By Michael Gunther

I’ve recently been doing research on the topic of wellness in the workplace and employee engagement. The bottom line is that the majority of business leaders are performing sub-par when it comes to understanding how their employees are truly doing. I’m speaking about their overall well-being. Not just if they are engaged, but are they stressed? How are they doing with the rest of your team? We all know that workers with a strong wellness score are going to be more satisfied and productive.

The question I always pondered was how you measure this with your employees. It’s not realistic to do a thorough daily check-in as we’re all running in today’s fast paced business environment. The technology that has streamlined our communication and processes has also created a constantly connected and nonstop workplace. Read any business or news publication and you’re going to see a litany of articles on lack of employee engagement and wellness. These deficits in our workplace are making our organizations less competitive and productive and will have short and long term negative impacts on profits.

Many of you know that I’ve been a big fan of behavioral assessments and have been an advocate for a tool called WorkTraits. This tool helped me understand someone’s behavioral preferences as well as what motivates them but it needed one more element. As much as I love this tool, it’s still missing a component that targets wellness.

With the growing buzz around wellness, the new owners of WorkTraits have created a tool called TeamRelate. Inspired by the book “Well Being”, they’ve taken the knowledge of behavioral assessments and convictions and aligned it with another element – employee wellness. The tool allows individuals on your team to check in on their well-being and receive a score. It then provides them tips on how to improve their overall well-being. A manager can see how well their team is doing at any given moment.

I realize this is one more tool to integrate into your business, but if you’re able to engage your employees at a new level wouldn’t it be worth it? Our team is going to begin testing it out and seeing how it can assist us and our clients. The pendulum needs to begin swinging back to employee well-being. Between this tool and other initiatives maybe we can begin impacting more clients’ businesses and teams.

Whether you use this tool or not, I do believe you need to begin contemplating what you’re going to do as a leader to improve your employees’ well-being. The USA is getting a bad reputation as a place to work where once we were the envy of the world. The focus on just the financial bottom line, without a clear focus on the employee bottom line, is going to continue to provide challenges to our workplaces. The interesting aspect of this more equalized approach is that study after study demonstrates that you’ll actually increase your overall company performance significantly by being more balanced.

Bottom Line

I do think we’re at a critical point in an employee management revolution. Yes, revolution. I truly believe employees will revolt if we don’t begin making some big shifts. Aren’t we already seeing this in some of the service sectors like fast food and retail? It’s already showing up in studies as only 30% of employees care about doing a good job because the rest believe their bosses don’t care about them. How long can organizations focus on just their bottom line without realizing that, if they don’t take care of their employees, their bottom line won’t be sustainable?

This is another article in a series on Michael’s entrepreneurial story and how being raised in a large family and his belief in creating a growth company with a work-to-live mentality has influenced his career. Michael Gunther is Founder and President of Collaboration LLC, a team of highly skilled business professionals who are dedicated to assisting proactive business owners to build profitable, sustainable businesses through results-oriented education and consulting services. 

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