As working life transitions into the ‘new normal’, it is more important than ever to prioritise employee wellbeing, says Mirek Gruna, chief commercial officer – Jersey at global, investor-services business, IQ-EQ.
One way to improve wellbeing at work is simply by returning to the office, after many months of ‘wfh’, as Gruna explains:
“When working from home, people can sometimes feel a little isolated, so to be part of office life again is very important. Even just being able to speak to colleagues in person, or having a chat in the kitchen, all contributes to feeling much more involved and engaged.”
While working from home can, of course, have benefits for some, there are pitfalls to be aware of that can lead to burnout. “People have been working productively pre, during and post-Covid,” says Gruna. “But working from home has added to the challenges because people have the tendency to keep working without the natural breaks they would take in the office – by going to have a chat with a colleague, or going for a walk or a coffee.”
Taking holidays should be a high priority too, he emphasises: “People need to take a proper break to recharge the batteries.”
Gruna sets a good example, having created his own ‘recipe’ for avoiding burnout. The main ingredients are clear communication and boundary-setting, as he explains: “I treasure quality time with my family. So, before I went home to the Czech Republic, after not seeing my family for 12 months, I wrote a note to my colleagues and clients, explaining in detail why I would not be available online for a few weeks. People understood and were very supportive.”
IQ-EQ, which has 24 locations around the world and employs 3,600 people, takes a holistic view of the business, and has integrated diversity and sustainability throughout its operations. “ESG is a high priority for our clients – and for us,” Gruna explains. “We see it as closely interlinked with our commitment to the wellbeing of our people.”
Keeping morale high is part of that commitment and IQ-EQ tangibly recognises the contribution its people make to the success of the company.
“You don’t have to make massive changes to the structure of the business or spend a lot of money to boost morale,” observes Gruna. “You just need to recognise people’s effort. But that recognition needs to be timely, genuine, from the right people and given in the right way.
“We had a town-hall meeting at our Jersey office recently, where we celebrated achievements. The leadership team read out positive feedback from clients, and congratulated and thanked staff members for long service.”
This went down well with nearly 300 colleagues, as he notes: “Showing that you value your people gives them a spring in their step and it encourages everyone, because when people see colleagues being praised for going the extra mile, they want that too.
“Our staff-retention levels are high and I firmly believe that this is because of the importance we attach to staff wellbeing.”
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