team leaders simply don’t know what to say, so they avoid the conversation altogether. Lack of communication deepens the issues.
Another communication issue that occurs is what is appropriate at work, a deep level of mental health conversation is not appropriate in a workplace environment and needs to be signposted to a specialist. Having leaders that are confident in their responses to conversations is part of any proactive stress awareness training.
Otherwise, the mismatch in communication and values creates tension within the teams.
The Stress Awareness Initiatives that work in organisations develop employees so that they have stronger self-awareness and are able to notice their stress triggers before they become a bigger issue and give them the tool to have a considered response. These skills improve the confidence and communication skills of the entire team.
Stress Awareness initiatives will equip teams with the resilience and self-awareness that they need to speak up in a timely manner and give line managers the confidence to communicate comfortably with their teams.
Results from previous Stress Awareness training have shown that organisations are able to support employees to cope with the issues that a busy workplace brings to the table and ensure that they are able to bounce back and thrive despite difficult workloads and changes.
5 Effective Tools to increase Wellbeing Engagement:
An effective way to start the month of April is to invite stress and resilience experts on internal podcasts. If this isn’t an option an alternative is to signpost employees to effective stress podcasts that highlight the issues.
Drop me an email if you’d like help selecting a podcast that is relevant for your teams, or if you would like to create a one-off stress awareness podcast for the month of April.
2. Prework coaching questions
Let’s be honest – any pre-work before training is often ignored by attendees. However, what I have noticed is that if you set a coaching question before training it improves attendance and engagement during the training. Simply because, neuroscience tells us that the human brain is committed to finding an answer, posing a great coaching question – that resonates with your team – before training will provoke a curious response.
3. Coaching Facilitation training
This is a type of training that involves attendees’ personal experiences and works with them in a coaching manner will create deeper, personal insights. To raise an important point – mentoring and coaching are very different practices, using an accredited coach like myself to interpret what is going on for attendees is a different practice to a mentoring relationship.
If you would like to know more and understand what a coaching conversation can do for your team then reach out to discuss what an ICF Accredited Coach can do for you.
A PowerPoint presentation that dumps information on attendees doesn’t work, facilitation training that offers and allows for insights and actively challenges attendees to consider what approach they would take in certain stressful circumstances is an effective way to encourage deeper critical thinking and problem-solving.
4. Peer Engagement
One of the most important ways to encourage professional and personal development is to create a safe coaching space for peers to consider what has worked for them in a similar stressful work environment.
This is gold for participants and they are more willing to engage when their peers are offering insights and solutions that they have used in the past. A shared experience is a powerful tool for change.
5. Follow Up Accountability
A vital follow-up is an accountability, and creating that accountability ladder within the training is essential.
If you’d like to find out more about how to apply these engagement tools for your April’s Stress Awareness Campaigns then let’s jump on a call to find out how they can be personalised for your teams in a way that is effective and resonates best.
To support organisations in April with a Stress Awareness Training that is bespoke to your team then reach out and contact Adele so that we can co-create Stress Awareness Initiatives that create a resilient workforce at the heart of your organisation.
Training and facilitations that include a personalised approach and facilitated coaching sessions that develop personal and professional growth for employees will create a strong proactive, response to stress.
In terms of the types of Stress Awareness training programmes I can offer these include:
- Leadership coaching for your leadership teams to avoid overwhelm and burnout.
- Stress Awareness Programmes so that employees and teams bounce back from difficult work periods.
- Live or virtual Stress Awareness Training with follow-up group coaching sessions to embed training and encourage behavioural change.
- E-learning courses for your LMS system.
If you are interested in supporting your team’s resilience with bespoke Stress Awareness Training then reach out so and book a quick call so that we can identify the needs of your team and what will work for them and your business.
If your organisation is looking to incorporate Stress Awareness Programme please email me to discuss your organisational requirements or book an appointment straight in my diary
Leadership Coaching & Support:
Burnout is a real issue when leaders try to cope with and are everything to everyone. The strain can be too much if leaders feel that their role is the crucial pin holding the team and the organisation together.
If as a team leader, you feel overwhelmed, a one-to-one professional coaching session will help give you the time out, perspective and clarity you need so that you can operate at a level your team needs.
Book an introductory session with me. As a professionally accredited ICF coach, I’ve worked with hundreds of leaders so that they reach their optimum levels of performance.
What others have to say about Resilience Training
Micromanaging is not sustainable for managers. If you’d like to read more this article will help The 6 leadership skills that are essential for hybrid working