Director of Onlinelawyers
No doubt some of you spent part of your Christmas holiday, that is if you took one, reflecting on how you can manage your business differently, if not better in 2017.
One decision you ought to consider is keeping a focus on employee health and wellbeing. Not only does the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 create a legal obligation to monitor and manage employee health but a happy workforce means less sickness, higher productivity and better retention.
A key component of a successful wellness strategy is employing line managers with insight and empathy. Line managers are those people in your organisation who have the day to day contact with, and supervision of your workers. This can be a supervisor, head teacher, partner in a law or accountancy firm or a foreman.
A recent survey in England found that for over 70 percent of those workers who were questioned, the moment they least looked forward to in their working day was interacting with their line manager.
I suspect it will be the same here. What an appalling statistic!
Shouldn’t it be that over 70 percent looked forward to interacting with their manager. After all, aren’t managers hired to inspire, encourage, support, nurture and grow the workforce?
This is where it is important to reflect on the personality types of your line managers. Have they got that necessary insight and empathy with others? Do they get along with people? Do they take the time to understand what makes their workers tick? Or do they hide behind process? Are they perfectionists? Do they belittle people? Do they micromanage? Do they cause conflict? Are they a bully?
There is a lot of literature out there regarding the sort of personality traits you would want to avoid like the plague. But, in the end, isn’t the ideal manager a person who can get alongside other people.
So, from a practical point of view what can you do?
First, make sure you have a clear understanding of your manager’s personality traits
Secondly, if the traits are those of a well-liked, respected, empathetic and insightful individual, express your appreciation and support.
But if the manager is a psycho, or as Michael Hempseed of Employee Solutions Service Ltd puts it, a toxic individual, then it’s time to help that manager along with another career choice.
If you do not, then it is inevitable that this individual will negatively affect the workforce’s wellness and well-being resulting in employee unhappiness, a high level of sick leave and staff turnover and the potential for a claim of bullying or constructive dismissal.