When I took on my first leadership role I was of the view that people should leave their personal problems at home.
Over the years since, I have learned that I am responsible for creating an environment for my team members to help them be happy both at work and at home.
According to The Black Dog Institute, 20% of your workplace experiences mental health issues over the course of a year. Furthermore, 1 in 2 Australian men, and 1 in 3 Australian women will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85.
There are many other statistics I could give you to paint a picture of the kinds of personal problems which impact on personal and team performance, but I think you get the idea.
Great leaders and successful organisations provide better conditions for their staff and are considerate to their needs.
In 2015 my company, pac executive, conducted global research to help us understand productivity in the workplace. As a consultancy that helps CEOs create productive cultures by addressing individual and company inefficiency and ineffectiveness, we knew that teaching teams how to gain control over their work leads to happiness at home and work.
From our ten years in business, we also knew that teaching CEOs, leaders and employees to be productive, achieved an immediate ROI, freeing up an extra day per week per employee with a minimum increase in profit of 20%.
What we were excited to learn was that employees who reported being happy at home and work were more likely to demonstrate productive behaviours at work.
Happy people had better habits and thus produced better results.
Expert on happiness at work, Nic Marks sums this up perfectly:
“Miserable people do miserable work,” he says. “Being okay at work is not okay… You’re missing out on a huge happiness dividend if you settle for okay.”
Here are 3 practical ways we can help our employees manage their lives and be happy at work.
1. Mandate flexibility for employees
While many companies have the foresight to create reward and recognition programs, and profess to be flexible, most of these policies are offered at the ‘manager’s discretion’.
The unfortunate impact is that while the CEO believes in providing a fair and equitable environment to all employees, flexibility policies and benefits aren’t applied broadly.
The greatest impact of this failure is disengagement and turnover.
Take the clause out. Flexibility is expected as a given when talent consider moving to employers. Lack of flexibility is becoming one of the major reasons why people leave their jobs.
2. Provide leaders with ongoing coaching and development
Do your leaders know how to execute on company strategy? Are they clear on, not just what company values mean, but how to inspire their teams to ‘live and breathe them’?
Depending on the research you read, it’s estimated that between 55% and 70% of companies fail to execute on strategy.
A 2014 PWC study reported that 75% of executives believed their company failed to achieve results because strategy hadn’t been translated into tangible actions.
The majority of organisations fail to provide leaders with the professional development they need to implement flexible work practices while still driving performance.
Give leaders the capability to provide flexibility to employees and achieve their results.
3. Align employee purpose to organisational purpose
One of the most successful companies at implementing a ‘happiness strategy’ is Zappos. The company purpose at Zappos is providing happiness to customers, clients and vendors. This approach saw Zappos being acquired by Amazon for a figure of $1.2 billion in 2010.
If you have people working for you who are working against your purpose, it’s time to help them find other opportunities.
Sometimes your employees have personal issues simply because they should be working somewhere else, doing something they love. Help them to move on.
Ask yourself, what can you do to create the conditions your employees need to help them be happy at work and home?
If you want your employees to achieve optimal performance levels, then you should be providing them with the conditions they need to be happy.
I promise that your employees will do everything to help your company succeed if they know you want them to be happy at work and at home.