Getting our team the resources that they need to meet their goals and objectives and perform at a high level is a key focus of many leaders. Looking out for our team members, and their well-being, isn’t just good for them, it’s good for us, and our companies. However, being a leader isn’t just about high performance and chasing success so that we can receive more recognition or make more money and earn more rewards.
In order to be a great leader, we must have a servant’s heart and help others. By placing the needs of others above our own, we build incredibly powerful bonds of trust, respect and cooperation. These bonds make everyone open to sharing and collaboration.
Everyone becomes more willing to work together. By working together and helping one another, we achieve more than any of us would by working alone and doing all of the tasks ourselves.
What Does it Mean to Have Your People’s Back?
When most of us think about meeting the needs of our fellow colleagues and peers however, we tend to think mainly about what physical resources they need to achieve their goals.
For example, if we offer someone more training and education and more opportunities to take on challenges, will they grow and develop both personally and professionally and achieve more success for themselves and for the company?
If we allow someone greater flexibility in their scheduling, or perhaps grant a department more payroll dollars, will they actually achieve more and do better work than just leaving things the way that they are now?
Why Happiness and Emotional Health isn’t Even on the Radar for Many Leaders
Few leaders, even really great ones, ever stop to think about the mental and emotional health and well-being of their team members. For most, this is not an issue where leaders don’t care how their team members feel so much as some leaders fear that they might be prying. Other leaders worry that they might offend a team member if they ask how they are doing and if there is something that we can do to make their work and their lives easier for them.
Some falsely believe that there is nothing that can be done to increase happiness and satisfaction in their workplace so they simply leave any concerns unacknowledged.
Probably the most popular myth that holds leaders back from being concerned about happiness on their team is the false belief that happiness in the workplace can be increased simply by offering someone a greater salary or other material reward.
Putting the Team’s Emotional Health and Happiness First is the Key to Leadership Success
The results of several studies reported in an infographic earlier this year at Hubspot clearly indicate that leaders and companies that put their team’s happiness at work reap a number of benefits. Teams with greater emotional stability and levels of happiness have members with greater engagement, creativity and problem solving abilities.
Teams with happy members also help companies operate more smoothly and efficiently and even increased the bottom line at many Fortune 100 companies by an average of 22% in one year alone! Unhappy teams are also quite costly, as unhappiness can increase indirectly increase company healthcare costs to treat addiction and mental illness in their workforce.
Based on this research, leaders can increase the performance of their teams, and experience more success, by making the effort to increase the happiness and emotional health of their teams!
Steps to Take to Increase the Emotional Health of Your Team
As reported in the same infographic at Hubspot, happiness in the workplace really isn’t an accident. There are a number of steps that leaders can take to lighten the level of stress that their teams experience and increase their happiness and productivity.
Break for It! Encourage your team to take breaks about every hour and a half or so, and lead by example and take breaks yourself! Teams that take breaks come back to their work with greater focus and the ability to think more creatively, which will boost their ability to come up with new ideas, improvements and solutions!
Make it Meaningful. Give your team members work that has meaning, so that they feel that their efforts matter and will be more willing to put forth their best efforts.
Help Your Team Define their Personal “Why.” Why do your work?” “Why are you here?” “Who benefits when you do your best?” Knowing why you are at work, and reminding yourself who benefits from your effort,” can increase team’s feelings of responsibility and pride. Encourage your team to figure out their own personal “why,” and also encourage them to remember their “why” throughout their day.
Variety adds Energy. Doing the same thing, day in, day out, is monotonous and boring, so cross train your team and rotate assignments, as well as shake things up with completely new twists to the work day, to keep your team from becoming bored and burning out. A popular belief is that having a routine provides a sense of security, when in reality it can feel very dull and stressful. So offer your team a variety of tasks as often as possible.
Boost Esteem and Well-Being with Empowerment. Reduce the stress levels of your team by ditching your micro-managing ways and grant them autonomy to make decisions. Giving your team more control will increase their sense of fulfillment and help them to grow.
Share, Consult, And Create. Show your team just how important, and trusted that they are by sharing your insider knowledge with them. Open the lines of communication and increase cooperation by allowing them to offer feedback and to help design projects, set benchmarks and measure their own success.
Rather than leading through direction, lead through partnership and collaboration. When success is achieved, don’t hog the spotlight! Share the credit, recognition and rewards from your mutual creations!
As you place a greater focus on creating an emotionally healthy workplace and increasing the happiness levels of every member of your team, you will see an increase in productivity and efficiency and reap the rewards in the form of greater leadership success!
If you need some further guidance on how to get started transforming your workplace and your team, get in touch today, we’re here to help! From leadership and people strategies to coaching and leadership development, we can help you get the tools that you need to increase the success of you and your team and take your leadership to the next level!