Four ways to enhance your employees’ career wellbeing
Employee wellbeing, particularly involving mental and emotional health, is becoming more and more central to how many organisations are operating. In fact, according to Wellable’s 2021 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report, mental health programmes are seeing a rapid increase in adoption and investment post-pandemic. But, it’s important to remember that wellbeing encapsulates a whole lot more than it seems on the surface. While mental, physical and financial wellbeing are often discussed and supported in the workplace, one holistic strand of wellbeing is often overlooked: employee career wellbeing. According to Gallup, this is one of the five essential elements of wellbeing, and refers to how an employee feels about the work they do. Does it make them feel like a valued team player? Do they feel that they are actively growing as an individual? Is it taking them in the right direction towards their professional and personal goals?
Nowadays, work is about far more than a paycheck at the end of each month. Because many of us spend so much of our lives working, our jobs shape our identity and play a key role in how we view and feel about ourselves. More employees than ever are now seeking a company and job that aligns with their personal values, gives them a sense of fulfilment, and puts them on the right track for their future goals.
If an organisation fails to check in on their team’s career wellbeing needs, they may not realise that some employees are feeling under challenged, undervalued, frustrated and stuck in a low career wellbeing rut. According to a survey from PwC, 83% of workers said “finding meaning in day-to-day work” was their top priority. It’s therefore vital that individuals see how their work affects the big picture, and are rewarded and recognised fairly for their contributions and successes. Similarly, those who feel overworked and over challenged may also have poor career wellbeing which may lead to presenteeism, burnout and potentially even further physical and mental health problems.
It’s not always easy, but understanding and cultivating this branch of employee wellbeing is crucial to long term loyalty and a satisfied team. Here are three ways you can support your team members and enhance their career wellbeing.
1. Balance the level of challenge
Having skills that far outweigh the current challenges you are facing at work can lead to feelings of unaccomplishment. It can be frustrating if an individual wants to feel engaged and satisfied but the tasks they are being assigned aren’t stimulating enough. Alternatively, feelings of anxiety and burnout can stem from too much challenge and an insufficient skill set to complete it.
Over time, both of these things can lead to a lack of motivation and fulfilment, negative feelings towards themselves and the work they are doing, and ultimately, poor career wellbeing.
Finding a flow in your work leads to greater job satisfaction and enjoyment – it’s all about finding the perfect balance between too much challenge and not enough. The psychology behind this can be illustrated by this Flow Theory diagram.
Because managers delegate tasks and shape their team members’ day-to-day activities at work, they play a critical role in driving career wellbeing. It’s therefore important that they regularly check in with their team to ensure they are finding enough challenge and satisfaction in their work, but equally don’t feel as though they are in too deep and struggling to stay on top of their work.
2. Offer learning and development opportunities
In order for individuals to feel satisfied with where they are in their careers, it’s important they have access to the right tools and opportunities to progress and reach their professional goals.
According to David Heard, commercial director at Abintegro, there are seven key drivers of career wellbeing: work and life; personal resilience; self-awareness; career conversations; relationships; day-to-day performance and career advancement. However, be mindful of the fact that career wellbeing means something different for every individual as it depends entirely on their personal goals and interests. This might not always be following the traditional career paths such as chasing the next rung on the ladder or being promoted to a senior or managerial role. Your employees will have varying skill sets and be motivated by different things. So instead, help them discover their strengths, interests and what gives them energy and fulfilment. Nurture these talents and provide plenty of opportunities for them to utilise and grow them within your business.
Why not look into providing education and training resources as part of your employee engagement offering? Through our online wellbeing hub, the zone, your team members can access a unique personalised learning experience through the online solution, LEARN, which offers short courses and high quality modules. By delivering a tool such as this one, your employees will feel satisfied, fulfilled and like a valued and indispensable team player, which will boost their morale and engagement.
3. Encourage a positive workplace culture
A huge factor to consider when thinking about how much enjoyment your employees get from their day-to-day work, is your business’ working environment and culture. One of the most important things you can do as an employer to support the career wellbeing of your team, is to foster a working environment and culture that encourages recognition, communication and positive relationships. More and more individuals, particularly millennials, are looking for a positive and fulfilling experience with an employer, not just a job. This includes having a sense of belonging, inclusivity and diversity, positive relationships with colleagues, a good work-life balance and regular opportunities to give feedback and get involved in organisational developments, among many other things.
It’s therefore crucial that you look at your business’ working environment, culture and the employee experience it provides. Are they conducive to a fulfilled and engaged workforce? Some key steps your business can take to improve its working environment and culture are to encourage social activities, schedule regular meetings to reinforce your company’s ‘why’ and mission, and create ample opportunities for all employees to contribute their feedback and thoughts. Doing this will help your employees feel more connected to your organisation and their role in the team, and in turn, positively affect their career wellbeing.
4. Recognise and reward your employees
Being recognised and rewarded is an essential element of employee career wellbeing. Reaffirming that they’re doing a good job gives employees a sense of fulfilment, builds their confidence, and therefore helps them feel more engaged at work. All of these play a vital role in an individual feeling as though they have a day-to-day purpose, are a valued member of your team and are progressing towards their goals. It’s also important to encourage peer-to-peer recognition and give your team members the opportunity to show their respect and appreciation of their colleagues. Not only will this motivate employees to work towards their goals and spot certain values in the workplace, but also forge positive relationships and create a sense of belonging – all of which work towards building a happy and welcoming workplace culture.
Reward and incentive programmes are a valuable tool for giving employees clear goals to work towards, and with a flexible points-based system, individuals can choose a reward that they feel motivated by and is truly personal to them. Our flexible reward and recognition solution, ereward, gives businesses the freedom to celebrate success in their own way. Whether it’s a peer-to-peer recognition tool, a performance-based reward programme, Long Service Awards or something else, ereward gives you the ability to show your people that they’re valued and part of a special team, every single day.
Discover more about our benefits & discounts, reward & recognition and health & wellbeing solutions, and how they can help enhance your employees’ career wellbeing, by heading to https://peoplevalue.net.