Employees hold a special place in the mind of a entrepreneur, especially TPE. Often you take care of human ressources yourself, without a manager. And you haven't necessarily been trained for that! So you are asking yourself questions.
Are you too much on their backs? Or do you give them too much freedom?
Do they feel good about your business? Or are they stressed without daring to tell you?
How to involve them without harassing them?
How to give them a good working environment while ensuring their productivity ?
Moreover, the performance and the well being at work do they mix well?
I tell you right away: yes! It is even the key to a successful business.
Thehuman element is your most valuable resource. Pragmatism or humanism, it doesn't matter: you have to worry about employee well-being of your business!
Is well-being at work essential?
It is a provocative question to which I will hasten to answer, to avoid any ambiguity… Yes, it is essential!
Well-being and performance at work: obvious
The business leaders often have a funny reflex when they think of their employees. They wonder how to reconcile performance and well-being at work. As if the two didn't go together. As if the human being softened when he felt good.
In reality, it is quite the opposite. Well-being at work is a factor in the overall performance of the company. Everyone has been saying it since the famous Harvard and MIT study published in the Harvard Business Review : absenteeism divided by six, sick leave divided by two, productivity increased by 31%, etc.
Happy employees are more productive, more involved, more loyal. Well-being at work in a company develops the motivation and theteam spirit and decreases absenteeism and turnover.
Psychosocial risks and their consequences
At the risk of throwing open doors, let's try to see together why your employee who works on his laptop in his garden is more productive than your employee who tears his hair in front of his PC.
What differentiates these two employee profiles is their relationship to different types of psychosocial risks (RPS):
- the stress at work (lack of resources, too short deadlines, overload of tasks and responsibilities, etc.);
- the internal company violence (“police coping”, moral harassment, conflicts between employees or between different hierarchical levels, etc.)
- the external violence (assaults, threats, etc.).
And here are the consequences they can have in concrete terms in your business:
- cardiovascular illnesses ;
- psychic troubles ;
- burnout (professional exhaustion), even suicides.
This list of psychosocial risks is not mine: it is that of the Labor Code. As an employer, you must ensure the safety and the physical and moral health of your employees (article L. 4121-1). The company - you - can be legally challenged if it fails in this area.
You are therefore right to ask yourself questions about well-being in the company.
- First, because it is your duty as a boss under the law.
- Secondly, because what's good for your employees is good for your business!
But how can we improve well-being at work?
How to develop the well-being of employees?
The three areas of work for the well-being of company employees
The well-being of employees and, conversely, their ill-being find their source in three very closely related aspects of work in a company:
- the communication ;
- the management of time ;
- the management of stress.
Of difficulty communicating clearly about goals and tasks cause stress and waste of time. They weigh down already busy agendas.
Of unachievable goals and too tight deadlines put enormous pressure on the shoulders of employees… to the detriment of results.
The disagreements, difficulties in understanding each other, fatigue create stress that is detrimental to all aspects of the business: communication between people, productivity, efficiency, etc.
Communication, time management and stress management are therefore the three major projects to launch when we want to clean up a business organization. This is why I made it my priorities as a coach.
The goal : increase motivation, the well being at work and the organizational performance, for everyone. Including for you, because the business manager is not spared by stress and overloading tasks, far from it!
If you want to know more about each of these axes, I invite you to read these articles:
- on the corporate communication ;
- on the entrepreneur stress ;
- on the time management of the entrepreneur.
The collective fight against psychosocial problems
A change in attitude or habits in an employee, a significant drop in productivity spread over time,absenteeism, etc. : all this warns of potential psychosocial risks.
It is therefore important to meet your employees and discuss with them:
- is by speaking directly with your employees, if they are comfortable with you;
- or by asking them to complete a anonymized questionnaire (but this solution is not always easy to use in a TPE, data confidentiality is much more difficult to respect);
- either by doing intervene an outside professional, psychologist or business coach. 😉
The goal is to recover enough material to bring back to you the work situations that pose problems and are sources of tension and discomfort:
- overloaded schedules;
- too short deadlines;
- disagreements between colleagues;
- lack of recognition ;
After diagnosis, you need to look for solutions. This work is collective and involves the leader, managers if there are any and the employee (s).
If that doesn't work, advice from an outside person, more neutral and objective, is valuable. This may be a health professional, such as a psychologist, or a business coach. 😉
You also need to be able to hear that the problem may be… with you.
Management of psychosocial problems: the role of the entrepreneur
As a specialist in these matters, I regularly alert my clients to theimportance of the leader in these well-being issues at work.
Communication is at the heart of these issues. However, it is you, as a business leader, who set the pace for this communication.
It is you who take responsibility leadership, through clear directives, sharing of information and vision, listening, support, motivation.
Above all, it is your vision that feeds the culture of your company. However, the work environment is one of the areas in which this corporate culture has significant repercussions. Overloaded schedules and tight deadlines often come from above. Not that you are putting pressure on your teams on purpose… You may just be suffering from an organizational flaw. Hence the importance of taking a step back to analyze the situation and perhaps change your habits.
There's a whole crew on a boat, but one man at the helm, and that's you. 🙂
It is often at this stage that my clients call on me. Because they need an objective look at the impetus they give to their teams.
It is not always necessary to come up with radical changes. Sometimes small adjustments are enough to improve employee well-being if there are no underlying issues. I give you some leads!
Some ideas to improve the atmosphere at work
How to install a climate of well-being for all employees of a company? I offer you some ideas to improve the quality of life at work, to adopt and adapt according to your structure.
The relaxation area in business
You don't need to build a lounge with a bar, gym and massage parlor for your employees… 😉
But it is clear that a space reserved for relaxation is an essential minimum for your teams. A place where they can sit and chat. Drink coffee or tea, have a snack. In some cases, lie down for a few minutes to recharge the batteries.
It is not a luxury. The brain is better able to function when it is rested. It is not for nothing that the law imposes rest slots in a worker's day. A relaxation room is ideal for combating fatigue of body and mind and reducing the stress that inevitably accumulates in a working day.
In addition, it promotes informal communication, outside the standardized frameworks. And communication is good for team spirit and the overall good atmosphere in a company.
Musical instruments, sports equipment, massage beds are not essential. If you and your employees feel like it, why not? The main thing is that they have at least one place to decompress.
You too by the way!
The living environment at the office
In recent years, we have been talking about the benefits of office plants. It is true that they have a lot of interest:
- they are aesthetic and soothing to the eye;
- they drown out noise;
- they clean the air.
They delimit the spaces in an open space and dress an office. Put some in the relaxation area too. 😉
But they don't do everything! Also pay attention to two other equally essential points, if not more:
- the brightness ;
- thematerial ergonomics.
Some of your staff may be spending their entire day at their computers. They need a lighting that makes their work easier and a seat and desk that relieves their posture.
Check that each of your employees is well installed and well equipped at their post.
Perhaps there are ideas for improvements to be made for your business in this area?
Well-being at work activities
Just like plants, business activities and others team building have the wind in their sails. As if they can solve all employee well-being problems!
Yes, you can offer it. Yes, you can organize seminars, weekends, sports or other activities for your employees. In some cases, this strengthens the bond between them.
Be careful, however, not to overload the mule, as they say. Be careful not to want to force people to be happy in their workplace by forcing them to follow many programs and activities not always desired or well accepted. You are responsible for their well-being at their workplace. Not in their hobbies and free time. 😉
A study on well-being at work programs showed that these were in fact not very effective.
When a business organization is healthy, that's great. But forcing various and varied workshops and seminars on unhappy employees in the company is like putting a bandage on a wooden leg.
Focus on the essentials: working conditions ! If they are bad, if your employees are overloaded with tasks and caught in a tight deadline, no playful activity will help them feel better.
Psychosocial risks, when they arise, can only be solved by a basic treatment of the problem.
The well-being of teleworking employees: a special case
The Covid 19 pandemic has imposed new perspectives on businesses. The Work at home, or telecommuting, has developed to allow the continuity of the activity of certain companies.
Perhaps you were concerned by this situation? How did you experience it?
How to position oneself on the well-being of teleworking employees and the repercussions on their performance?
There is a strong misconception about the ability of employees to be productive when working from home. This is not the subject of this article, although it is fascinating. 😉 What I want to tell you is that, if, for one reason or another, you make the choice of teleworking for your employees, you must assume it and trust them.
If you don't, you will inevitably put pressure on them. They will feel it. Their well-being and performance will suffer.
To keep your troops motivated by teleworking, I advise you to set up means of remote communication which are both regular and informal and which connect all your employees. The goal ? It is twofold:
- avoid the feeling of exclusion and abandonment among some of your collaborators (those who most need contacts in general);
- give back meaning in their work and thus maintain the motivation.
Do not leave your employees in doubt: these means of communication are not "cops". Just an essential link for maintain cohesion in the company.
The employee well-being is a real question, almost societal, in our world which always asks more of everyone.
How do you position yourself on this issue? Are you comfortable, do you have confidence in your teams, do you know how to delegate and manage calmly?
Or, on the contrary, are you anxious and struggling to trust?
Perhaps, before tackling the issue of employee welfare, you might need to think about you ? to your vision of management ? at your personal organization ?
I suggest you talk about it together to analyze your feelings and your needs in this area. I am expert in management, stress and time management and very familiar with all issues related tobusiness organizatione. My coaching offer covers all these aspects. Contact me !