Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve experienced change like we’ve never seen before in our lifetimes. We’re in an environment of what feels like constant disruption. Nothing is predictable. Decisions you make today may need to change next week, if not as soon as tomorrow in some cases. Stress levels are high. It seems like everybody is on pins and needles.
The levels of stress have created a global mental health crisis that we’re just recently willing to speak openly about. The world was stunned when Tennis Pro Naomi Osaka, and then Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles shared their own personal experiences with stress and the extreme pressure on them. They are not alone.
The Costs Are Alarming
A global study by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence found that 78% of respondents said the pandemic had negatively impacted their mental health. And 36% of the professionals responding to a study by the Limeade Institute were at risk of burnout.
The financial cost to business is substantial. Deloitte shares in their Future of Work: The People Imperative report that workplace stress costs global industry upwards of $300B per year in areas such as employee wellness, healthcare, lost productivity, and absenteeism.
Stress and the results on mental health are a real epidemic that we must address. Yet, many organizations find themselves unprepared to adapt to not only large-scale crises, but more importantly, to the day-to-day operational surprises and challenges that arise in the workplace.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
5 Ways to Boost Resilience, Reduce Burnout, & Tackle Turnover
Resilient teams have very different experiences and outcomes. They ensure there is an elevated focus on human connections and the human elements of their organizational culture and experience. What can you do to create this type of workplace environment?
I’m going to share with you 5 ways that, starting today, you can boost resilience, reduce burnout, and begin to tackle the turnover tsunami within your organization.
Are you ready?
- Perspective – Adopt an Optimistic Mindset
A negative mindset is toxic. We tend to respond to uncertainty with fear. Your emotions hijack your brain. You’re in this fight or flight mode. Once you get into that cycle, all you tend to focus on is the negative.
What can you do to avert an emotional hijack and avoid being taken in by all of the negative energy? Begin by enhancing your awareness of your thoughts and how they are affecting you. Make a mental shift away from the limiting beliefs and stories you tell yourself. Shift your perspective to focusing on the possibilities, to what can be.
- Purpose – Make a Difference
Feeling a sense of purpose is an essential part of being able to thrive. Yet, a crisis can knock you off track. You can lose your passion and energy in your work. Your purpose may even shift as the environment you operate in and the needs of your clients and customers shift.
What can you do to rediscover and reframe your purpose when your world has changed?
Ask yourself, ‘How can I make a difference in the lives of others? Looking back 6 months or 12 months from now, what role will I have played in making my small part of the world better for those around me?”
- Perseverance – Take Care of Yourself
Overcoming times of crisis and challenge can be a tough, long road. You have to dig deep to find the courage to push through the uncertainty and grit to rise above the setbacks. Perseverance is less about working harder and more about creating the environment within which you can persevere… psychologically, emotionally, and physically.
Stress and anxiety are huge threats to your overall wellbeing. And they are difficult to overcome. Prevention is the best medicine. Strategies such as good nutrition, exercise, sleep, meditation, and deep breathing can help you manage stress, frustration, and anxiety.
- Partnership – Practice Empathy
Empathy is your ability to be fully present, listening to what others are sharing with you about their experiences, and relating to their experiences as if you were walking in their shoes. You don’t have to have all the answers. Just listen and acknowledge that they have been heard. You might respond with something like, ‘That must be really hard.’ You can also use reflective listening skills, such as repeating or summarizing what has been said.
- Praise – Generously Share Appreciation & Recognition
It’s easy to focus on the negative in a crisis… everything is different… everyone’s got so much to juggle, and it’s harder than ever to get work done. Trying to keep up with it all can be physically and emotionally exhausting. You want to recognize both the effort that is being put in to make it all work, as well as the accomplishments, even as small as some may seem. Showing appreciation with a simple ‘thank you’ is a great starting point and can renew a person’s sense of purpose and level of energy. We don’t do this nearly enough.
Brighter days ahead!
As we emerge from the crisis, we’d like to think that everything will go back to normal. Exactly what the future will be like is still uncertain. But what we can be sure of is that we will experience more uncertainty, more unexpected disruptions, and more change.
Choose one of these five tips as a starting point and begin to take action today. You’ll soon discover your work environment is becoming a place where employees and teams can thrive again.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about how to address similar challenges, or you want to chat about offering a Lunch & Learn on this for your employees.