In this blog series surrounding the General Surgeon’s Framework, we will be breaking down each of the five essentials for workplace mental-health & well-being and ways you can implement the recommendations into your workplace.
To read our recommendations on other essentials here:
ESSENTIAL 4: MATTERING AT WORK
The next well-being essential focuses on ensuring employees “matter” in the workplace. In other words, they feel as if they are working for a purpose and are valued for who they are and what they contribute.
According to the Surgeon General’s report, there are four primary components to supporting this essential. This personal dignity and meaningful impact are dependent on these elements:
- Provide a living wage.
- Engage employees in workplace decisions.
- Build a culture of gratitude and recognition.
- Ensure individuals are connected to the organizational mission.
So, how do we begin to work towards or strengthen these elements in our workplaces? Let’s break it down.
Ways to Implement in Your Workplace – Essential 4 – Mattering at Work
Offering a competitive and living wage is essential for employers. As the cost of living continues to rise, it is important for organizations to regularly assess and adjust compensation to ensure their employees can maintain financial stability. Recognize that financial stress can significantly impact both the physical and mental well-being of your workforce, directly affecting their productivity and job performance. So, what steps can you take to address this issue?
Dos and Don’ts to Consider:
- Do have the conversation. Create an environment in which your employees feel comfortable sharing their compensation concerns. Encourage them to engage in open and constructive dialogues with their supervisors or HR representatives. However, they must come prepared with solutions and supporting data to justify the need for a compensation evaluation. This approach ensures that conversations are solution-oriented, clear, and constructive, with minimized complaints. The initiative to have these conversations demonstrates your commitment to addressing their financial well-being.
- Don’t overlook benefits. Encourage your employees to thoroughly examine the benefits and perks your organization provides. Often, standard benefit packages can become overlooked because they are perceived as routine. Encourage your workforce to conduct a deep dive into the services and advantages offered. By doing so, they may uncover valuable resources that enhance their overall well-being and financial security.
- Do address the root causes. Take a moment to understand the sources of stress employees may be experiencing. Is it primarily due to financial hardships, or does it stem from how they perceive their self-worth in the context of their compensation? These are distinct concerns, each requiring thoughtful reflection. If it’s the latter, explore additional factors contributing to this mindset, such as their perception of self-value. It’s important to emphasize that providing a living wage does not imply they do not deserve more. Instead, it ensures that their basic financial needs are met, creating a more solid foundation for self-worth.
Fostering well-being and a sense of mattering at work involves a thoughtful approach. Providing a living wage is not just a matter of financial compensation; it’s a way to alleviate the burden of financial stress that can affect physical and mental health. Engaging employees in workplace decisions starts with asking questions, sharing opinions, and not underestimating the value of one’s voice.
Building a culture of gratitude and recognition doesn’t require a grand overhaul of the workplace culture. Instead, it’s about providing recognition and showing gratitude in small but meaningful ways. These acts of kindness are powerful tools for making employees feel valued. Lastly, connecting individuals to the organization’s mission, even if it doesn’t align perfectly with personal passions, can lead to a sense of purpose, reduced stress, and a clearer path for positive change.
You don’t need to create massive shifts all at once, but rather take small steps that can have a significant impact on well-being, job satisfaction, and productivity. By recognizing the importance of these elements and implementing the dos and don’ts provided, you can contribute to a workplace where employees genuinely feel that they matter and have a sense of purpose.
Interested in more suggestions for your workplace?
Our Strategy and Consulting team can help!