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5 Effective Ways to Promote Well-Being and Increase Retention

Every Founder/CEO wants their organization to thrive. But to climb the Stages of Development from survival to profitability, growth, and stewardship, we'll need to place the right people in the right seats — and create an environment where they'll love coming to work every day. The key to increased employee retention? Promoting organizational well-being in five key ways.

Table of Contents

1. Leadership and Coaching

Effective leadership is the backbone of organizational well-being. Great leaders inspire, guide, and coach their teams, fostering an environment where everyone feels heard and respected. 

Lead, Agree, Coach — How to End Micromanagement

Micromanagement is a waste of everyone’s time. Once a team member is onboarded and trained to perform their work, let them do what they do best so you can leverage your time for more impactful endeavors than double-checking everything they do.

Follow the three tenets of our leadership philosophy, Lead, Agree, Coach, to end micromanagement:

  • Lead by showing why your team matters.
  • Form agreements instead of pushing expectations.
  • Be a coach by inspiring and improving your team members’ skills.

Leaders clarify the why for their team members — why their work matters and why they’re pursuing certain goals. Agreements increase accountability by helping team members feel their voices heard. And coaching ensures we’re helping each other grow into our best selves.

Download our free guide On Lead, Agree, Coach to learn the core disciplines of leading and coaching and help your team prosper like never before. 

2. Open Communication

Good communication is key in any relationship. At the end of the day, well-run companies are comprised of people working together toward a common goal. Leaders who foster a culture of clear, transparent, and open communication pave the way for organizational well-being.

Regular feedback from leaders is essential to letting team members know if they're on the right track and fulfilling the roles, accountabilities, and responsibilities of their Seats. 

At Ninety, our team leaders schedule weekly 1-on-1 meetings with their team members to:

  • Stay on the same page
  • Discuss and solve any issues or opportunities
  • Offer feedforward — constructive guidance for future improvement

The Importance of Transparency and Recognizing Excellence

Transparency up, down, and across the organization increases trust. High levels of trust boost our chances of being happy and satisfied in our work.

In a 2017 Harvard Business Review article, Dr. Paul Zak states that employees at companies that scored highly in his organizational trust survey had “106% more energy and were 76% more engaged at work than respondents whose firms were in the bottom quartile.” Feeling trust in their organization was key to organizational well-being, employee satisfaction, and employee retention. 

According to Zak, the top two ways to improve trust in your organization are to recognize excellence and openly share information.

Recognizing excellence is much easier when your organization has established its Core Values. These are the guiding principles and behaviors you want to see in all your team members. Encourage everyone to celebrate when a team member displays these Core Values, and you’ll build a culture that regularly recognizes excellence. 

Openly sharing information also contributes significantly to organizational trust. Provide your teams with transparency so they know what they’re committing to. Then, continue to reward them for their efforts and encourage them to stay on the path with you.

Practical Tools and Tactics to Increase Communication at Work

At Ninety, we've worked hard to create a platform that simplifies information sharing and increases transparency. Here are some of the ways our tools can help you openly share information:

  • Cascade messages to other teams.
  • Document processes with steps and sub-steps.
  • Create To-Dos to form agreements on work to be done.

And so much more. Read more about improving communication in our article 16 Ways to Improve Communication in the Workplace.

3. Professional Development

At Ninety, we consider ourselves a teaching organization because we believe customers are more likely to stay with a company they learn and benefit from. Can’t we say the same for employees?

Several members of Ninety’s Senior Leadership Team are professional business coaches. As coaches, we’re consistently striving to improve the skills and competencies of our clients. We strongly feel the same about developing our own team members.

By investing in the growth of our team members, we have the immediate benefit of their increased performance, but it’s about more than that. Our team members are more than cogs in the wheel that keeps our organization moving. They're the people we spend a large part of our time and lives with, and we want to help them become better and better versions of their best selves. Our aim is to create a workplace that supports people’s innate desire for growth and improvement.

Our Hiring Philosophy

When evaluating candidates, we consider so much more than their resumé. We also ask:

  • Do they share our Core Values?
  • Do they see value in our Vision?
  • Will they solve problems with their team?
  • How can we support their career aspirations?

With these questions in mind, we apply two lenses when filtering through candidates: 

  • Are they the Right Person?
  • Are we putting them in the Right Seat? 

The Right Person, Right Seat approach assumes we’ve already done the Vision-building work necessary to have our Core Values established, our Core Functions identified, and our Org Chart updated.

Our Core Values are part of the standards for hiring, reviewing, rewarding, firing, and recognizing our team members. People who embody the opposite behaviors and ideals from our Core Values are not inherently bad or wrong but are not going to fit our company.

Identifying your Core Functions involves pinpointing the essential departments you need to be successful. These Core Functions are bound to adapt and change as you progress through the Stages of Development of all organizations, but they’ll always give you an idea of where your needs are. An updated Org Chart enables you to hire individuals to fill a specific need, keeping you on track to achieve your goals.

Ongoing Education and Professional Development for Retention and Well-Being

Another framework we use when hiring candidates or reviewing team members is CCC, which answers the following question: does this person have the Competency, Commitment, and Capacity to be successful in their Seat?

  • Competency: One’s skills, experience, and knowledge.
  • Commitment: One’s interest and energy for the work.
  • Capacity: One’s ability to perform based on physical, emotional, and time limitations.

Competency is the easiest of these three factors to improve. Encourage your team members’ ongoing education and professional development by removing barriers like time, cost, and limited choice. By all means, offer suggestions, but be open-minded about what they want to pursue. You may just be surprised how transferable skills can be. 

Nothing makes ongoing education easier than providing funds. Including a professional development fund as part of your total compensation package sends the message that you’re invested in your team members’ continued growth — an essential factor for retaining the right people in your organization.

Many of our teams create quarterly goals (called Rocks) for their team members' professional growth. Sometimes, teams will go through the same training or courses, but we usually give that time to each individual to pursue something on their own.

4. Wellness Programs

Part of having the capacity to bring your best self to work is balancing your physical, mental, and emotional health. Employers can increase organizational well-being and improve retention by offering comprehensive health benefits and providing initiatives to promote work-life harmony.

Work-Life Harmony

While people often talk about work-life balance, we prefer to think about harmony instead of balance as the goal. Work, especially work we love doing (Work with a capital W), is an integral part of life. Instead of trying to “balance” the scales of work and life, we see Work as a way to enrich our lives and life as a way to supplement our Work.

It’s our hope that as many of us as possible find Work we’re passionate about and talented in. Finding purpose and meaning in our work provides exponential value to our team members, family, friends, and community.

Wellness Program Ideas

Here are five wellness program ideas for your human resources team to consider.

  1. Mental Health Support. When selecting health insurance options, be sure to provide choices with mental health support. Additionally, providing access to counseling services, mental health days, and stress management workshops can significantly improve mental well-being.
  2. Paid Time Off. Burnout is a serious issue to consider in nearly all industries. This is exacerbated when employees need to save paid time off in case of emergencies rather than investing it in rejuvenation time. Offering generous paid time off options keeps your team members healthy, energized, and able to bring their best self to work.
  3. Flexible Work Arrangements. We’re all wired differently. Some of us get our best work done before the sun even rises, while others don’t feel productive until the sun is setting. Allowing team members some amount of flexibility in their schedules gives them the freedom to work when they’re most needed, energized, and productive.
  4. Volunteer Opportunities. We view community as one of the essential stakeholder groups of every organization. Helping and supporting one another is a fundamental good for the world. Companies can encourage volunteerism by organizing group opportunities or simply providing time off for volunteer work.
  5. Preventative Care. This combines many of the previous ideas. Having quality health insurance options, offering paid time off, and delivering flexible working arrangements allows your team members to seek the preventative care they need.

5. Work Environment

You don’t need an expensive office to have a prosperous work environment. Providing the tools and resources necessary for your team members to focus, align, and thrive goes beyond a physical space. 

Creating a positive, healthy, and safe work environment can do wonders for organizational well-being. 

Striving for a Level 5 Culture

When I discuss culture with my clients, I describe five levels of culture. On the low end, level 1 workplace cultures are not fun to be a part of. They’re full of team members who don’t want to be there. People may be angry or even hostile toward each other and other stakeholders. 

On the high end, level 5 cultures have team members who believe in the company’s Vision, feel a part of something special, and take pride in their work. These organizations excel at caring for each other by:

  • Showing appreciation
  • Providing work autonomy
  • Investing in growth opportunities
  • Turning expectations into agreements

Read our blog, Maintaining Company Culture with a Remote Workforce, to learn more.

The Multidimensional Nature of Organizational Well-Being

Organizational well-being is multidimensional. 

  • Team Member Well-Being. People are at the core of every organization. Promoting the well-being of your team members is critical and includes their physical, mental, and emotional health. Supporting your team members means ensuring they feel healthy, valued, and supported.
  • Cultural Well-Being. Healthy cultures lead to a positive, inclusive, and empowering company. Core Values are the key to culture. Identifying the behaviors and attributes you want to see in your Ideal Team Members makes it far easier to fill your organization with people you love to work with.
  • Operational Well-Being. Efficient, effective, and streamlined operations are essential for organizational well-being. This includes having clear processes, effective tools, and a structure that supports the smooth functioning of your organization.
  • Financial Well-Being. Financial health and stability are vital. You can’t achieve your goals, realize your Vision, or support your people if the organization isn’t financially viable. Mastering the Enterprise Value Competency leads to sustainable growth, consistent profitability, and financial stability.
  • Strategic Well-Being. Do you know where you’re leading your organization? A well-defined Vision with a clear set of Focus Filters guides an organization through the complexities of the market and aligns resources with objectives.

Ninety’s Role as an All-in-One Platform

Our cloud-based platform has the tools and resources you need to support your teams, whether they work together in person, hybrid, or remotely. Set goals, run meetings, streamline processes, communicate freely, and capture data all on one platform.

Our goal is to simplify the hard work of running great organizations. Subscribe to our blog for more information, or start a trial to see how we can help support your teams today.

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