According to this guide on current health and wellness trends, workplace wellbeing refers to “the ability to feel supported and valued in the workplace, and to be professionally content”. It’s important to promote wellness in the workplace and amongst staff to not only support their personal well-being but also their performance in the workplace.
Focusing on wellness in the workplace can:
- Increase productivity
- Reduce burnout
- Reduce staff turnover
- Improve morale
- Decrease the stress of staff
- Create a positive environment
Neglecting the mental and physical health of your staff can lead to burning out, which can have serious implications. For teachers especially, burnout can result in becoming detached from their roles, which will not only affect them personally but also their colleagues and their students. In fact, 60% of employees say they’d feel more motivated at work if their employer actively supported mental well-being.
We’ll highlight a few ways schools can better support their staff when it comes to their personal wellness.
Start with School Culture
Your school’s culture will have a huge bearing on the well-being of your staff members. For instance, are you actively promoting open communication around topics like mental health and burnout, or are they being suppressed and avoided? Ensuring your staff feels comfortable to freely talk about their stresses in or out of the workplace is a crucial step in encouraging wellness, as they’ll feel more supported. Their experiences could even help fellow employees.
Another way of improving culture to better promote wellness in the workplace is to set and stick to clear and attainable goals that can help give staff clarity over their job roles. Ensuring that staff has a clear understanding of your expectations can help to stave off workplace burnout, which can ultimately improve both worker wellbeing and performance.
Provide Relevant resources
There are so many resources available to help individuals to look after their personal wellbeing. As well as pointing your staff in the right direction when it comes to looking for appropriate resources, you should also make these available within the workplace.
For example, Wellness Action Plans (WAPs) are designed to support individuals’ mental well-being, regardless of whether or not they’re struggling with a mental health condition. Employers can use WAPs to support their staff members, and they can be worked through either collaboratively or individually by employees. The CDC has strategies schools can use to create an employee wellness program.
Encourage Team Morale
Happy employees are more likely to be productive employees, so focusing on boosting morale should be high on your list of priorities. In the classroom and in your schools, it’s crucial to celebrate any team wins, and take a moment to acknowledge the work that’s been done to reach these successes. Staff recognition is crucial in building a more positive work environment, which can ultimately help to improve loyalty and engagement.
It’s also incumbent upon administration to help their staff to strike a healthy work-life balance. Within the school setting, teachers’ schedules are largely governed by lesson timetables, and lots of their work will often be taken home. But beyond this, you can offer more support by encouraging exercise, and hobbies as well as creating life balance by regularly reviewing workloads. Being able to share workloads and delegate responsibilities between team members can go a long way to helping staff to find a better balance between work and home life.
The more you take of your staff, the more they will engage in their jobs which can only help the children they teach and inspire every day. We all do our jobs better when we are happy, healthy, and feel appreciated.