The Great Resignation, business culture, and employee happiness are topics that have consistently been in the headlines for a while now. The focus on establishing a sense of culture or correcting negative cultures is great to see. However, this doesn’t mean we can neglect to acknowledge where things went wrong in the past. What’s that famous quote by George Santayana? “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Businesses, at some level, have always understood that in order to prosper they have to focus on employee happiness. Where they went wrong was by not looking deep enough into the origin of that happiness and how to foster it organically. This used to look like Holiday parties, team lunches, or company picnics; but what do these things actually achieve? While the intentions are good, they couldn’t execute successfully because they were missing a strong foundation.
Think of it like farming or gardening. You can go to a store, purchase some seeds, and think that's all there is to it; but if your soil doesn’t have the nutrients it needs, those plants won’t flourish. So, without the fancy metaphor, you can have these “team building events” but if it falls upon employees who don’t feel heard, valued, or are just completely burned out, it’s not going to achieve the intended goal. So, what is the professional equivalent of this ‘nutrient’, and how can we implement it at every level; individual, team, and professionals overall?
Me, Us, All; Let’s break it down
Me: Nurturing the Individual Professional
The foundation of a successful business is the employees, but they are more than worker bees in a hive. They are people, everyday professionals, including you and me!
“The science is clear that when we prioritize our well-being, we’re more creative, productive, and resilient, and we make better decisions.” - Future of Business and Tech.
By focusing on promoting the well-being of each individual in an organization, you can ensure they will be more creative and productive while reducing their chances of burnout and severe stress. Involve them in decision-making, ask how you can help support them professionally, and listen to their feedback with an open mind. It's important that these conversations are built on honest truths, and MUA is a place where these truths can be unearthed. The MUA System is a hub where employees can interact with and see analytics related to the correlation between their work tasks and their emotional/mental state throughout the day. Being aware of triggers and providing tools to address stress when it starts can help mitigate burnout down the line.
Us: Strengthening the Team
We’ve learned that there are facts to back up the already known assumption that attitudes are contagious. Meaning if one person on a team is having a bad day, that can quickly spread, even more so when it’s a person in a leadership role. In order to combat this, teams need to have the right tools to address their stress individually and know how to discuss it with their teammates in a productive way.
For example, let’s say around a certain time of year, your team always works on a specific project. Employee ‘Z’ feels incredibly stressed because they feel that they take on an unequal amount of responsibility for this project. In this situation, it’s important for Employee ‘Z’ to recognize that feeling, feel comfortable addressing it with their leadership, and know how to create a plan of action to more evenly delegate tasks to teammates to lessen that stress. Creating this awareness and promoting these productive conversations are crucial steps in ensuring the success of the team as a whole and tools like MUA Digital can help with that.
All: A Company of Happy Professionals
When the individual needs are met and teams have a feedback system in place that works, then you can add things to enhance that positive company culture. This is where things like team lunches and away days can actually impact employee happiness and have beneficial outcomes. Whereas if the crucial foundations of understanding and support were not there, these things would be lost in the wind. By addressing the root problems and creating sustainable solutions to combat stress and burnout, these activities feel sincere and are received more genuinely by teams and individuals.
Growth starts with good soil, nurturing the roots so the plant you see above ground not only looks good but is healthy too. Foster a strong business culture, nurture it daily, and watch your employees and business flourish. That’s how you build something that is healthy and long-lasting.