I was watching the film “The Intern” recently, which stars Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway and apart from the fact it’s a brilliant film, there was something else about it that I really loved!

The films about a widower (played by De Niro) who decides he hates being retired and so gets a job as a senior intern at an online fashion site, which is run by Anne Hathaway’s character. The firm, is very cutting edge, but one of the things it has, is a company masseuse, who’s employed to make sure staff don’t feel stressed, as stress will stop them doing their jobs properly.

It occurred to me that, this was an absolutely brilliant idea! Now I know not many companies will be able to afford to hire a masseuse to constantly be on hand, but it set me thinking just how much companies did do to promote the health and wellbeing of their staff?

So what simple things can you do, to make sure your staff are OK?

  1. Take an interest in them – what’s going on, in their personal lives? I’m not suggesting you grill them about every little aspect of their life, but be mindful of whether they have stuff going on in their outside lives that might affect them in the workplace. Knowing this might help you recognise signs if it looks like life is getting a bit much for them.
  2. Encourage staff to take breaks –  Have you noticed a staff member is getting in early and leaving late, try and establish why? Is their workload too much? Encouraging staff to make their most of tea breaks and lunchtimes or just get up from their computer once in a while, will actually help their productivity.
  3. Be aware of their goals – Do you know what your staff want to achieve? Where they see their careers going? Working with your staff to help them develop their skills, which can be then used to benefit your business is a good idea! Showing staff that you value them enough to invest in developing them will mean their less likely to leave.
  4. Encourage Team Work – Taking staff away for the day can really help with team morale. Maybe a team building day or if funds wont stretch that far, taking staff out for a meal or even ordering a load of pizzas to come to the office one lunchtime. It gives staff some down time to get to know each other and chat about stuff non work related.
  5. Provide a Tea Fund – In my experience one of the biggest sources of arguments in an office is who provides the tea, coffee and milk! If you ask staff to provide their own, there’s guaranteed rows over people using milk they haven’t paid for, “borrowing” a tea bag. Providing these could provide a more harmonious office!
  6. Support Network available – Make sure that all staff area aware of what support network is available within the company. Who is their point of call if they have an issue? Does your company offer a “buddy” system?
  7. Praise – It sounds obvious, but if a member of staff does a good job, then tell them, maybe tell them in front of their colleagues! Praise goes a long way to making a staff member feel valued.

Your staff are your company’s greatest asset and looking after their health and wellbeing is important. What kinds of thing does your company do to look after staff?

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