Encouraging Wellbeing as an Important Investment for Your Business - Tubblog: The Hub for MSPs

Encouraging Wellbeing as an Important Investment for Your Business

Encouraging Wellbeing as an Important Investment for Your Business image

Wellbeing is crucial part of building a long-lasting and happy team.

Investing in your employees’ mental and physical health is just as important as making sure they have the necessary tools and skills to do their job.

So, what can we do as employers and business owners to help build a culture of good wellbeing?

In this article we explore some of the practices, and the benefits of a strong wellbeing-centric workforce.

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Introduction

We all know that professional people work hard and experience stress from time to time. Managed service provider (MSP) businesses are no different. Analytical problem-solving and keeping to tight deadlines within a technical environment requires intelligence, professionalism and an attention to detail.

However, if we’re not careful, that stress can lead to burnout if not properly managed.

According to the Workplace Health Report 2023, conducted by Champion Health:

  • 76% of employees experienced moderate-to-high levels of stress (up from 67% in 2022)
  • 33% of employees reported that high stress impacted on their productivity

Source: Champion Health Insights

The challenges of retaining top talent mean that once we find great people to work with, we should be doing our best to keep them engaged, healthy and happy.

Therefore, this article will address some of the things we can do to encourage a strong culture of wellbeing. As well as highlighting some of areas we should keep a close eye on.

Encouraging Wellbeing as an Important Investment for Your Business

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Wellbeing as an Investment

It’s crucial that investment in wellbeing should come from the top down.

Leadership commitment is as important as employee buy-in when it comes to making wellbeing a part of your company strategy. Burnout can affect anyone, and it’s a massive risk to your business if not managed properly.

However, it’s an investment, and that means there’s a cost. Initiatives promoting wellbeing in your workplace can require time and money to implement. At the very least, you may have to change operational practices to accommodate a healthier work-life balance.

A commitment to wellbeing is something to mention when you’re hiring, be part of your onboarding, and be a strong part of your culture throughout your operations.

Besides, if you can prove the strength of your commitment, it can be a way of attracting new talent. Especially for those people whom health and wellbeing is an important factor in deciding to work for a company.

Leadership commitment is as important as employee buy-in when it comes to making wellbeing a part of your company strategy! Click to Tweet

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Five Ways to Incorporate Wellbeing into Your MSP Business

Improving Working Conditions

This is a broad subject, but here we’re specifically talking about giving employees options and control over where and how they work.

It’s also about enabling them to be more effective in their roles by providing the right tools and training to do their jobs effectively. As well as making sure the support is in place when they need it.

Furthermore, the impression that they’re being listened to, as well being rewarded for hard work goes a long way.

Striking a balance to make sure your employees are not overworked and are taking adequate breaks will increase their long-term productivity.

Microbreaks every 2-3 hours are proven to increase productivity and creativity. And they can help lower stress too. There’s a great article about the science behind microbreaks here.

Create a Social Fund that Focuses on Wellbeing

For those of you lucky enough to be able to spend time with your team outside of normal working hours, it’s good to engage in social activities together. And those that promote health and wellbeing can demonstrate the commitment you have to building resilience. It can also deepen the trust you have between you and your team.

The social bonds you create as a result will also help lower stress, but be careful to not blur the lines — keep respectful boundaries to preserve your integrity.

Carry Out Some Charity Work

Doing your bit for charity always feels good. As an employer, if you get opportunities to help local charities in the community, it also helps with your brand marketing, and social proof too.

If you can allow or, even better, encourage your staff to take part in volunteer work that benefits a charity or local community, it helps them feel good by doing some good.

You should allow your team the time off in lieu (TOIL) if this charity work falls outside of normal working hours. And perhaps reward them with a team meal or something similar.

Mentoring Schemes and Counselling

Sometimes we can be so wrapped up in our day-to-day work schedules, we can be too narrowly focused to see the bigger picture.

Having someone to talk to who can help us set long-term goals, resolve difficulties and put things into perspective can be very useful. Both mentors and counsellors can help you manage your stress and set context for change in your schedules or new challenges.

Healthy Lifestyle Incentives

Proving your commitment to wellbeing extends to improving healthy lifestyles and habits too.

Promoting the government’s cycle-to-work scheme, or partnering with a local gym to offer discounts are just two ways you can build healthy habits.

You don’t have to replace ‘Friday Morning Doughnuts’, but you might also consider holding ‘Fruit Bowl Mondays’ too.

Implementing a Responsive Employee Assistance Programme

An employee assistance programme is an employer-paid service that offers confidential support and professional advice to employees.

This is to help them deal with their professional or personal problems, especially if they’re impacting on their work, or their physical or mental health.

This assistance is non-mandatory, but it’s there to be used if and when staff need it.

Encouraging Wellbeing as an Important Investment for Your Business

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Work Practices That Can Cause a Detriment to Wellbeing

Maintain Adequate Staffing – Where service demand is high, and tight deadlines are commonplace in your business, it can take a heavy toll on your workforce if there aren’t enough members in your team to meet the demand.

Depression and high blood pressure are common side effects of being overworked. This can lead to members of the team taking time off sick, which further exacerbates the problem.

While hiring more staff can seem costly, it’s even more costly to let your good staff take extended periods of sick leave due to stress. They may even seek employment elsewhere if they’re unhappy with how the demand is managed.

Smarter Working, Not Harder Working – We must all remember that time is a finite resource.

According to American Author Zig Ziglar: “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four-hour days.”

We must employ effective tools and processes that help us to use that time wisely. Automation, productivity hacks and ensuring we’re not wasting time on things that offer no value, will help you deliver more in smarter ways.

The savings you make in leaner processes will allow you more time to pursue the worthwhile things you want to do. For your team this could mean allowing them time to focus on learning new skills or developing creative solutions to problems.

Quiet Quitting or Presenteeism – When morale is low through stress or through other means, some employees may just choose to turn up and do the bare minimum. This is known as ‘quiet quitting’, and it can be disruptive.

Presenteeism brings problems of a different kind. Though it may appear to be a good thing that employees are present, staff who are ill will be less productive. If the illness is contagious, it can be spread to other members of the team, and they may be prone to burnout if they’re working when they should be resting.

Furthermore, if the employee feels compelled to be at work when they’re ill, this is a cause for concern, as it demonstrates they’re fearful of not being at work.

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Ways to Help You Manage Your Own Wellbeing

Everyone is different, and we manage our wellbeing in different ways.

According to the NHS website, the 5 steps to mental wellbeing include:

  • Taking time to connect with other people – This could be spending time with friends and family, having lunch with a colleague or joining a club/volunteering
  • Being physically active – Exercise can raise your self-esteem, improve fitness and generate natural endorphins in the brain
  • Learning new skills – To boost self-confidence and garner a sense of purpose or achievement. This could also lead to greater opportunities and improved self-reliance
  • Give to others – Connect with other people through kindness to create positive feelings. Giving up your time to help others or just finding ways to express gratitude can help you achieve this
  • Practice mindfulness – Be in the moment and take time to notice what’s happening all around you

How you manage your personal wellbeing is completely up to you as an individual. Not everyone is happy learning new skills if they feel they’re already overwhelmed, and some people abhor the thought of going to the gym. However, there are other ways you can practice self-development for confidence and happiness.

Encouraging Wellbeing as an Important Investment for Your Business

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Technological Tools to Help Manage Wellbeing

There are dozens of tools and apps to help manage an individual wellbeing.

These apps and wearables can help track stress levels, physical activity, and even sleep patterns.

While they offer some excellent health benefits, not all employees will be comfortable in sharing this personal data, either with the manufacturer of the software, or their employer. And some come at a premium.

The important thing to remember is that these technological tools should augment other wellbeing practices that offer more human interaction, in order to keep that personal touch.

In a future article we’ll explore some of these in more detail.

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Other Ways Promoting Wellbeing Can Benefit Your Business

When you encourage personal development or healthy pursuits in your staff, you should also encourage them to celebrate their achievements through social media. This is especially true if they’ve met a milestone that they’re proud of, or done something for charity.

Promoting it through your LinkedIn company page is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to personal development, health and wellbeing. And it will raise the profile of the people who work for you too.

This will reflect positively back on your business, showing your ethos is of a company that cares about the wellbeing of its people.

Promote staff growth by encouraging them to celebrate and share their achievements on social media

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Wellbeing Case Study: Salesforce’s Wellbeing Initiatives

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) leader Salesforce has some unique ways of promoting holistic wellbeing as an investment.

Some of those that stand out are:

  • Ohana Culture: Salesforce promotes a culture of “Ohana,” which means “family” in Hawaiian. This philosophy underscores that the health and happiness of each employee are integral to the functioning of the company as a whole
  • Mindfulness Zones: Salesforce offices worldwide are equipped with mindfulness zones — quiet spaces where employees can take a break, meditate, or practice mindfulness to rejuvenate during a hectic workday
  • B-Well Together Program: This initiative focuses on mental health and includes virtual wellness sessions. It features speakers and experts on topics ranging from psychological health to physical fitness, accessible to all employees globally

Furthermore, these initiatives are continually being improved through employee feedback. This underscores their effectiveness, and keeps the programmes in step with how staff are feeling.

Find out more about Salesforce’s Wellbeing Playbook.

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Build a Culture of Wellbeing into Your Business

Wellbeing might not be the most important thing to think about as a business owner, but it does come with a number of important benefits.

Invest in wellbeing and you can expect:

  • A higher retention of staff or lower turnover
  • Fewer staff sickness days taken
  • Increased productivity and overall morale
  • Greater loyalty and buy-in from your team

It’s a sensible investment, just like anything else. Though the returns may not seem tangible in the short term, it’s very much part of a long-term strategy.

Also, young people are much less motivated by remuneration as previous generations. Therefore better working conditions and benefits can be much more appealing to new candidates.

What do you to encourage better wellbeing for you and your team? Has burnout affected you or your employees? And have you seen positive results after prioritising wellbeing as an investment in your business?

We would love to hear your stories in the comments.

Encouraging Wellbeing as an Important Investment for Your Business

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STEPHEN MCCORMICK

I'm the MSP Community Manager for Tubblog. A small business owner, technical writer and blogger, with 15 years experience in corporate IT. I frequently attend MSP peer groups and create content relevant to IT service providers and business owners.

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