Where to Start: Workplace Self Care
There are plenty of discussions about self care out there. You know you need to practice it and encourage your employees, but also know that it comes in different forms and is unique to each individual. So how do you figure out how to provide or encourage self care?
Send Out A Survey
The first step is to ask them. Send out a survey to your team to ask them what is important to them. From there, you can start to provide what they want and show them that they are important to you and you care about them as a whole person, not just their work side.
So what should you ask on the survey? Here are some sample questions:
- What does self care mean to you?
- What does a self care routine look like?
- What do you do now to make sure you are taking care of yourself?
- What do you wish you did to take care of yourself?
- What activities bring you joy in your life? (volunteering, being outside, being with friends or family. etc)
- Where do you feel most re-energized? (home, outside, at the office, the gym, social settings, after talking to someone about any issues you are having, etc)
Once you find out what your team needs, you will be in a much better position to help them by providing opportunities for them to make time for self care.
Making Self Care Actionable
You may find that some of your employees are looking to give back. If volunteering is what they are looking for you can poll the team to find out what are their favorite charities and then as a group you can plan a way to support one. At First Steps Financial, we asked our team to tell us their favorite charity and then we found a way to volunteer together. One of the charities we picked was Project Linus, which supplies children in unstable situations with blankets. We sent out blanket kits and offered to send as many kits as they wanted. Since our team is fully remote, our employees enlisted the help of their family and friends, too!
If their self care routine includes listening to music or podcasts, you could offer a Spotify premium subscription to your team for free —part of the perks of working with you but also helping them feel better. You can email them here for more information email@example.com
We took self care a step further and offer Marketplace Chaplains services. They provide personalized employee care. While they aren’t therapists, they are a great resource for helping their clients get to better mental health and discuss any issues under the sun. Our team and myself have used them many times for ourselves and our families
Make sure you also help your team set boundaries, especially when it comes to working remotely. It can be easy to work all the time when your computer is always with you, and while that may sound nice as an employer, that’s also how employees burn out. Provide them with a training to turn off at the end of the day. It can be as simple as:
- Write down on a note pad what you need to do first thing in the morning.
- Close out all tabs on your computer
- Empty the trash on your computer
- Shut down your computer.
Creating a ritual will signal that the workday has ended and you and your employees can shift your focus to something else — maybe something that brings you joy and fulfillment, your family, art, reading or exercising.
The bottom line is that you need a team and a leader who are mentally and physically healthy in order to reach their potential and be happy. It is worth the effort to find out what you can do to support your team to practice self care