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The feedback we currently receive from many organisations is that they are undergoing massive re-structures, budget reassignments and increased turnover due to instability and the changing environment. Changes tend to make staff nervous, provoke a stress response and thus undermine productivity. Managing change can be a tricky business for an organisation. The more successful organisations are engaging their staff in learning and development programs that help to address some of the issues affecting productivity.
The keys to improving staff resilience are:
During times of change we can become unfocused and hung up on negative and unhelpful thought patterns such as “Will my job be safe?” “I’m not sure what my role is anymore or where the boundaries lie.” Staff can stress over seemingly small things and find it difficult to maintain focus.
Solutions that can help are:
- Setting short term goals
- Providing a sense of control so that individuals believe their actions make a difference
- Teaching individuals to re-frame negative thoughts into action based plans
- Encouraging participation in a positive way
- Helping people feel good about their role and about themselves
- Replacing negative habits and activities with positive ones
The ability to interact with other people with awareness, empathy, and skillfulness is vital in building resilience. Social relationships at work have been shown to boost employee retention, safety, work quality and customer engagement. Our communication style is paramount in developing connection with others.
Ways to improve our communication style are:
- Learning to say things simply, clearly, and assertively
- Listening and being responsive to others needs
- Sharing information and emotions
- Building trust by consistently doing what you say and acting for the greater good
- Developing greater emotional intelligence
Another powerful tool to increase emotional connection is acts of kindness and service directed toward others.The Economics of Wellbeingby Gallup Press (2010) reported, “When we surveyed more than 23,000 people, we found that nearly 9 in 10 report ‘getting an emotional boost’ from doing kind things for others…
Building daily routines that help the body recover from stress is key to developing resilience. If the body is not given regular opportunities to recover from the tension associated with stress, the results can range from diminished concentration, to anxiety and/or depression, to vulnerability to disease (including chronic conditions).
According to Gallup, “Those with high physical wellbeing simply have more energy to get more done in less time. They are more likely to be in a good mood, thus boosting the engagement of their colleagues and customers.” This category is one we often understand and yet give limited focus to.
Some basic elements include:
- Getting enough sleep
- Exercising at least 3 x per week
- Eating healthily
- Limiting caffeine and alcohol
- Finding time to relax
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