People are still adjusting and are curious about what’s next. This moment is an opportunity to harness the new scene and bounce back with a cohesive crew. As managers and leaders, people will take their cues from you. Creating an atmosphere of compassion, communication, flexibility and resilience.
The way we work has changed dramatically in the last year. Online tools that support communication have made collaboration easier, but they have also enabled round the clock accessibility. We have greater flexibility in where we work, but for many the boundaries between work and home life can overlap.
The new workforce logistics are unchartered territory, and the effects of the crisis on employees and their families are not yet fully known. Providing services for physical and mental health conditions is essential but developing the ability to bounce back from challenges fosters an environment where engagement and collaboration can grow.
Because this crisis can impact health, performance and productivity, companies have to see employees' health and wellness as a corporate responsibility rather than an individual one.
Success Through Resiliency
Resiliency is the ability to find growth within challenges by being flexible and adaptable to change. It is what those who make it through tough times and still come out on top have in common.
A study conducted by Mindshare Partners in 2019 found that 60 percent of employees said their productivity at work was negatively affected by their mental health, and a third believed their workplace environment contributed to their symptoms.
Approaches that support organizational resilience extend benefits to the broader company rather than just the individual. Clear communication and consistent messaging from management and flexible working hours and environment help people reduce stress while they work from home supporting their families.
That task is doable; the goal is reachable. You can develop a resilient mindset that will allow you to confront the changes that are beyond your control with a healthy and productive attitude. You can meet the work from home challenges and still build stronger, more productive teams.
How do you learn to be resilient
& then—how do you teach that skill to others?
These are challenging times. Times that will require business leaders to change their thinking. Now is the time to adopt a more human first approach as people begin to recover.
- A human-first approach can reduce burnout, which is a genuine response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stress at work. Exhaustion, cynicism, and work inefficacy are all symptoms of burnout.
- Another often overlooked stress response is compassion fatigue. You become exhausted from the constant exposure to the same stressor, in your case, as an HR leader, the same stressor times multiple people. This leads to decreased compassion and empathy for others.
- Creating a stress resilience plan will help you fight against it. And just like in an airplane where you put your mask on first, you must create and follow your own plan first.
- Approach your plan with a flexible mindset. Understand your employees, bring empathy and humanity, embrace digital acceleration, be open to collaboration and new ideas, build for agility and adaptability.
- Organizations that encourage and support employee participation in health and wellness programs and provide resources to help maintain their resiliency don't slow or grind to a halt during stressful times. They adapt and grow and become more cohesive.
Here is a resilience plan outline—created for first responders that can put your workforce
on the path to success.
3 Steps to Create a Stress (Less) Resilience Plan
- What are my early warning signs of excessive stress?
- What do I do currently on a daily basis for self-care?
- What do I do on a weekly basis to improve self-care?
- What do I do when my stress level is unusually high?
2.) Plan for the Future
- What can I add to my self-care routine?
- How will I make time for these new strategies?
- How often should I review what I am doing?
- What challenges do I expect to have with my plan for change?
- How will I know if my changes are helping?
3.) Get Support
- Who can I turn to for support with my plan?
- How often should I check in with them?
- What professional support is available for me if I need it?
Adopting this plan and encouraging employees to complete it either with their family or a health professional increases resiliency skills. Studies indicate that employees who are encouraged to utilize the resources and programs offered to them like your company’s EAP are more likely to seek the help they need.
Other supportive measures include:
- Vacation time/rest days
- Mindfulness exercises
- Peer groups
- Promotion of emotional honesty
- Normalizing fear
- Encouragement of flexibility
- Destigmatize shame about sharing emotions
Change is the reality. The word "unprecedented" has become a staple in every newscast and newspaper. It has become the most overused word of 2020—yet it is an accurate portrayal of life as we know it today.
Stay strong, pace yourself, don't ignore your mental health, limit your news exposure, and practice becoming resilient. Lead on and forage a new path through these unprecedented times.
Now more than ever, your employees need emotional support and resources. The pandemic has created a whole new set of physical, financial and emotional stressors that have woven their way into the home and workplace.
Hundreds of organizations support their employees through The Ulliance Life Advisor Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Investing in the right EAP to support your employees before, during and after they face adverse events will help them and help you. Visit www.ulliance.com, or call 866-648-8326.
When you partner with Ulliance, our Life Advisor Consultants are always just a phone call away to teach ways to enhance your work/life balance and increase your happiness. The Ulliance Life Advisor Employee Assistance Program can help employees and employers come closer to a state of total well-being.
Combining years of clinical experience and the formation of a meaningful partnership with an organization’s human resources department, Ulliance is among the best EAP providers, and our experts can tailor recommendations for a variety of work\life circumstances.
Investing in the right EAP or Wellness Program to support your employees will help them and help you. Visit www.ulliance.com, or call 866-648-8326.
The Ulliance Employee Assistance Program can address the
• Stress about work or job performance
• Crisis in the workplace
• Conflict resolution at work or in one’s personal life
• Marital or relationship problems
• Child or elder care concerns
• Financial worries
• Mental health problems
• Alcohol/substance abuse
• Interpersonal conflicts
• AND MORE!
Daly.IBM, D. a. (2020, Summer). Creating Whole-Company Resilience Through Emotional Health and Well-Being. Retrieved from SHRM Executive NetWork: https://www.shrm.org/executive/resources/people-strategy-journal/summer2020/Pages/feature-bubb-daly.aspx
Jen Fisher, N. N. (2020, August 19). Bridge across uncertainty How crisis leadership with a human focus can support business resilience. Retrieved from Deloitte: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/topics/talent/building-a-resilient-workforce-in-times-of-uncertainty.html#
Ph.D, B. R. (2020, August 14). Why Companies That Support Workplace Resilience Stand Out From The Pack. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2020/08/14/why-companies-that-support-workplace-resilience-stand-out-from-the-pack/?sh=3be5263b33aa
unk. (2020). SUPPORTING FIRST RESPONDERS During COVID-19. Retrieved from Michigan.gov: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/First_Responders_Stress_COVID_19_685847_7.pdf