Let’s talk wellness. Healthy employees = lower insurance + less absenteeism
This is no great shakes. We all know that if you have healthy, un-out-of-breath staff this is a good thing for your pocket and your productivity. But what we tend to forget is that if you want an entire office to suddenly get healthy so they – and you as a manager or CEO – can reap the benefits, you’ve got to lead by example. Humans look to leaders and then do what they do. Author Michael Schrage sums it up like this: “The true lead-by-example test is who follows those examples and how. Do colleagues and clients see those examples as leadership? Are direct reports inspired to admire and emulate? Charm and charisma are wonderful, but good examples can prove as persuasive as great presence.”
So if having ‘get healthier’ as an office-wide New Year’s resolution can make a lasting difference, you need to be the first one to do squats while waiting for the communal microwave to ding. The first one to pack a homemade, low-cal, high-fibre lunch and then show it off as though it were plucked from the silver tray of a Michelin-star restaurant. You need to act and lead by example to incite real, big, resolute change. And you need to act consistently. It’s also an idea to have specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound resolutions (the classic SMART acronym).
Next let’s talk social, and by that we don’t mean randomly hanging out on the balcony
‘Social’ in the context of work is defined as ”actions of others that are either helpful or intended to be helpful” such as mentoring and providing emotional support (which we suppose could happen on a balcony). Research defines four types of social support including task support, career mentoring, coaching (how to handle organisational politics for example) and collegial social support (like discussing any personal issues or concerns).
And why does focusing on ‘social’ matter as an office-wide resolution? Because social support is a predictor of job satisfaction, and this should matter to you as an employee and as a big old boss. The happier an office’s social climate the more likely, and potentially longer, an employee will stay. And more specifically, one study found that task support is in fact most positively associated with job satisfaction and tenure. That means we can’t just be allocating tasks willy-nilly with no framework, guidance and structure. Take the time to set people up for success and you’re one step closer to ticking ‘social’ of that list of resolutions.