Health, Wealth and Retention

magnet attracting colorful cutouts of people
By Wendy Sheaffer

5 minutes

When your employees feel good, your credit union, members and community win.

Sponsored by The Omnia Group

There’s nothing better than feeling good inside and out. When we do, we are energized, strong and motivated. We get stuff done, and we feel proud of our accomplishments at the end of the day. And that’s a great recipe to make our work lives a success … energy, strength and motivation. When your employees feel good, your credit union, members and community win.

The idea of prioritizing employee well-being has been floating around the workplace for decades. Unfortunately, many managers haven’t fully bought into why it’s so important or what true employee well-being entails.

However, as we maneuver through our post-pandemic lives, we’ve seen some up-close and personal examples of the importance of employee well-being. We have been bombarded with challenges that have impacted our collective psyche both personally and professionally.

Being “well” in the workplace exists on various levels. It can involve:

  • Mental health
  • Physical health
  • Workplace engagement and overall happiness that springs from a fulfilling career

We spend significant time in the workplace, and those lines are now blurred for those working from home. Employees who feel appreciated at work also feel better about other areas of their lives, such as relationships and health. There’s a clear connection between a positive work environment and happy workers.

Big Benefits of Supporting Employee Well-Being

When you emphasize employee well-being, it pays you and your business forward with numerous benefits.

Employee well-being promotes engagement. Physically and emotionally healthy employees are more likely to show a higher level of commitment to their job. They are also better equipped to deal with member demands, daily deadlines and regular work stress. A sense of well-being allows employees to work at a higher level of production and add more value to the organization.

Employee well-being decreases sick days. Employees struggling with physical and emotional issues tend to call in sick a lot. And even when they show up, they may not perform to their highest potential.

When managers focus on well-being, they can expect employee sick days to taper off. It’ll also become obvious that workers who used to call in sick all the time are putting in more effort during the day.

Employee well-being increases retention. When you provide an environment of support focused on wellness, you create a team of happy workers. A positive environment coupled with competitive salaries and benefits means you’ll be surrounded by employees that won’t be leaving you anytime soon.

An employee who feels valued by their supervisor is more likely to stay with your company through thick and thin.

3 Ways to Boost Well-Being

Of course, it’s easy to see the connection between employee well-being and business success, but how do you create and nurture a culture of employee wellness?

1. Give individualized feedback. Genuine feedback is critical to developing an engaged, supportive work environment. When leaders provide positive, constructive feedback, employees can make simple adjustments that lead them (and the credit union) down a path of success.

The best way to provide effective feedback is to tailor it to each individual employee. Generic feedback with no individual direction, such as “you need to bring these numbers up,” only demoralizes an employee. Instead, approach this situation by saying, “You’re doing great at retaining business banking relationships, but I have a few ideas you can try that can help you grow business deposits and increase your line of business referrals.”

It also helps to understand what motivates each individual so you can provide feedback in a way that will stick. An Omnia Assessment helps managers see the personal drivers of each employee. For example, concrete thinkers value data and details. If you want to congratulate someone like that for a job well done, be specific. A quick pat on the back or a brief nod at a meeting will feel incomplete. Take the time to explain why the activity was a success or how it tied to the overall success of the team.

2. Acknowledge important milestones. This is a great way to show your employees that you care about them individually. Make a habit of recognizing milestones such as:

  • Birthdays
  • Work anniversaries
  • New certifications
  • Sales goals that are met or exceeded

It’s not necessary to do anything extravagant. Often, a simple card with a personalized message will make an employee feel appreciated and valued. Now that our office has gone mostly remote, we send group e-cards. Everyone on the team can electronically sign the card and write their own message. They can even add pictures or emojis. It’s a fun, easy way to highlight a milestone and means something because everyone on the team took a few minutes to say something motivational.

3. Be flexible. Flexibility helps workers achieve a better balance in their lives. Proper work-life balance is essential to overall well-being.

For example, we recently had some school closures due to an impending hurricane. My employee had to care for her three-year-old but was running low on PTO. While it would have been impossible to work normal hours with a toddler running around, she was able to work on an important, time-sensitive project during nap time and in the evening. She got the project done, just not during our traditional office hours. It was a win-win.

Employee Well-Being Benefits Everyone

By creating a positive work environment that embraces employee individuality from your leadership team on down, you’ll reap the reward of a productive, engaged workforce that stays with you.

Wendy Sheaffer is chief product officer at The Omnia Group, an employee assessment firm providing the power of behavioral insight to help organizations make successful hires and develop exceptional employees and a CUES Supplier member. Sheaffer is a subject matter expert in using Omnia’s eight columns as a tool to make more-informed hiring and development decisions and effectively engage staff. She works directly with clients and Omnia staff to provide a deeper understanding of how to use personality data to meet business goals. For more information, email or call 800.525.7117.

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