May Day

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MAY DAY!

Today we welcome a new season, the coming of spring!

The 1st May heralds a series of festivals and celebrations throughout history worldwide. It is a day that has official holidays in 66 countries and celebrated in many more. So, what is so special about this day?

Historically there have been several different celebrations and festival, with the oldest dating back to the Roman Empire, the festival of Flora, in honour of the goddess of flowers called Floralia. The Celtics celebrated Beltane for the coming of lighter days and in medieval times it was part of a fertility ritual for the crops (if you have heard of the maypole, this is where it originated from).

Today, May 1st is most commonly celebrated by the northern hemisphere as the coming of spring and as a day to commemorate the historic struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement observed in many countries. It was at the height of the industrial revolution, in the 19th century, when this day became known as International Workers Day. It is of huge importance to the US and countries formerly under the influence of the Soviet Union, as it represents the movement against capitalist systems and the support of workers.

As society becomes more aware of the meaning of fair trade, it is fair to say that today, in cities around the world, we will be continuing to raise awareness about wages and working conditions. Each job is necessary and valuable to society (I am sure you have come to appreciate some jobs more since the pandemic hit) and so together it is our responsibility to make people aware of the issues.  

Fortunately, in parts of the world, we are seeing workers’ rights change faster than others, but, like most movements and change it is a long and slow process. So, is there hope for what the future holds?

Over the last year, we have seen millions of jobs lost and unions all around the world are continuing to fight for employee rights. Right now, most are uncertain of what their employment status will be in the coming months and will perhaps cause a U-turn to the progress others have made through history on this day.

So, what can you do to support your workers?

Ken Blanchard talks of the importance of servant leadership, he turned the traditional business leadership triangle upside down and has proof that a business can thrive from putting their employees at the top of the business model. Employees are a companies’ most valuable asset and are leading the way for some of the greatest companies today.

If your employees are looked after your business is looked after.

In a time where working conditions, for most, changed overnight. HR teams around the world have become responsible for their employees mental and physical wellbeing, despite not being in the same room. Working from home became the new ‘norm’ in 2020 and will become a permanent solution for most going forward. If you were one of those employees who never worked from home, how did you manage to find that work-life balance? How did you go about your days at the beginning of lockdown compared to now?

Many people I have spoken with over this period found themselves in modern-day ‘labour’ conditions, overworked and in the wrong environment. HR departments forgot about them and it was not until the third lockdown did they seem to find some distinction between work and home.

Having built our company with a workforce that has always worked from home, your team’s wellbeing must be your priority. They are your biggest asset and need to be able to deliver to the best of their abilities at all times. This sometimes means allowing them to take a few days off and ensuring they are in the right mindset by checking in on them. 

Here are a few tips we have found worked:

  1. Have a member of the HR department regularly check-in and have a friendly conversation with each member of the team  
  2. Hold team or individual wellbeing sessions for everyone in the company. Tailor-made wellbeing sessions can be arranged via www.tfocushealth.com/wellbeing
  3. Regular team brainstorming sessions allow all employees to have a say on the major decisions the company makes
  4. Raise awareness of stress and mental health issues in the workplace and WFH environment
  5. If you have unusual business hours, make sure you agree and define hours in the day where you have ‘me’ time 
  6. Establish your business’ vision, goals and why, with your employees so they are aligned 
  7. Ensure all WFH employees have the correct ergonomic setup, they take regular breaks and can define work from home activities

Are you concerned with how you will manage with most of your workforce working from home full time? 

Book your complimentary wellbeing consultation today www.tfocushealth.com/wellbeing

We can support you in supporting your team!

Feel free to reach out to me at jasmine.ruske@transactionfocus.com to discuss more

Jasmine Ruske