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Employee Well-being: How Managers Inspire, Facilitate, and Support Employee Caring Activities

Diversity and Inclusion, Human Resources, Leadership, Mental Health
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An increased interest in corporate social responsibility has raised questions about the impact organizations have on employee well-being. But what is well-being? Drawing on the positive psychology movement, the definition of well-being has been broadened beyond the reduction of illness. For her research, Dr. Barrio defines employee well-being as the growth of the employee as a person through actions taken within or outside the workplace to improve the lives of others. In other words, a person’s well-being is enhanced when they contribute to others. The study identified manager behaviors that inspire, facilitate, or support employee caring activities.

Take-home messages:

  • Well-being is more than the absence of illness.
  • Other-oriented goals, such as contributing to the lives of others, are associated with well-being and personal growth.
  • Although existing research supports the notion that an essential activity of managers is employee growth, there is limited research that examines specific manager behaviors associated with employee growth.
  • Managers can play a role in enhancing employee growth by engaging in behaviors that fall into one of four themes.

Learning Outcomes

Manager behaviors fall into four themes: Build Relationship, Cultivate, Provide Resources, and Follow Up.
Building a manager/employee relationship is a foundation for the other behaviors,
Managers need to know themselves, their employees, and the organization to determine what behaviors best fit a particular employee, at a particular point in time, and in a particular context.
The similarity between some behaviors identified in this research to behaviors previously identified as effective manager behaviors suggests managers may be able to leverage existing skills in a new way. Skills traditionally viewed as contributing to the bottom line of the organization, such as planning and organizing, may also be used to contribute to employee well-being.

Speakers

Ana Barrio, PhD
Dr. Ana M. Barrio began her career as a certified public accountant. Motivated by a desire to apply her finance experience in a business management position, she moved to a financial services organization, where she served in a number of capacities over 25 years, including Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Institutional Trust Business. She approached each position with a belief in a culture of business partnership and a desire to enhance the employee experience in the workplace. She was the chair of the Finance People Committee, a founding member of the Women of Color Networking Group, and an active member in the organization's mentoring program. Ana also served as an external Board member and Treasurer of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. In 2003, Ana's passion for employee growth and development led her to transition to Human Resources where she served as an internal development consultant to managers in the Finance and Real Estate Divisions to develop and retain key talent. Most recently, Ana consults and is an adjunct management professor at Pace University. She embraces the view that professors and students are co-creators of learning and provides a rich learning environment that challenges students to use their knowledge and experience to make meaning of new content.

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