More than a third of line managers in smaller companies are calling for more support from employers on key wellbeing issues.
Legal & General’s latest wellbeing at work barometer found more line managers wanted more support from the top, the support both their own and their team’s wellbeing.
When asked what steps would help improve wellbeing in the workplace more than a third (37 per cent) said they wanted clearer direction on how wellbeing initiatives fit within the company’s purpose and values. A further 34 per cent of line managers would also support wellbeing champions or mental health first-aiders in the workplace and 32 per cent are looking for support and training on how to have conversations and signpost to support services for their teams.
Four out of 10 (40 per cent) line managers would also favour more joined up thinking across departments, to better improve how organisations implements wellbeing in the workplace. A third (32 per cent)would also like to see simpler wellbeing strategies with less confusing terminology and jargon, while 30 per cent would like to see a standard way to accurately measure the impact on people and business. The survey also found that 27 per cent would like to see guidance on what “good” wellbeing at work looks like.
When it comes to how improving their own wellbeing in the workplace, the top response from line mangers was better recognition of work done (cited by 38 per cent of respondents), followed by more flexible working (37 per cent) and being listened to by their own manager (35 per cent).
When asked how employers could help with their wellbeing over a third (36 per cent) of line-managers cited more flexible working arrangements. This was followed by ‘Lead from the top when it comes to positive wellbeing practices’ (34 per cent) and ‘Talk more openly as an organisation about mental health and the need for wellbeing for all’ (32 per cent).
In fact, 61 per cent of line managers (compared to just 46 per cent of all SME employees) have used the wellbeing benefits available to them at work, highlighting the appetite, need and ability to ‘lead from the top’ when it comes to wellbeing.
Jo Elphick, marketing director at Legal & General Group protection says: “Line managers are coming under increasing pressure to take on multiple roles; managing their teams, in addition to acting as chief listener, communicator, sign-poster and motivator, while also getting to grips with shifts in ways of working and increasingly dispersed teams. Our research shows that this ‘squeezed middle’ want recognition and support – to be listened to, be rewarded in terms of fair pay and career opportunities and to have their employer recognise that they too are employees with their own wellbeing needs.
“In short, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that employers – and their people – want and need a clear framework for wellbeing; one that incorporates benefits and services, is purpose-led and values-driven.”