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How to Support Employee Wellbeing During Your All-Hands Meeting

Anne Balistreri
min read

Higher rates of burnout. More turnover. Less engagement. Fewer job applicants.

Now that we have concrete lessons from the pandemic about the importance of employee experience, what is your organization doing to turn the tide?

According to Gartner, as employees re-evaluate where they work, they’re looking for five key qualities in their employers:

  • Deeper connections
  • Radical flexibility
  • Holistic well-being
  • Personal growth
  • Shared purpose 

When you design an employee experience that supports well-being, offers moments of connection, and reinforces your shared purpose, you improve retention and boost productivity.

Simply put, it’s good business to take care of your team, and your all-hands meeting is the perfect time to pilot new wellness initiatives.

The ROI of Employee Wellbeing

One of the biggest differentiators for successful companies in 2022 will be a better employee experience.

And while it’s important to listen to your team and find out what employees want, we already know that investing time and money in wellbeing results in a healthier work culture. Focusing on wellbeing:

  • Improves productivity. Shorten your all-hands meeting, cancel it altogether, or introduce meaningful wellness strategies once a month to improve productivity. When employees get time back in their day or find ways to take more breaks, productivity goes up—not down.
  • Boosts retention. Better management, work-life boundaries, and a positive work culture all impact an employee’s intent to stay. Employee turnover is one of the highest costs of doing business—why not put more money into keeping your team happy?
  • Influences attraction. Former employees aren’t shy when it comes to describing work culture. Want a positive review after a team member moves on? Make sure that every moment in your employee lifecycle supports the overall wellbeing of your team.
  • Builds closer teams. Employees value social connection, collaboration, and teamwork, especially remote team members. Including social elements in your work day is integral to creating a positive work environment.
  • Determines overall EX. You can start a hundred new wellness initiatives at your company, but it won’t matter if your team is still inundated with too many emails, meetings, and overwhelming deadlines. Prioritizing wellbeing determines the shape of your entire employee experience.

5 Ways to Introduce Wellness Programming to Your All-Hands Meeting

All-hands meetings are the perfect opportunities to put your wellness plan into action, gather employee feedback, and try new strategies that support your distributed team.

Here are 5 ways you can use an all-hands to support employee wellbeing—and lay the foundation for an incredible employee experience.

1. Cancel Your All-Hands Meeting

Surprise! Sometimes the best thing you can do to support your employees’ mental and emotional health is to give them a little breathing room.

At Welcome, we take the first Friday of every month off. Canceling our all-hands meeting gives our entire team more time to rest, recuperate, and connect with loved ones. That way, they can come back recharged, refreshed, and excited to get back to work on Monday.

After all, it’s no secret that remote and hybrid teams are out-performing their in-office peers, and that more flexibility increases productivity. But with remote work comes an influx of emails, meetings, and work-about-work. If your leadership team doesn’t work to course correct, this will lead to burnout in a flash. 

So reward your team with an extra day to recuperate. Which meetings can you cancel? Which days can the entire company use to prioritize wellness? You can always use your next all-hands meeting to survey your team and find out.

2. Give Everyone a Chance to Reset

At Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington’s culture change company, leadership pioneered a data-backed stress management technique called a “Reset.” According to Thrive, 60 to 90-second breaks reduce anxiety and stress.

The magic of a “Reset,” though, is in how you use those 90 seconds: looking at pictures of friends and family, reading inspirational quotes, or vibing with your personal mood board. All new hires at Thrive are given these tools during their onboarding sessions, so they can support their wellbeing as needed.

It’s important for managers to support their reports and give them tools to manage stress. Whether you introduce Resets during your next all-hands meeting, or use part of the all-hands to review practical tips for relieving stress, respecting your team’s need for wellbeing is crucial to improving employee experience.

3. Be Transparent

The burden of wellbeing can’t fall solely on your team. According to MIT, a toxic workplace culture makes it 10x more likely for employees to leave. This means team members more often experience stress because they’re being poorly managed—not because they’re bad at taking care of themselves.

And that should come as no surprise. Most managers have little experience when they move into the role, and they require more coaching to succeed. Address plans for your management training publicly. All-hands meetings are a great opportunity to practice this level of transparency. Questions you may wish to address include:

  • What kind of training or coaching will you use? 
  • What’s the timeline? 
  • What can employees expect to see or do differently? 
  • How will leadership keep managers accountable? 
  • What role do workers have in accountability structures?

You can even use survey features, like the one in Welcome, to take the temperature of your team and track EQ scores around management or wellness efforts. Don’t forget to share the results of your surveys, or your EQ scores, for extra accountability.

4. Socialize

We tend to think of all-hands meetings as more work: a time to review goals, ask questions, and align on priorities and purpose. But these meetings can be so much more!

Employees crave social interaction, especially when they work in a distributed team. And finding ways to gather your team for conversation will do wonders for building trust and boosting collaboration in the future.

Use your all-hands meeting as a social opportunity—not just a business one. Open up your lounge rooms for individual teams, affinity groups, or work buds. Or, take 15 minutes to randomly partner up attendees for meet-and-greets, so you can begin breaking down silos in your company.

The more social interaction you introduce into your all-hands, the more connected your team will feel—and the better your company’s employee experience will be.

5. Volunteer Together

Now more than ever, employees are looking for purpose-driven work. They want to know that their values align with the values of their company, and that their job is making a difference in the world. 

What better way to enact your company values than to volunteer? Instead of an all-hands meeting, consider using the time to support an organization that shares your company’s values. (Believe it or not, there are plenty of great virtual volunteering experiences out there, too!)

Volunteering builds teamwork and collaboration skills, while reflecting the values and purpose of your organization. It’s a win-win.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to employee retention, productivity, and overall experience, wellbeing matters. And because all-hands meetings are your company’s biggest platform for introducing new strategies, piloting programming, and tracking EQ scores, it’s an important event to springboard your wellness initiatives.

Welcome is employee event software designed to support your employee lifecycle. Survey your team about their biggest wellness challenges, be transparent about your progress toward building a better employee experience, and track improvement over time—all from within an all-hands meeting powered by Welcome.

Find out how Welcome can help you transform your company culture by booking a demo today!

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