Reducing ‘Illbeing’ Is the Latest Way To Improve Workplace Wellness

By Aisling O’Toole

With over half of Australian workers admitting to feeling burned out, overworked and stressed, companies are faced with a new dilemma, and simply opening their purse strings is not the solution.

A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Melbourne showed that half of prime-aged workers (those aged 25-55) felt exhausted at work, and 40 per cent felt less motivated about their work prior to the pandemic.

Unsurprisingly, this is not a problem that’s unique to Australians, with research showing that even though companies have invested over $50 billion in employee wellbeing programmes in the past year alone, it’s not working.

While 96 per cent of CEOs think they’re doing enough for mental health, 68 per cent of employees say they’re still struggling. This gap between company wellbeing initiatives and employee satisfaction coincides with the increase in conversations about “illbeing”, and the impact it has on workplace wellness.

What is illbeing?

Defined by Websters as an unhealthy, unhappy, or unprosperous condition which manifests in the workplace as toxicity and an insidious unhealthy culture that can be hard to tackle, illbeing is intertwined with everyday practices, and tends to trickle from the top down.

Unsurprisingly then, when Deloitte’s Workplace Wellbeing Imperative highlighted the three main factors which impact employee wellbeing and satisfaction, it discovered leadership styles, organisational behaviours and job design impact employee wellbeing more than anything else.

Within the beauty industry, wellbeing is nothing new: brands have been embracing the wellness revolution for almost a decade, designing products that support self care.

However, from a worker perspective, the industry has been a little slower to recognise the impact of illbeing, which can be reduced with just a few simple tweaks.

Open communication

For a team to truly flourish, good communication between leaders and employees is of the utmost importance. An open line of communication gives employees a way to talk about their workload and stress levels, enabling managers to recognise when they’re approaching burnout and take the necessary steps.

Take a holistic view

Historically we’ve been told not to bring our personal lives to work and to maintain a clear boundary between work and home. However, as technology has made us more contactable than ever, that boundary has become harder to keep.

Within the beauty industry, where personal relationships are so important, it’s harder still to constantly maintain a sense of separation. Teams often know more about each other’s personal lives than they would in more corporate settings. This is of benefit when it comes to tackling a sense of illbeing, as it enables leaders to tailor their approach and offer appropriate support.

Shift perspectives

From annual reviews to bonus structures, if you shift perspective on feedback, turning it into a constant dialogue rather than an annual event, you’ll notice a shift in your team as stress lifts.

It also becomes easier to tackle problems as they arise rather than stockpile them––illbeing festers when problems are allowed to grow, by addressing concerns in the moment you feed back into the idea of open communication among the team.

Encourage choice

While somebody has to be responsible for decisions and be held accountable, encouraging choice among staff is a simple way to reduce illbeing, especially within the beauty industry which is more fluid than the traditional nine to five.

For example, asking for more flexible rosters and shift times can help, as research shows that when workers are engaged and feel involved, retention rates increase by 18 per cent across the company.

Embrace change

If your current company is immune to the negative impact of illbeing, then a move to a more progressive employer might be what you need.

Start your search for a role where you will be encouraged to flourish; the Professional Beauty Job Board is a great place to begin as it has roles from leading companies across all experience levels. Companies to discover include Aesop, Estee Lauder Companies, Sephora and The Body Shop.

Browse the Professional Beauty job board for hundreds of open beauty jobs.

This article was produced in partnership with Jobbio.

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