6 steps to improve workplace wellbeing

Noelle Smit
August 13, 2021

How do you improve workplace wellbeing in the COVID context?

At the moment, wellbeing discussions are very focused on the individual’s perspective.

Truth is: the organisational context plays a really big role in the wellbeing of an individual.  

In a recent webinar with the positive leadership expert Sue Langley, our CEO Noelle Smit listed six steps to help leaders to improve workplace wellbeing in the COVID context. 

“Work together to solve issues. In the very unpredictable COVID situation, what we can do in a team environment at work is give every team member a little bit of sense of control over their world.”
Noelle Smit 

6 steps to help leaders improve workplace wellbeing

1. Managers should act as facilitators 

Gone are the days of a purely hierarchical factory manager who sets out what must be done and all the employees are simply doers. Reality is the world changes far too fast for this to be effective. Today's managers need to be empowering and supporting their teams to fix their problems as they arise. It’s proven that a manager acting as a facilitator has far higher rates of engagement, productivity, wellbeing and lower levels of stress in their team. It's very hard for teams to move forward if they have a manager that constantly shuts down their voice. Leaders must create a style that's more empowering for those around them and lift them up rather than dictating. 

2. Create a safe environment to raise issues

Sadly most organisations don't ask their people what is and isn't working. The first step as a leader is to make sure that you're actually asking your team to raise any issues they’re facing. The second step is to think about the way you react once it happens. We all know how tough this can be and how this can trigger emotions. Listen carefully, thank that person for being honest and then be open to have a conversation about it. 

3. Work together to solve issues 

When something gets raised as an issue, resist the urge to simply think on it by yourself and come back with a solution. The first reason for this is that one brain never brings the best idea. We should be using the team around us to challenge each other's ideas in order to get the very best outcome. The second reason is that you’re missing a great opportunity to give your team a sense of power. Remember, in the very unpredictable COVID situation, what we can do in a team environment at work is to give every team member a little bit of sense of control over their world. Giving power to people is a huge part of feeling empowered in your day. 

4. Review and go again 

The world changes fast, so we need to constantly be reviewing what's working, what isn't and how we can improve. Make sure you set some time to review and discuss your progress. Also, use modern team collaboration practices to create strategic impact. 

5. Critique the process, not the person 

This is a tough one, even for experienced leaders. A practical example of this might be saying to your team “I'm not sure if the way we're communicating is effective right now because I'm feeling a bit disconnected”, instead of “This person leaves me out of conversations in private channels and I'm feeling left out because of that”. 

6. Measure 

Measuring is such a powerful way to keep you focused and on track. It creates rhythms and discipline to keep you focused. The latest insights from our data team shows that there's a 10% boost in Teamgage response rates when clients update the metrics that they're measuring. Some of the most popular metrics include: working remotely, support, adaptability, flexibility, safety and communication. There’s no doubt that measuring the things that are most pressing in the workplace reduce stress and it helps create flourishing environments.   

Watch the full webinar:


Noelle Smit is Co-founder and COO of Teamgage. She is also passionate about seeing more women in technology and leadership roles and help inspire the next generation through her board role at HerTechPath.

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