How to support your team’s wellbeing

21 September, 2021

In light of R U OK Day last week, we thought we’d share an interesting blog on the questions you should be asking to support your team’s wellbeing.

Given that borders may be opening to international travel by December 2021, there is a lot of uncertainty with regard to what that will mean for the workplace. Whilst businesses are deciding on whether they would like to make staff vaccinations mandatory, the government is evaluating if lockdowns will still be relevant. Regardless of if Western Australia is 90% vaccinated, Mark McGowan has announced that lockdowns will still occur to cull the cases and assist hospital occupancy.

It’s no doubt the mixed messages about Covid-19 and its impact on workplaces, is having somewhat of a mental impact on staff.

So how do you ensure your team is doing ok and what are the questions you should be asking to support your team’s wellbeing? Read on.

1. Note any behavioural changes

As a manager, it’s important to remain in the loop with where each team member is at. Try to take note of any behavioural changes. For example, is a usually punctual team member showing up late suddenly? Observe and note these changes so that you can comment on them when you approach them to talk about how they are going. Sticking to facts is a good way to ensure a team member doesn’t feel attacked.

2. Approach the team member in private

Ask the team member if they would like to have a chat over coffee or somewhere private. Whether they open up to your or not, just remember it is important to let them know they have been heard. It’s important to acknowledge how you will be moving forward from that conversation. Depending on what support the team member needs, acknowledge that you will be taking steps to help address the situation.

The questions you should be asking to support your team’s wellbeing in 2021.

If the team member needs a little help starting the conversation try these open-ended questions:

  • What do you need at this time that you are not getting?
  • How do you best support yourself? What’s worked for you in the past?
  • What do you need from me at this time?
  • What’s the hardest thing about being you at this time?

3. Create a healthy working environment

It all begins with what you accept within the office. This comes down to the language we use, and the behaviour we deem acceptable. For example, allowing a culture where terms such as ‘crazy person’ are thrown around, even in a light-hearted way, can be enough to stop someone from wanting to speak up.

How you deal with each individual employee will influence how comfortable employees feel when reaching out in the future.

Remember, it isn’t all on the manager’s shoulders. Reaching out to external resources is as important as your own self-care needs.