How do leaders influence the state of wellbeing within the organisation? [PODCAST]

22 August 2022

#1 Organisations need to become caring employers

Before you look at the role of people managers, your main priority should be the vision of the organisation as a whole. Naima and Rémy believe organisations need to cultivate a caring company culture. “Wellbeing at work has a huge impact on employees’ individual performance”, says Naima. “Employers must outline a concrete strategy to promote wellbeing at work. The first step is usually an in-depth analysis.”

While afterwork drinks and team-building activities contribute to fostering team spirit, Rémy and Naima believe that they fall short. “It is vital that you gain a comprehensive idea of the real challenges that your organisation faces”, Rémy explains. “Currently 1 out of 5 employees don’t feel happy at work. This rises to one in 2 when employees feel that their employer does not care about them. The relationship between wellbeing at work and absenteeism is obvious, so it’s in your interest to become a caring employer. Companies that fail to take action will see employee turnover increase and their reputation as an employer will suffer as a result.”

#2 Leaders play a substantial part in employee satisfaction

So why should we zoom in on people managers? Naima is quick to answer. “People managers have several roles, they are a coach, a therapist, they report to management and so on. Wellbeing also influences their performance, as well as the wellbeing and productivity of their employees. So you can see why they also need the right support.”

Naima is able to substantiate her statement with research that has shown that satisfaction about one’s manager is one of the most important conditions for employee wellbeing. It is even more important than autonomy and work/life balance. “People managers play a key role within the organisation”, Rémy adds. “They assist with primary (protecting employees from wellbeing risks) and secondary prevention (helping individual employees who are already experiencing complaints). At the primary level, people managers mainly need to be human and approachable, ensuring that employees feel sufficiently comfortable to flag an issue or give feedback. The secondary level relates to the direct line between a people manager and his or her team. Picking up on stress symptoms among team members early and providing an adequate response can be a solution ensuring the situation doesn’t escalate.”

#3 Leaders need the right type of support

An organisation thus has high expectations for its leaders or people managers. Which inevitably raises the question: who is there to provide support to them? Compare it with an oxygen mask in a plane: you always put on your own mask first so you can assist others. That is why AG and Waldon have developed a brand-new pilot project that provides support and levers to all leaders.

“The High Energy Habits for Leaders (HEHFL) programme provides training, support and coaching”, Naima explains. “HEHFL teaches leaders how to create enduring energy habits over a period of 24 weeks. Participants learn through assignments based on a holistic approach. We know that high energy levels ensure great performance, a positive team mindset, and a high level of motivation. Everyone within the organisation thus stand to gain.”

Want to find out more about the programme?

“The initial results were extremely positive, which is why we will repeat and expand this pilot project”, Rémy adds. “Thanks to My Health Partner, the digital pillar and main solution of our wellbeing offering, we are able to implement a very personalised approach, using gamification for this, among others. The participating leaders also appreciate this. A growing number of organisations are becoming aware that they need to care for their people managers. The organisation as a whole stands to benefit from this. Now is the time to get started.


Want to know how you can provide your leaders with the support they need? Listen to the podcast here (only available in French)!

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