Creating meaningful work for others is part of our everyday life at work
How we go about that can be done in many different ways, and for me, it’s about being able to give time for breaks, connection and recognition. Linked to the world of wellness, employers need to consider how they can create that life/work harmony so that there’s a focus on encouraging and supporting each individual to live a compassionate existence.
Actively checking in, asking questions, and providing opportunities for your people to work on their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self while at work is essential.
Stopping, being curious, exploring what’s going on for them (remember it’s not always about you!), checking in on how people are and what they’re working on, how they’re doing and how they’re finding it. It’s important as an employer to encourage your people to consciously create a good life/work harmony by setting schedules, break times and boundaries where there’s an opportunity to switch off. Leaders need to make it clear that this is ok and lead by example.
My top tips are for employers to consider the following:
Check in with your people
Make sure that there is time set aside to check on people’s wellbeing — to notice and care if that person hasn’t been taking a break or is working under extra pressure. Keep your head up and your social radar on — and notice if someone isn’t being their ‘normal’ self. Reach out and arrange to have a coffee catch up with them, or go for a walk or something to bring light-heartedness into the day. Encourage time is given to take breaks. Maybe that’s going for a walk, taking a meeting or a call outside, all of these little things can help provide meaningful work.
Give people work that matters to them
Your people need to feel they’re making a difference and that their work is contributing to the greater good or bigger picture. It’s important to make sure that the work isn’t mundane and monotonous. It’s important that they’re doing something aligned to their own purpose, passion and values. Make sure there’s a routine that encourages people to do things that are linked to their passion, for example volunteering with a local charity or in the local community. Encourage them to take half a day or a couple of hours where they can start to give back something to the community they’re working within. There’s plenty of opportunities out there.
Be clear on expectations
For a specific project, be clear on the timings, what’s expected and have regular check-ins. Some employers have check-ins at the beginning of every meeting. I always encourage leaders to ask their teams: what are you thinking and how are you feeling? Or how are you arriving today? It might just be a five minute check in with everyone in the room, to get a sense of where people are at. This helps leaders and the rest of the team to meet them where they’re at and adjust their approach accordingly.
Share the ‘walls, wins and wisdoms’
Encourage new approaches to working by asking everyone in the team to share ideas about the ‘walls, wins and wisdoms’ that have happened in the last week. This is a great tool to use as a check in. Maybe as a team, ask people to share their wins to encourage more of them. Look at the walls or challenges they’re experiencing and make a plan together so people feel supported. Wisdom or learnings around what has gone well is a great opportunity to stop, review and reflect.
Featured image: Helena Lopes / Unsplash