Monday to Friday can take its toll, with an average of 42.5 hours at work in the UK per week and another 40 hours sleeping (if you’re lucky). It doesn’t leave much time left for those other important areas of life such as family, friends and relaxation.
C’est la vie? It doesn’t have to be…
Employee wellbeing dips on Mondays. 1
We spend almost 1/3 of our life at work so why not enjoy it? Only 12% of employees strongly agree that they have substantially higher overall wellbeing because of their employer. 2
Its Sunday evening, your trying to enjoy the last few hours of your social time but you can’t help dread the fast-approaching Monday.
As a leader or an employee, this sense of dread will no doubt affect performance and engagement at work.
Over time, lower wellbeing leads to more absenteeism, higher healthcare costs for the organisation and higher turnover. 3
Wellbeing and performance go hand in hand. A business’s performance can be determined by the level of wellbeing of its employees.
So why do we dread Monday mornings? What’s so great about weekends which are not present in the week?
Not to state the obvious, but at weekends we are free to do what we want. We have flexibility and opportunities. We engage in activities that give us purpose; spending time with family, visiting friends, reading a book or doing DIY. Or simply time to ponder how we came to be and what the purpose of our existence is.
The biggest three factors people look for in the workplace is flexibility, a sense of purpose and opportunities. 4
Expectations are rising; job satisfaction is a huge contributing factor to our happiness. If you’re not engaged at work, then chances are, you’re frustrated, bored, de-motivated and looking out for another job.
We’re in an age where there are higher expectations from employees at work; there’s a desire to feel part of something bigger, something worthwhile, something compelling.
So how do leaders help employees look forward to a Monday?
Leaders must share the company’s mission and values, so employees feel part of its vision and work towards a common cause. Sharing the bigger picture and encouraging employees to get involved in the company’s goals and direction will inspire them and give them purpose.
Get employees involved with outreach projects too. People who feel part of their local community have thriving wellbeing, so create some volunteering opportunities to help make a difference where you live and work.
81% of employees who volunteered through their workplace agreed that volunteering together strengthens relationships among colleagues. 5
Develop your employees’ strengths
Leaders must recognise the need to develop their people, taking time to spot each employee’s unique strengths. They should watch out for clues to how an employee thinks, gets work done, influences others and builds relationships. 6
This will uncover your teams’ natural talents, increasing the likelihood of having productive, happy and healthy employees.
Employees who say they use their strengths every day are 8% more productive and 15% less likely to quit their jobs. They are also more likely to strongly agree that they like what they do each day. 7
Employees want autonomy and flexibility within their roles, given space to use their initiative and be in control of their projects.
In today’s workplace, demanding roles can often play havoc on peoples’ health. When work or general life feels like it’s becoming too much, employees need to know they have support and flexibility. This builds trust and resilience without comprising their health.
Employees are 43% less likely to experience high levels of burnout when they have a choice in deciding what tasks to do when to do them and how much time to spend on them. 8
Promoting a culture where it’s ok for employees to manage their own time will undoubtedly attract more talent. Asking for time off to see the school production or an opportunity to work from a coffee shop can help employees feel valued and respected.
Remote working and flexitime can allow people to improve work/life balance and overall wellbeing.
Advocate a well-lived life
We all know how to live a healthy life; we must eat well, exercise, manage stress and get a good night’s sleep. Leaders should advocate the importance of healthy choices to encourage employees to enhance their wellbeing.
Employees are more likely to take ownership of their wellbeing when their managers exemplify a life well-lived. 9
By setting the tone and promoting the importance of wellbeing, managers can encourage employees to take personal ownership and participate as they see fit.
Leaders must show employees that they genuinely care about their wellbeing. Encouraging employees to set wellbeing goals and then following their progress is a great way to show each employee you care.
Every Business has a moral obligation for caring for its people who give so much every day. Their wellbeing will benefit from an organisation that chooses to embrace Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behaviour, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. 10
It is recognising your feelings and the feelings of those around you to adapt, influence, inspire and motivate.
Provide opportunities for positive socialising
Social time is fundamental to our wellbeing even going as far to say, “to have a good day, people need up to six hours a day of social interaction”. 11
And yes, that means in the workplace too. It’s not an excuse to skive off work; it’s an opportunity to open engaging and helpful conversations. This is a chance to discuss ideas, enjoy successes and support one another when challenges come along.
Whether it’s organising a team-building day, a lunchtime walk, or a community event; will bring people into contact in a pleasant and meaningful context. This will encourage togetherness, creating authentic relationships, working towards a shared purpose and strengthening social bonds.
Social time at work is associated with positive and higher negative moods. 12
Here at William Scott Consulting, we are trying our best to make Mondays happy. Employees tell us our culture is built on togetherness, authenticity, trust, fairness, support and respect, without losing sight of high standards and performance.
We encourage people to play to their strengths rather than pushing them to be something they’re not.
We’re not afraid of hard work, but we also understand the importance of taking time out too. Our wellbeing is paramount, so we’ve come up with a few ideas to keep us healthy in mind, body & soul.
Here’s an example of a few of those things:
We start the day with some headspace, just 10 minutes a day, heightens our ability to focus and enhances our creative juices.
• How are you really? chats
We create a safe space to talk because life can be hard. Personal or professional – it’s all as one; life isn’t segmented like an orange, it’s whole like a peach. We care and help one another through the challenges we face; sometimes just being able to talk can lift the cloud.
• Walking meetings
We like to take meetings outdoors when we can. Having a walking meeting changes the dynamic of the whole conversation, not to mention improving energy and relaxation often leading to better communication.
• Flexible active lunch
We have an opportunity to take a 2-hour lunch, so there’s enough time to get away, exercise and refuel.
• Team building days
Each year we take part in team-building activities in a new environment to support various causes.
• Giving back days
We’ve all got ‘giving back’ days – it could be for a charity, family, friends or even yourself if you need a recharge.
Our approach is simple; look out for everyone and help each person to be the best version of themselves. Create an environment for people to unite and grow, which, over time, will unleash an abundance of energy towards a shared purpose.
This is what helps us thrive and look forward to any day, even a Monday.
Want to know more?
Feel free to drop us an email, and we’ll arrange to meet for a coffee- firstname.lastname@example.org