Supporting healthy teams

At a time where we often read in the press about overwork and diminishing resources there is plenty we can do to maintain a healthy work environment. Vitae promotes actively attending to ones personal needs as well as small group or team approaches, thereby reducing stress and increasing goodwill in the workplace.

Peer support is an approach where we look out for and check in with colleagues regularly. We encourage people to support each other by sharing skills and utilising strengths where and when required.

Staff meetings are times where items of business are attended to and yet the process itself is invaluable. Leaving a little time for everyone to say something is beneficial. Often the person who never speaks at a meeting may be the one who has a real need for support.

Informal morning teas are also a means for focussing on the health of a team and can even be fun!! Creating this space can be challenging as it may be seen as non productive and yet by making this time available, the spirit of the group can be lifted in a very good way. Acknowledging success of special efforts at celebratory morning teas and messages of thanks go a long way to increasing morale.

Remember in meetings there are always two aspects to the work, the content and the process. The content refers to the tasks at hand, items of work on the agenda, and the process is the manner or way people go about attending to this work.

Supporting people to be away when unwell and ensuring that the workplace culture supports people making positive decisions for self care, such as taking regular holidays, seeking mentoring, attending supervision and taking sick leave are all preventative measures in keeping good staff.

Workplaces need to be cautious of not rewarding those who work continuing long, unhealthy hours or don't use their leave entitlement. Be aware that over-achievers are likely to burn out more quickly. The high impact of technology also needs to be acknowledged by addressing compulsive internet usage and out-of-hours working.

Managers can be on the look out for opportunities to value their team members and senior managers can role model standards and practices as a means of sustaining a healthy workplace.

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When you extend your goodwill in every direction, regardless of circumstances, you begin to see that we are all one. Lao-Tzu