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We spend the majority of our week in the workplace with our colleagues, five days a week (sometimes more) for the greater chunk of our daylight hours. Despite the time you spend together, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee great employee relations though.
Employee relations are vital to a productive, efficient, and happy workplace. It basically refers to the relationships between employees, between managers and employees, and between every other person in an organisation.
As a mindful leader in the workplace, the responsibility of maintaining employee relations falls squarely on my shoulders. As much as I admire and respect my colleagues, I know it’s not always easy to navigate conflicts and encourage healthy relationships in a workplace.
If employee relations are difficult to maintain, to begin with, imagine my dilemma when it came to WFH. I wanted to be there for my team, not just to make sure they were comfortable with remote working, but also to make sure they were coping well with the circumstances we found ourselves in.
That was my inspiration behind Wellness Fridays, where the entire team connected via Zoom and engaged in a fun activity together. One of our most popular sessions was a riff off of the cork and canvas model, where we sipped wine and painted our interpretations of an object, person, landscape or famous painting.
This did wonders for our mood while we were stuck at home. It not only brought us together but also relaxed us and involved our households and families in the fun.
I personally enjoyed tacking up my art around my home and coming up with images and colour schemes that worked in my space. I must admit I’ve had to stop myself on multiple occasions from picking images that only I would be interested in painting, just to hang up at home :P
Taking the time to unwind and prioritising time to relax as much as we prioritised work helped us stay connected while we were stuck at home. It also helped me and my team maintain good employee relations at a time when it was what kept us connected over the distance.
Great employee relations are rooted in empathy
Maintaining great employee relations and boosting employee engagement is rooted in empathy. An empathetic leader can actively listen to their team and respond without judgement.
Having this tool at your disposal and using it to ensure better employee relations is a skill that all leaders need to develop as business operations move forward, post-COVID-19.
When employees feel heard and know that they will be greeted with an empathetic ear if they should ever need it, they’ll adopt the same approach when it comes to their own interactions with their colleagues and superiors.
This, in turn, improves communication, collaboration, and compassion; all hallmarks of great employee relations :)
Mindful communication leads to a healthy corporate culture
When you practice mindfulness, you become more in tune with your environment as well as your thoughts and feelings and how these affect you and the work you do. It helps you become aware of your effect on people and the most effective ways to go about your work and engagement with your colleagues, leading to better outcomes for everyone involved.
When you adopt a mindful approach to employee relations, your employees will be alerted to the fact that mindfulness is more than just a tool for productivity.
This will help them feel like they’re important and will go out of the way to support your efforts. In the long run, it translates to greater loyalty, higher productivity, and a dip in absenteeism.
How can Awakened Mind help you enjoy better employee relations?
Awakened Mind is a mindfulness platform geared to helping you leverage the advantages of mindfulness in your workplace.
Our platform has helped our clients achieve an increase in focus, engagement, and a reduction in emotional exhaustion across their workforce. We’ve even worked with companies like Airservices Australia, Nexus Hospitals, and Pearson Education to improve employee relations through mindfulness :)