21 Nov Resilience in the Workplace
There is no doubt that a strong relationship between resilience and work performance exists.
When employees have the skills and knowledge to face difficult and challenging life experiences, they are better equipped to adapt and move forward.
In turn, this empowers them to be more productive and effective at work, helping your business fulfil its mission and boost its bottom line.
More than just a fruit bowl
There is plenty of research showing that productivity goes down as stress goes up. When people are worried, anxious or under too much pressure, they lose focus, their energy drops, they lose creativity, and they be more emotional than usual. In addition to a decline in productivity, stress can also contribute to increased sick leave, reduced quality of work, higher staff turnover, tardiness, and a decline in peer relationships.
But while many organisations have the best of intentions to support the wellbeing of their employees, they don’t necessarily have a framework or system to navigate this and ensure a holistic approach.
Building resilience in a workplace is more than “wellbeing” and certainly requires more than just free fruit, “step” challenges and discounted gym memberships. It is about helping employees understand and use practical tools that help them train their mind, energise their body, regulate their emotions, and embrace purpose and meaning in their life.
In the first instance, individuals need to feel safe, included and cared for as a person. This provides a foundation for your people to show up, contribute more, collaborate and relish the pleasure of doing great work.
It’s not you, it’s me
A recent 2022 Deloitte survey revealed that everyone’s wellbeing in the workplace, including leaders, has been significantly impacted by the global pandemic.
As a leader, how do you look after your own wellbeing? How do you lead by example? Do you prioritise your employees’ wellbeing over your own?
Present in body, not in mind
Presenteeism is a huge cost to employers in lost productivity, and it refers to employees being physically present at work, but not fully functioning, due to poor wellbeing (physically, mentally, emotionally).
How can you be aware of this, and what steps can you take to support those people who are present in body but not fully functioning?
The Great Resignation
Many people are no longer willing to tolerate jobs that leave them unhappy and in a constant state of stress and fatigue. Employees are prioritizing their physical and mental health, and this means that they are looking for jobs that meet their holistic needs, both inside and outside work. People want healthy experiences, and they are willing to leave jobs that put their lifestyles at risk.
Research backs this up – 59% percent of employees in a 2022 Deloitte study said they would seriously consider taking a job with a company that offers better well-being benefits than their current employer. An organisation that priorities employee well-being can make it more attractive to customers and investors as well.
It’s not just a moral duty
Here in New Zealand, the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) requires business owners and leaders to provide and maintain a work environment that is without risks to safety and health, including mental health, so far as is reasonably practicable. This means you have a responsibility to protect the mental health and wellbeing of your employees and to take a proactive approach to safeguard these. This means EVERY workplace is required to eliminate or minimise the risk of psychological injury caused by work and to put in place strategies to minimise the risk.
The Bottom Line
If it isn’t already obvious, your employees’ wellbeing is absolutely critical to safe-guard and future-proof the health of the organisation and all its stakeholders.
Resilience is more than wellbeing initiatives – it’s about thriving.
When your employees are resilient, they have the skills and knowledge to face difficult and challenging life experiences in a way where they adapt and move forward.
What does resilience look like in YOUR workplace?
Is there an opportunity for a wellbeing programme that every person in your organisation can benefit from?
And consider, if every single employee was resilient and more capable of coping with adversity and challenges, how would your business benefit?