More than a Fitness Membership: How Changing Manager Behaviors Can Spike Well-Being for Your Org

It’s common knowledge that well-being initiatives are an integral (and expected) part of working for a good company.


Those fitness memberships, massages, and flexible working arrangements not only benefit the employee, but the organization, too – because when employees feel content and supported, they have a much greater tendency to engage deeper with their work and produce better results.


But while it’s common to associate well-being initiatives with programs and perks, it’s often overlooked that the very best boost to your organizational well-being rests in the hands of your own employees.


Specifically, your managers…and how well they’re able to manage their teams.


According to a Gallup poll, 75% of workers who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their bosses.


This shouldn’t be surprising, because if there’s one thing most of us know from personal experience: nothing zaps happiness and fulfillment more than a bad boss.


Unless, of course, you are that bad boss.


There’s not a company program or perk in existence that’s amazing enough to alleviate the stress and defeat of being an ineffective manager or being ineffectively managed.


But in contrast, almost nothing is more gratifying and rewarding (and sends well-being through the roof) then being an effective manager or being effectively managed by a great boss.


That’s exactly why providing development to your managers is so important.


When your managers are provided opportunities to develop themselves – their self-awareness, their skills, and their confidence – they become better leaders and better bosses. They become more engaged with their work, they run more productive teams, and they see better results.


All of this success increases their sense of well-being in their roles, and then, in turn, makes them much better equipped to impact the well-being of their teams, in areas such as:


Social connection

Evolutionarily speaking, humans have a strong need for caring relationships, and we’re wired to seek belonging. Having a manager who knows how to strengthen social connections among their team and provide social support is able to raise well-being, lower stress, connect the team to more opportunity, and help them perform at higher levels.


Working toward challenging goals

A manager who knows how to tap their team’s potential and give team members challenging goals – along with the emotional and tactical support to reach those goals successfully – can develop a deeper sense of positive well-being on their teams.


Positive Mindset

Studies have shown that project teams with leaders who are encouraging perform 31% better than teams with less positive and praising leaders. Managers can be effectively coached to encourage their team members and create a culture of trust and positivity, along with reduced fear and anxiety.


Moving Forward

So how do you provide the support your managers need to develop their skills and behaviors? If you don’t already have a plan in place, consider these ideas:


1. Match your managers with an internal mentor who can help them discuss, troubleshoot, and practice new skills that will grow their connection with their team.

2. Give your managers the opportunity to assess their leadership strengths and weaknesses, then allow them training to improve their skills.

3. Invest in an external coaching program that’s customizable to your managers’ specific needs and allows them to practice new skills over a sustained period of time.


When you provide development for your managers, skills and confidence naturally rise, putting them on firmer footing in their jobs. This heightened sense of contentment and well-being will have a significant impact on the well-being of their direct reports, and ultimately make a longer lasting impression than any company program or perk every could.



Rosanna Riffle joined CRN in 2015. She has over 30 years’ experience in the Human Resources field, including talent management, organizational development, and organizational design. She’s also a certified executive and leadership coach.

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