It is important to recognise that the term ‘wellbeing’ can mean something different to each one of us, because we are all different; this can make wellbeing seem complex and difficult to define. There does, however, appear to be a relationship between higher levels of wellbeing and happiness. Happiness can be described as how satisfied we are with life and how good we feel on a day-to-day basis.
This raises an interesting point around physical and mental health and wellbeing. All too often, we forget that it is perfectly acceptable to wake up one morning and not feel ourselves emotionally, in the same way we might feel tired, lethargic or have the occasional ache or pain.
All aspects of wellbeing are closely linked, and every day is a balancing act as modern life is busy and pressured. It is increasingly difficult for employees to leave work at work, and it is not always easy or possible for them to leave their personal lives at home.
To support the emotional wellbeing of employees throughout their career, empowering individuals to develop self-awareness and the ability to be more mindful of others is fundamental. So, what does this mean for employers?
It should come as no surprise that embedding this culture into an organisation requires senior leadership. Leaders should be the change they wish to see, and key stakeholders across any organisation should be engaged at all levels, to truly make a difference.
It is critical that people at all levels of an organisation, especially line managers, understand this too. To support the emotional wellbeing of employees, a line manager should be prepared to get to know the people they manage, find out what motivates them, utilise their strengths and explore what wellbeing means to them personally.
Laying the foundations of trust and respect are paramount. We are human, and have a need to understand what is expected of us, to be recognised and to feel valued for the good work we do. These are all key considerations for managing emotional wellbeing.
In addition to this, it would be remiss not to mention the role of enhanced mental health awareness across the entire workforce, including among line managers, to ensure that anyone struggling with their mental health is managed and supported appropriately.
Rachel Clift is health and wellbeing director at Ben, a support charity for the automotive industry