Resilience training: reducing stress or masking the problem?

The topic of resilience at work is one which in recent years has received a lot of air time. Alarming figures demonstrate that workplace stress continues to rise, bringing with it a myriad of problems for businesses and individuals. Absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace are costing the global economy billions of dollars each year, while employees are presented with the long-term health risk associated with stress and burnout.

It is perhaps not surprising that resilience training is becoming increasingly popular as an aspect of employee development. According to Organisational Psychologist Yseult Freeney, the business rational for investing in resilience training is to empower employees to over come work stress, to persevere in the face of adversity and have bounce back ability. Undoubtably there are benefits to resilience training, however conflicting opinions question the authenticity of this “benefit”. One argument posits that companies investing in resilience training are merely masking the underlying issues of work intensification. This being the case, resilience training is not a long-term solution.

Tackling workplace stress needs to start with the root cause: how we work. A major contributing factor to burn-out is the perception that long working days equal productive working days. This mentality fuels the growing issue of presenteeism. Employees feel obliged to be present out of fear they will fall behind, or they might miss out on promotion opportunities if they don’t work late as their colleagues do. Add into the mix working weekends and the late-night emails, and burn-out is inevitable not matter how resilient the person.

Without doubt, companies should continue to offer a mix of wellbeing supports including resilience training, but for those organisations which promote and praise long days, a shift in culture is required. Research demonstrating that even in an 8-hour day, people have just a few productive hours. Furthermore, a recent trial of a 4-day week by a New Zealand company demonstrated that with improved processes employees could perform more efficiently in a shorter week, with decreased stress and increased work-life satisfaction. Hence a change in mentality will result in a more productive and happier workforce.

Getting work-life balance right is an imperative for employer branding. Exploring efficiencies and processes which might alleviate the intensity of work will contribute to reducing employee stress. Email policies too should be reviewed ensuring out of hours communication from managers is limited (if not completely eradicated). Most importantly, key influencers should drive the shift in attitude by demonstrating healthy work-life balance themselves.

Author: Sara Glynn – Marketing & Customer Success Manager @ Wrkit.

Wrkit specialise in the creation of better, healthier working environments. Our platform connects global, remote and local teams through five modules; Surveys, Recognition, POWR, Learning and Savings. Speak to an Engagement Specialist today – info@wrkit.com

Keeping cohesion among a remote workforce.

As organisations strive to attract and retain talent, there is a critical need to differentiate through employer branding, offering something distinct from the competition. No longer do the millennial perks of table tennis and treats meet the ever-changing expectations of a modern workforce. 21st century benefits are about flexibility and facilitating work -life balance. A movement embracing remote and telecommuting workforce’s is well underway with many organisations including Dell, embracing a blended approach (part remote, part present). With new specialist recruitment services such as Abodoo offering platforms to match remote workers with employers seeking talent, it seems inevitable that remote workforce’s will become increasingly popular.

This new structure brings significant benefits to employers, employees and local communities. In Ireland, for example, the team behind Grow Remote are working with rural communities to create employment opportunities with remote employers. An initiative which will inevitably rejuvenate the economy within these smaller communities.

Beyond the benefit of work-life balance, individuals who work remotely can gain financially by living outside of cities without incurring commuting cost. Businesses too can make financial gains by embracing remote teams, reducing fixed costs associated with property rental and decreasing environmental impact costs. Additional support for the remote workforce business case can be found in the figures reported in a 2017 inc.com article which suggested that collaborative open plan offices are hampering concentration and productivity of employees.

Without doubt, there are significant arguments for a remote workforce. However, a remote model isn’t one which will work for every business or employee. Situational factors such as technology infrastructure will influence how cohesive and effective a remote team can be.

At a very basic level, technological infrastructure within a region must be in place to facilitate the possibility of remote working. For a team to work cohesively however, the required technology infrastructure of an organisation must be comprehensive, designed to connect and engage people, provide easy access to information and deliver the same employee experience to remote, telecommuting and onsite workers.

Instant messaging and video conferencing software are essential for effective collaboration. New VR and AR innovations are striving to replicate the in-person meeting experience. Further to facilitating the cohesive execution of tasks, technology also plays an essential role in keeping remote workers engaged with the company mission and facilitating workplace friendships. For example, recognition platforms allow for global, remote and even gig teams to give and receive praise, keeping the entire workforce up to date via a digital newsfeed, instilling a sense of pride and purpose.

One concern which often arises in the remote working dialogue is employee mental health. It’s difficult to notice those subtle changes in demeanour when a colleague is not physically present. So how can an organisation leverage technology to support an individual from afar? Firstly, surveys provide a method of gathering regular feedback, bite size pieces of information can generate all the information you need. Workday for example, have feedback Fridays an approach which is sensitive to the busy schedules of employees, therefore asking just one or two  different questions each week. This regular feedback provides a gauge for a variety of metrics related to job satisfaction and engagement, an approach which can be easily tailored to gather wellbeing related feedback. Further support can be found in digital wellbeing tools such as POWR, which empower employees to self-manage their own wellbeing while providing management with insights pertaining to company-wide wellbeing.

While technology alone will not result in high performing remote teams, it is one of the foundational building blocks which supports managers and teams to work at their best. Platforms provide a central point of reference where all employees can connect with peers, find information and stay up to date, streamlining the everyday experience.

Author: Sara Glynn – Marketing & Customer Success Manager @ Wrkit.

Wrkit specialise in the creation of better, healthier working environments. Our platform connects global, remote and local teams through five modules; Surveys, Recognition, POWR, Learning and Savings. Speak to an Engagement Specialist today – info@wrkit.com

Cultivating Purpose Through Recognition

Having a sense of purpose at work is a fundamental driver of motivation. Purpose (or lack thereof) has a direct and significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of employees. Furthermore, the millennial workforce is putting an increasing emphasis on their desire for meaningful work, with a recent Harvard Business Review article stating that 9 out of 10 employees would be willing to earn less money for more meaningful work. As the war for talent heightens, satisfying the personal objectives of talent by facilitating meaningful work will be key to business success across all industries. A challenge however, lies in the variance of perceived purpose associated with different jobs. For example, due to the nature of their work, a medical professional saving lives will likely have a greater internalised sense of purpose that an assembly line worker.  

For organisations, there is a need to develop comprehensive programmes which increase the meaningfulness of work for employees at every level. When the task itself does not inspire purpose, it is important to cultivate a sense of meaning through company practices and policies. One way to do this is through effectively utilising recognition programmes, coupling company values with peer and manager recognitions. Typically, employees who say they feel appreciated have greater job satisfaction and are less likely to leave their job than those who do not. Moreover, industry research has shown that companies which foster a culture of recognition outperform those that do not. Showing appreciation for individual contributions can help increase the perceived social worth among peers, enhancing the meaningfulness and value of work for employees.

There are certain criteria a recognition programme should satisfy in order to have the highest impact.  

  1. Leadership backing – this is a standard requirement for the success of any new programmes. Company leaders need to embody the behaviour they want to see, making a point of recognising contributions throughout the organisation. The culture needs to be right for a recognition programme to enhance the meaningfulness of work and this should be driven by senior management.
  2. Connect to company values – recognising behaviours which align to company values helps reinforce the overall business objective, reaffirming for employees how they should seek to contribute to the company.
  3. Make it personal and meaningful – relevance promotes interest and motivation. Provide guidelines for delivering meaningful recognitions. For example, Wrkit Recognition allows the recogniser to choose from a list of pre-set company values as determined by the organisation, choose the type of recognition i.e. well done or great job (these are also set by the organisation) and write a personal note to the person they are recognising.
  4. Publicise praise – sharing stories of success increases the affect on social worth, further allowing peers to verbally congratulate and recognise one another. Recognition software often includes a newsfeed style notice board which is great for global or remote teams.
  5. Socialise your celebrations –create social occasions to celebrate major business achievements. It is rare that business achievements are accomplished by one individual, make sure that all contributors or contributing departments are named and celebrated.

There are of course several internal and external factors which influence how meaningful an individual perceives their work to be. Beyond organisational level practices, managers play a key role in cultivating a sense of purpose within their team. By ensuring every employee knows precisely how their contributions impact the overall outcomes of the business (and/or positively impact society), by offering regular feedback, and by mentoring individuals to achieve their career goals managers can engender greater meaning for others.

Author: Sara Glynn – Marketing & Customer Success Manager @Wrkit

Wrkit specialise in the creation of better healthier working environments. The Wrkit platform connects global, remote and local teams through five modules; Surveys, Recognition, POWR, Learning and Savings.

Speak to an Engagement Specialist today – info@wrkit.com

References

https://hbr.org/2018/11/9-out-of-10-people-are-willing-to-earn-less-money-to-do-more-meaningful-work

https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2012/06/13/new-research-unlocks-the-secret-of-employee-recognition/#5946d4985276

Adam M. Grant. (2008). The Significance of Task Significance: Job Performance Effects, Relational, Mechanisms, and Boundary Conditions. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 93, 108-124

Combating presenteeism in the workplace

Presenteeism is the phenomenon of employees coming into work when they are sick or injured, instead of staying at home. It has also been termed “sickness presence”, and it is thought that workers in ill-health are likely to be ineffective and unproductive, which can result in increased financial costs and stress-related absenteeism in the long run – it is estimated that presenteeism costs the UK economy up to £15.1 billion annually.

Therefore, addressing presenteeism in the workplace is something that should be taken seriously. There is some preliminary but promising evidence that workplace health promotion may be effective in improving presenteeism. By promoting a healthy workplace, and by being conscious of the factors that may contribute to presenteeism, organisations can target this phenomenon, enhance productivity, and improve overall employee well-being in the workplace.

Organisational policies

Certain organisational policies may play a role in presenteeism. Policies regarding sick leave, sick pay, and attendance may lead to employees feeling like they cannot be absent from work. In particular, a lack of paid sick leave and disciplinary “trigger points” with regards to absent episodes are thought to foster presenteeism. It is important that employers review such policies to ensure that sickness presence is not encouraged over legitimate sick leave.

Job design

Job design features may also stimulate presenteeism. Employees in high-demand jobs may wish to maintain high levels of performance and may therefore engage in presenteeism when they are unwell. Job demands include the physical, cognitive, and social features of a role that require sustained physical and psychological effort – it is therefore imperative that the demands of a job are not so high that an employee feels under pressure to meet all of these demands, even when they are unwell.

Ease of replacement is another feature which impacts on presenteeism – if employees feel that sick leave will result in their work piling up, this will also trigger presenteeism. Reasons why other employees may not be able to assist with sick colleagues’ workloads include lean staffing, high specialisation, and a lack of cross-training. Furthermore, employees may be inclined to be present when they are unwell if they feel that it is unfair for colleagues to have to take on more work. All of these features influence whether or not an individual engages in presenteeism, and so management should provide opportunities for cross-training and should encourage communication among all staff regarding what is considered fair and reasonable with regards to the replacement of work.

Presenteeism cultures

Some studies have found that presenteeism cultures may contribute to sickness presence. In certain organisations, employees can experience presenteeism pressures, particularly when there exists “competitive presenteeism” cultures. Such cultures can demand long work hours, the foregoing of recuperation time after business trips, and working while sick. Management should ensure that competitive presenteeism is not encouraged.

Individual risk factors

It is also important to consider the individual factors which may put individuals at greater risk of presenteeism. It is thought that potential risk factors include a poor diet, a lack of exercise, high stress, certain health conditions, and poor relations with peers and management. It is therefore important that employers address these factors, by encouraging healthy food options, activity in the workplace, and open communication with all staff, as well as by educating employees on the importance of looking after their personal health and their workplace relationships.

Measuring presenteeism

Organisations face a challenge when it comes to actually measuring presenteeism, as there is currently no universal agreement on the most appropriate method for measuring the concept. However, several self-report measures have been developed, which may prove useful for organisations. These instruments require employees answering various questions with regards to the degree to which they believe that health issues hinder them in performing the tasks required of their roles. Examples of some of these measures which could be incorporated include the Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ), Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI), and the Stanford Presenteeism Scale (SPS).

A positive work environment

It is thought that creating a positive work environment can help to reduce health risks and improve productivity in the workplace. While being aware of the organisational and individual factors which may contribute to presenteeism is important, it is just as vital to encourage a healthy and positive work environment, to defend against sickness presence. Workplace health promotion can have a variety of benefits for employers and employees alike, such as increased satisfaction and productivity, improved morale, reduced costs and turnover, and improved company profile. Some examples of workplace health promotion activities include:

  • Measures to improve the working environment, such as assessments and audits on manual handling, display screens, and stress
  • Organisational policies that encourage a work-life balance and that discourage sickness presence
  • Education for employees on health-related topics such as exercise, healthy eating, alcohol, smoking, stress, heart disease, and cancer
  • Health screenings for employees
  • Providing free or subsidised healthy food options
  • Encouraging employees to engage in physical activity throughout the day, e.g. during their lunch break
  • Providing health insurance and GP visits

Guest Author, Jennifer Fennell, Counseling Psychologist

Sources:

https://www.robertsoncooper.com/blog/entry/five-ways-to-reduce-presenteeism-in-the-workplace

https://journals.lww.com/joem/Abstract/2013/11000/Health_Risk_Factors_Associated_With_Presenteeism.10.aspx

https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-11-395

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/job.630

The Importance of soft skills

In the workplace, soft skills are just as important as hard skills. Hard skills are the job-specific skills, knowledge, and abilities that one needs to perform a job, such as computer programming or machine operation. Soft skills are more intangible and harder to define or measure than hard skills. So what exactly are soft skills, and why are they so important in the workplace? And what can an organisation do to nurture and develop its workforce’s soft skills?

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are generally the interpersonal or people skills that help employees successfully interact with others in the workplace. Soft skills are less specialised and less rooted in specific vocations, and are more aligned with the general personality of the individual, than hard skills. It is thought that many of the core competencies for soft skills have a foundation in emotional intelligence, which is the learned ability to identify, experience, understand, and express human emotions in healthy and productive ways.

Some of the soft skills that are considered important and valuable in the workplace include:

  • A positive attitude: not only is it pleasant to be around someone who has a positive attitude, research has shown that negative attitudes in the workplace may lead to workplace accidents and stress-related diseases, which in turn can incur huge financial costs
  • Communication skills: this is vital for almost any role, and includes articulating oneself well, being a good listener, and using appropriate body language
  • Teamwork: being a team player means not only being co-operative, but also displaying strong leadership skills when required
  • Adaptability: it is incredibly important to be able to be flexible when problems arise, and to be able to adapt to situations that don’t go as planned
  • Problem-solving: being able to take action and think on your feet when faced with a problem or crisis situation is incredibly important in the workplace
  • Self-motivation: a self-motivated employee demonstrates reliability, dependability, and commitment, and does not require constant oversight or supervision
  • Conflict resolution: an employee who is able to resolve issues with co-workers effectively is someone who is going to be able to maintain positive relationships with peers and management alike

Why do soft skills matter?

Soft skills enable employees to successfully interact and communicate with everyone that they may encounter as part of their role – this includes colleagues, management, supervisees, and customers. And unlike some hard skills, soft skills are transferable skills that can be used regardless of what role a person is in.

How can employers develop the soft skills of their employees?

Emotional intelligence skills form the base of core competencies that all soft skills are built upon, and because emotional intelligence is a learned ability, soft skills can be developed and nurtured.

  • Employers can educate their workforce on the importance of soft skills, by highlighting the transferable nature of such skills, as well as the relational and interpersonal benefits of being able to interact and deal with other people effectively
  • Employers can focus on nurturing positive attitudes among their workforce, as a positive attitude is thought to be one of the most important soft skills. Positive attitudes can be cultivated, once some basic social and emotional competencies, as well as some specific attitude competencies, are learned and developed. The core emotional intelligence competencies include empathy, self-esteem, self-control, self-improvement, self-management, and interpersonal awareness. Once these skills are honed, the specific positive attitude competencies can be learned and nurtured, and these include keeping one’s focus, doing one’s best, responding to guidance, controlling one’s emotions, and being flexible
  • Workshops, talks, or seminars on soft skills and emotional intelligence can be provided to employees to encourage the development of some of the soft skills that have been mentioned above, as well as some of the other core characteristics and behaviours of emotionally intelligent people – these include: not giving in to negative self-talk; having genuine curiosity about other people; being appropriately assertive when handling conflict; and having a robust emotional vocabulary

Guest Author: Jennifer Fennell, Counseling Psychologist

Sources

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-are-soft-skills-2060852

https://www.wikijob.co.uk/content/interview-advice/competencies/soft-skills

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-soft-skills-2063721

http://www.nationalsoftskills.org/soft-skills-and-emotional-intelligence/

https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/soft-skills-you-need

http://www.careerizma.com/blog/positive-attitude/

Employee engagement – where do I start!?

The term “employee engagement” appears in leadership and HR literature the world over. It is a topic which comes up in every one of our client conversations, however the term seems to hold a very different meaning from one organisation to the next.

A Google search for employee engagement will yield a myriad of definitions, for example UK voluntary movement Engage for Success, defines employee engagement as “a workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organisation to give of their best each day, committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being.” While other definitions might vary from this, the overarching theme is an emotional connection between an employee and their employer organisation.

When addressing employee engagement, an organisation should aim to strategically implement sustainable programmes, initiatives and tools which will result in an employee having a sense of purpose and belonging. Something which will challenge the success of even the most holistic engagement strategy, is a lack of definition around company values and purpose. Engagement is intrinsically connected to the values of an organisation, so when considering engagement, the first place an organisation should start is with their own values.: the glue which will keep people invested (long-term) in the overall business mission.

With clear values and purpose, tools such as an employee survey can be leveraged to gain insights into the culture and mindset of a workforce. The eNPS (employee net promoter score) will provide a very basic understanding of engagement; how likely your workforce is to recommend your organisation as a place to work. Detailed survey questions assessing; workplace inclusion, wellbeing, communication, recognition and career development will provide a greater understanding of an organisation’s needs.

For organisations of all sizes and industries effectively administered surveys will help guide better business decisions. Utilising the feedback, an organisation can determine clear engagement objectives and a strategic approach to boost employee satisfaction. While the prospect of an employee engagement strategy might be daunting at first, with the right building blocks in place the planning process becomes easier and more systematic.

At Wrkit we specialise in the creation of better, healthier working environments using our online suite of data driven employee engagement and retention tools – Surveys, Recognition, Wellbeing (POWR), Learning and Lifestyle Savings. Headquartered in Dublin (Ireland), with offices in London and Boston, we serve local and multi-national companies around the globe. Let our experience guide your next steps, get in touch today info@wrkit.com.

 

Author: Sara Glynn, Marketing Manager, Wrkit

The Secret to Successful Collaboration

Collaborative workspaces have their merits; they encourage team work, reduce needless e-communication and foster a culture of inclusion. However different people like to work in different ways and a collaborative environment isn’t always the most suitable. Depending on their role, personality, current mood or task, the most suitable environment for an individual will change.

In an open plan office which promotes collaborative working it is important to find ways to allow for quiet time and privacy, facilitating your team to work at their best. Here are our top tips to create quiet:

Encourage the use of signals: Encourage your staff to use headphones, earplugs, desk signs and even body language to clearly signal that they do not want to be disturbed. The system of signalling needs to be respected by the team and managers to work.

Establish protocol: In a truly open plan office where quite zones cannot be separate spaces, rules or protocol such as quite times or no email times can be implemented – limiting distraction from within the team. Any protocol such as this needs to be well communicated with rational.

Designate a quiet zone: If the office layout allows for it, a designated quite room with hot desks can add real value for the whole team. Like a library, a quite zone in a workplace needs to adhere to strict silence, once the rule is abused the value of the room is gone.

Allow for flexible working hours: When suitable allow people to choose hours that provide the best environment for their needs. If the office is quiet in the early morning or late in the evening and this arrangement can work for an employee allow them to choose their own hours.

Make remote working part of the culture: Allowing for flexibility in working environments can boost engagement and productivity. When it is suitable allow for remote work be that at home or the café down the road. A change in surrounds can have a high impact on productivity.

Add outdoor spaces: While they might be weather dependant, outdoor spaces can provide great alternative workspace and solitude for those seeking silence. Claim whatever out door space you have available and make everyone aware that this is an option.

Intelligent furniture: Re-evaluate some of your furniture choices. Where possible replace some standard desks with privacy pods. While these can help provide seclusion for an individual, they don’t go against the concept of an open plan collaborative environment.

For a collaborative environment to be effective, flexibility in the working environment must be an option. Try new things until you find what works for the majority and for the business.

At Wrkit we specialise in the creation of better, healthier working environments using our online suite of data driven employee engagement and retention tools – Surveys, Recognition, Wellbeing (POWR), Learning and Lifestyle Savings. Headquartered in Dublin (Ireland), with offices in London and Boston, we serve local and multi-national companies around the globe.

Let our experience guide your next steps, get in touch today info@wrkit.com.

Author: Sara Glynn, Marketing Manager, Wrkit

Surveys: Understand And Improve

Employee feedback is essential for an organisation to understand and improve employee happiness. In an increasingly competitive world, retaining talent is more challenging than ever, hence utilising employee surveys is becoming more important.

Often organisations will implement tools to help them nurture talent, improve engagement or support employee wellbeing without first assessing their needs. When sufficient internal research isn’t conducted to support decisions it can result in a culture of box-ticking and inevitably wasting money.

Wrkit surveys offer employers an opportunity to leverage regular pulse surveys and/or design their own custom surveys. The pulse survey, a fixed regular survey, is trackable over time. Organisations can choose from twenty set questions, including a single eNPS to assess the company mood on an on-going basis. For a deeper dive into cultural specifics the custom survey offers greater flexibility. A large bank of industry validated questions can help shape the survey, or the questions can be written by the survey driver.

While it is important to use feedback to drive business decisions it is not the only reason surveys are valuable. Using surveys to gather employee feedback can have several positive knock-on effects including:

  1. Improved communication: When employees participate in the process of improving their workplace environment it opens the lines of communication. This can make them feel more empowered, regardless of their position with the company.
  2. Creating psychological safety: Encouraging employees to speak up, share their likes and dislikes it contributes to creating a non-threatening work environment.
  3. Cultivate a culture of honesty: Surveys provide anonymity and privacy which allows employees to honestly share their opinions.
  4. Increased loyalty: If an employee feels that they have a voice they are more likely to have an emotional commitment to the organisation.
  5. Increased trust within the organisation: Letting employees know that it is policy to conduct online employee satisfaction surveys can increase trust and confidence with management.
  6. Identifying motivational factors: Survey insights can highlight what motivates your team, providing an opportunity to leverage this and boost motivation.

Contact us today to find our more about the Wrkit Survey module and how it can benefit your organisation.

E: info@wrkit.com

T: 00353 1 6624170

Author – Sara Glynn, Marketing Manager, Wrkit

There’s No Better Benefit Than Health

The way in which we receive healthcare hasn’t changed significantly over the past 100 years. With the average waiting time for patients to see a GP on the rise, and with our increasingly “on-demand” society, it is little wonder that patients and employers are turning to online doctor alternatives.

New research commissioned by VideoDoc, revealed that almost 45% of employees said they do not receive any healthcare benefits from their employer. Of those who do, as many as 43% state this is insufficient to cover the cost of their private health insurance.  Furthermore, over half (52%) of people questioned had delayed seeking medical advice as they were worried about taking time off work. The research also found that more than a quarter of people (27%) admitted that the most likely reason for having to take a day off work would be for a GP appointment – with one in five going on to say they had actually used a full day of annual leave in order to see their GP.

Where there was a fear of having to admit the need to see a GP during ‘office hours’, the national poll showed that excuses started to creep into the workplace with ‘lies about train delays’ or ‘having to work from home to look after a sick child’. The NHS themselves say that 60% of everything during an in-surgery visit in general practice can be dealt with over the telephone and this is before you add the benefit of a secure video consultation platform and specially trained doctors.

Online doctor services such as VideoDoc are bringing the doctor’s house call into the 21st century, offering timely, safe and effective online healthcare services. There are huge advantages for people who work within conventional office hours in a location that is often some distance from home. This smart solution means people will no longer have to take time off for GP appointments. They can access the service 8am – 10pm, 7 days a week.

So-called “sick days” are resulting in millions of lost working days each year, costing the UK economy £100billion a year (CIPD) and the Irish economy €1.5billion a year (IBEC). On average, employees are absent for six-and-a-half days every year with the main cause of a sick day being ‘minor’ illness. Providing on-demand access to an online GP for immediate diagnosis, and swift prescribing of necessary medication could play an important and innovative role in bringing these figures down.

For Wrkit clients and their employees this on-demand service is readily available. Within the Wrkit Lifestyle Savings module employees can avail of VideoDoc services for up to six months free of charge.

“This is a great service for us to be providing within the platform and we are delighted to be working with VideoDoc. The service compliments our other wellbeing resources, helping our clients nurture a healthier and more engaged workforce.” – Peter Jenkinson, Business Development Director, Wrkit 

For more information about Wrkit and VideoDoc get in touch at info@wrkit.com

Author: Nicki Labram, Head of Communications, VideoDoc

 

8 Tips To Create A Psychologically Safe Work Environment

Psychological safety describes people’s perceptions of the consequences of taking interpersonal risks in a particular context such as a workplace” Amy C. Edmondson

The phenomenon of psychological safety first appeared in organisational literature in the mid 60’s. A key researcher in the area, Edgar Schein believed that when individuals feel psychologically safe they are free to focus on collective goals and problem prevention rather than on self-protection. According to Amy Edmondson, a leading academic in the field, “organisational research has identified psychological safety as a critical factor in understanding phenomena such as voice, teamwork, team learning, and organisational learning.”

In 2015 Google published findings from their own research in the area. Following a four-year study looking at the dynamics which influence team performance (psychological safety, dependability, structure, meaning of work and impact) Google identified that Psychological Safety was by far the most influential dynamic affecting team performance. Furthermore, it was identified that those who were part of psychologically safe teams were less likely to leave Google.

The research tells us that psychologically safe environments yield better results, higher performance and greater revenue. With the bonus of reduced staff turnover, it is something which should be instilled in company culture at board level. Typically, in environments which are not felt to be psychologically safe team members will not be eager to share ideas, discuss problems or disagreements. When communication doesn’t flow freely there can often be a knock-on effect, employees can become disengaged, feel undervalued and will inevitably leave the organisation.

Improving the psychological safety of your team will have an immediate impact on employee experience and enable individuals to perform at their best. There are several ways a leader can improve the psychological safety of their team environment;

  1. Encourage Learning from Mistakes – it’s important for your team to know that they can make mistakes. Failures should be shared and learned from
  2. Admit Your Own Mistakes – it’s uncomfortable to say, “I messed up” but as a leader if you can admit to your own mistakes then your team will feel more comfortable doing the same
  3. Be Inclusive – in an increasingly diverse workforce including everyone is more important than ever. In team huddles and meetings ask people by name if they have any questions, feedback etc.
  4. Encourage Questions – no matter what stage a project is at encourage questions and appreciate those who are forthcoming with questions
  5. Ask Questions – the more questions you ask of your team the greater their involvement in find solutions.
  6. Be Open Minded – when you encourage people to share ideas and ask questions it is important to be open minded when you receive the feedback. Not everything has to be acted on but all ideas should be encouraged.
  7. Establish Accountability – People feel safe when they are confident about who is doing what
  8. Be Available – Always reiterate that you are there to help and support your team and your door is always open (if you have a door)

 

Author: Sara Glynn, Marketing Manager @Wrkit