Woods and Employee Wellbeing – The importance of connection and communication.
In our industry, health and safety is often thought of as protective gear and site hazards. However, for many of us at Woods, we spend the majority of our time in the office. Although it’s less likely we will roll an ankle, there are a lot of pressures that can go along with the job. This is why Woods places a large emphasis on employee wellbeing (physical and mental) both on-site, and in the office.
There are certain pressures that come along in the land development industry. How a company helps their employees manage the pressures of the job can have a significant impact on employee wellbeing. Focusing on workplace health and safety is important but just as important, if not more, is keeping employees motivated and supporting their wellbeing.
Woods has several initiatives set up to raise awareness and promote a supportive culture where to look after their employees:
Social wellbeing initiatives to facilitate connection.
We are a social bunch at Woods. Mixing socially enables us to get a better understanding of each other, which, ultimately, improves how we work together. At the end of each week, we get together for a Friday afternoon barbecue and drinks. It’s tools down, a chance to get together, socialise and talk about non-work-related things. It’s a good chance to take a break, get away from work, meet other Woods’ people and just have a chat. It enables a different kind of communication that helps us develop relationships and trust with the people we work with. We can talk about what they’re doing on the weekend, or how their family is. Those relationships are then taken back into the office, where we can then communicate about projects or challenges on another more productive level because there is that trust.
As our business keeps on growing, it’s really important to Woods that we continue to feel like a family. Even in an open office it’s possible to not know anything about a person just a few desks over. Having these opportunities to connect and talk outside of work in a relaxed, friendly way, opens up communication lines for sharing ideas and asking for help. This has been particularly important as Woods has grown from a small group of core members to a large company with over 150 staff across two locations.
Promoting work-life balance.
Promoting and enabling work-life balance is very important to Woods. Our leaders have regular meetings to review the number of hours employees are working. If someone is having to consistently work long hours, Woods’ attitude is that something needs to change. Family is important to Woods and they believe that work should not become the be-all and end-all of the team’s lives.
Our directors often say, “Although work is important, families are important too. Generally, we are all family people at Woods. We don’t want people to be working 50-60 hours a week consistently; it shouldn’t be like that. If our people need to work extended hours, consistently, that interrupts their family-time and we need to change things.”
Physical wellbeing is important too.
Woods’ promotes physical wellbeing with weekly onsite yoga classes employees have the flexibility to fit staying active and looking after themselves physically into the workday. There’s also social activities run by the Woods’ social club that gets people connecting outside of work and there is an element of enjoyment in getting to know each other. We have social sports teams including touch, cricket, and soccer.
Although our industry has inherent pressures that can impact employee wellbeing and motivation, Woods has created a support culture that ensures no one feels like they are working alone and there is always someone they can talk to. No matter whether you’re out on a site or back in the office, your wellbeing is important to Woods.