Is employee wellbeing an asset or a liability?
According to The Future Workplace 2021 HR Sentiment survey, 68% of senior HR leaders rated employee wellbeing and mental health as a top priority.
In a post-COVID world, this is not surprising. The pandemic shifted how people viewed their lives and work. Now, people are unwilling to make the same compromises for their job as before.
But on the other hand, is maintaining employee wellbeing really the employer’s job? After all, shouldn’t you just be focused on your recruiters’ output and productivity—not how they’re doing mentally and emotionally?
If you want to limit your performance and success, by all means, ignore employee wellbeing.
But if you take employee wellbeing seriously, you improve how people show up for your organization, improving both work efficiency and team morale.
Not only that, but as staffing agencies struggle to recruit, retain, and train recruiters, employee wellbeing can be a powerful recruiting tool. By providing an environment where people want to work, you can stand out from the competition and attract more top recruiters to your firm.\
Here are four tips to help you do just that.
1. See wellbeing as a holistic enterprise
Employee wellbeing is about more than just PTO and health insurance plans. It’s about looking at what your recruiters need to live happy, healthy lives—which will naturally spill over into their work.
For example, here are some the questions you could ask:
- Do your recruiters feel like you trust them to get their job done without standing over their shoulder?
- Do your recruiters feel like you value them as whole people, not just work machines?
- Do your recruiters feel like you’re providing them with the resources they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability?
- Do your recruiters feel like they have a future that lasts more than a few years?
Each of these areas drives a different response in your employee wellbeing plan:
- Flexibility in when and where people to their work
- Balance with family priorities and other passions
- Coaching opportunities so they can improve their own daily performance
- Investing in long-term professional development and career pathing
Keep in mind that while your employee wellbeing plan is holistic, you may not need to do everything listed above. Instead, you should understand where your employees are struggling most, and target your efforts to meet those needs.
READ MORE: How Painted Porch Strategies leveraged employee wellbeing to create sticky change.
2. Start conversations, don’t issue directives
In legacy recruiting, change comes from the top down: the CEO issues a directive, and everyone scrambles to implement it.
Now, this model is not necessarily a problem when done occasionally and in response to emergent market changes. But when the CEO issues a directive every couple of months—prompting new change before the old change is completed—employees can get burnt out really fast.
That’s why in a modern recruiting agency lasting change comes from building bottom-up consensus.
When everyone in the organization is bought in, they’re going to be more passionate about making it happen.
A great place to start is to ask the following questions:
- How will this improve our organizational success?
- How does this change best leverage our internal and external resources?
- How will this help me do my job better?
- How will this change capitalize on our potential in the market as it stands right now?
That doesn’t mean that the CEO won’t ever make another judgment call. But they need to do so understanding that building ground-level support and buy-in doesn’t happen overnight.
So when the decision to change is made, leaders should work to bring everyone along. That way, the people implementing the change are sold on it.
READ MORE: Why NPS falls short as a candidate experience metric.
3. Encourage healthy conflict
Conflict is a good thing. Without it, people get stuck in a rut, which keeps the organization from being adaptable and innovative.
Only when conflict becomes toxic does it hurt employee wellbeing. Healthy conflict, on the other hand, can be a powerful tool in the leader’s toolbelt:
- Identifying issues that may linger beneath the surface
- Finding solutions to problems that you or your team may not know about
- Resolving friction that is unknowingly impeding organizational success
Healthy conflict generally includes the following components:
- Be authentic. People are more comfortable taking hard feedback from people they know.
- Be transparent in your feedback, focusing on ways to improve performance, not change who a person is at their core.
- When you offer feedback, offer support as well (it’s like the old adage says: “Don’t point out a problem without offering a solution!”).
- Find out how to balance different people’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Give people permission to offer you their feedback as well—make it a mutual exchange.
By encouraging healthy conflict, you can not only identify major issues that come up along the way, but also provide the tools necessary to actively resolve them.
READ MORE: Why core values are critical to maintain team cohesion & success.
4. Actively combat change fatigue & burnout
The recruiting sector is very change-heavy. At times, it can feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, like the change is never going to end.
In a sense, it’s true. So long as the market changes, organizations have to change just to keep up.
As a result, it’s not uncommon for people to experience fatigue and burnout when it comes to change.
The key to avoiding this is to, as we’ve said before, treat change like a mindset, not a process.
This starts with promoting an attitude of continuous improvement among your team. Everyone, at every level, should focus on how to incrementally improve both themselves and the organization. This can involve:
- Streamlining organizational efficiency through automation & technology
- Developing processes for evaluating team and individual performance
- Checking in with the team to see how they’re handling the change
By working to ease the load on your recruiters, you can keep them from spreading themselves too thin. That way, when they do show up, they’ll show up with more energy and productivity.
READ MORE: How to “grow up” as a recruiting agency to maximize long-term success.
Final thoughts on employee wellbeing
As we mentioned earlier, one part of employee wellbeing is giving recruiters the tools they need to do their jobs well. This includes real-time feedback into their own performance:
- If the feedback is bad, you and the recruiter can work on training and coaching sessions to fix those issues at the most critical moments
- If the feedback is good, it increases individual and team morale
But don’t just take our word for it. See for yourself with a free Great Recruiters starter account.