01 Mar VETERINARY WELLBEING ALLIANCE NEWSLETTER, ISSUE 3 – 2023
GEORGIA EDITION • Newsletter • Issue 3, 2023
Here is the latest update from the Veterinary Wellbeing Alliance, with curated content to help veterinary professionals focus on their wellbeing. Subscribers receive this resource in addition to complimentary access to Listeners On Call.
If you have questions or comments on the newsletter, the service from Listeners On Call, or the Veterinary Wellbeing Alliance, you may contact Dr. Keri Riddick, Executive Director of the Georgia VMA, at email@example.com, or Adrian Hochstadt, VMAE CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Spring-clean your priorities
As you do your spring cleaning in the coming months, make room in your schedule to get organized mentally as well.
In their article this month, the Kindly Human team (formerly Listeners On Call) offers advice to help veterinary professionals keep the small things in their life that benefit them most and get rid of the stressors that aren’t helping.
“What are some things that make you happy that you know you would like to keep?” the Kindly Human team asks. “It may be the moment of quiet first thing in the morning or the wind-down routine at the end of the day.” Keeping these things part of your workday can make each day easier.
Read the full article from Kindly Human here.
How can leaders support employees and retain their workers in 2023?
After the challenges of 2022, when employers faced declining worker engagement and wellbeing, Gallup offers six findings that can help companies support their employees in 2023:
Employee engagement is down, but companies can improve. U.S. employee engagement dropped to a seven-year low in early 2022 and stayed low for the year. But organizations dedicated to improving employee engagement have successfully resisted this trend, so it can be improved, Gallup’s experts write.
Hybrid work is here to stay. Nearly a third of hybrid workers and six in 10 fully remote workers said they would be “extremely likely” to look for opportunities with other organizations if their employer decides not to offer remote work flexibility in the future.
Being in the office doesn’t mean there’s a positive company culture. Hybrid workers told Gallup they felt closer to their organization’s culture than fully onsite workers did. “In-person interactions are powerful, but hybrid workers are likely getting something else—more intentional in-person experiences and online experiences,” Gallup’s experts say.
The hybrid workplace will challenge managers in new ways. It will be critical for company leaders to provide managers—who have to oversee team members across locations and operating on different schedules—with more support, training, communication and opportunities to rebuild relationships and networks.
Burnout and mental health struggles are killing productivity. “Going forward, having a clear strategy for protecting people from burnout and addressing mental health issues is not just a defensive move—it will be key to attracting, engaging and retaining talent,” Gallup’s experts write.
Quiet quitting in the workplace threatens customer retention. When organizations engage employees and make them feel connected to their culture, “the payoff is a workforce that’s four times as likely to take extreme pride in delivering the best possible products and services,” Gallup says.
In the midst of economic recession, workers’ mental health should be a top priority for companies
With many economic experts forecasting recession this year, companies should be investing in their employees’ mental health, Garen Staglin, co-founder and chairman of One Mind at Work, writes in Forbes.
“If we want to forge collaboration in a fragmented world…bolstering workplace mental health is a clear area of need,” he says.
Given recession can negatively affect mental health, which can in turn dent employees’ productivity, Staglin argues organizations should help workers navigate financial stressors in a potential recession.
He offers five strategies to help:
- Offer employee financial wellness and education programs.
- Prioritize mental health in the workplace, focusing particularly on supporting mental health under stress.
- Understand resources and benefits available to employees and direct them to those resources.
- “Be a trusted partner in employee wellness,” Staglin writes, by offering solutions for work-life balance, caregiving, personal finance and career development.
- Rethink compensation structures, taking economic precarity into account to stay competitive when evaluating employee compensation.
How leaders can use effective communication to improve mental wellbeing among their teams
Jennifer Gendron, global chief commercial officer at Koa Health, writes in Fast Company about how managers can practice effective communication to support their employees’ mental health.
First, Gendron says, be vulnerable. “Being honest and open about your own mental wellbeing and times you have struggled shows your employees that it’s okay to not be okay,” she writes. This helps build trust during challenging times.
For example, she says, when she had to work with a reduced budget in a department she was leading at a previous company, “I was open and transparent about what was happening, what resources we could maintain and how I expected that to impact not just the bottom line but our team outcomes.”
Second, Gendron says, tell, show and repeat. “If you want to encourage your employees to get the most out of your organization’s mental wellbeing benefits, you’ll need to communicate about them early and often.”
Reviewing available benefits regularly can help encourage employees to take advantage of them, as can mentioning the benefits you use and how they’ve helped you, Gendron says.
Last, keep the conversation going. As challenging as it is to start a conversation on mental health, it’s only the first step of many, Gendron writes. Two-way communication is important to increase the quality of employer-employee relationships.
“By making sure my teams understand I don’t just accept but truly welcome feedback and will receive it thoughtfully, I’m able to build a stronger bond with my employees so that we can troubleshoot problems as they arise, driving positive change together,” Gendron says.
How to foster wellbeing and reduce employee turnover
Employee turnover has spiked since the pandemic, hurting morale and productivity. Marta Ra, a sustainability, health and wellbeing expert who co-founded the network Women in Sustainable Finance, writes in Forbes about how companies can increase employee career longevity.
First, Ra says, workplace leaders need to prioritize safety. Studies have shown companies that focus on psychological safety see productivity, profits and employee retention rates increase. Fair and flexible hours and a respect of the boundary between work and non-work time can help.
Next, employers should look at how they help their workers advance, Ra says. LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report found 94% of surveyed employees would stay longer in a position if their company invested in helping them learn. Clear pathways for career advancement and focusing on quality training and education are important.
Finally, Ra writes, create a sense of community. A 2021 Deloitte study found that creating a sense of community in the workplace can lead to a 50% reduction in turnover risk, a 56% increase in job performance and a 75% decrease in used sick days.
“Creating a community is vital for job longevity because it helps your employees feel like their workplace is a place where they can be their authentic selves,” Ra writes. “With that in place, you should see a sense of purpose and meaning emerge.”
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