If your people really are your greatest asset, why is burnout becoming so prevalent halfway through the year? This is one of the challenges that leadership teams and HR executives are grappling with as the economy starts to open up again.
There is growing evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic is taking an enormous toll on the mental wellbeing of workforces across the globe. Depression, lack of motivation and a combination of mental and physical exhaustion are taking hold and negatively impacting productivity in businesses. Staff are too scared to take time off to re-charge or get professional help and this exacerbates these stress points.
If this sounds like something you are seeing within your own workforce, then perhaps it is worth looking at a quote from body-builder and movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger who once said:
“Where the mind goes, the body will follow”
While this sounds great in principle, the trick is going to be reinvigorating a team or teams that have forgotten how to put themselves and their well-being first.
Here are a couple of thoughts that might be worth considering implementing in your business:
Insist on actual breaks for all team members:
Tools like Teams and Zoom have made our workforces far better at holding meetings (not to be confused with being productive).
It has almost become the norm to try and fill up every hour of your diary with back-to-back meetings. These creates a culture where it is perceived that if you are not meeting, you are not being productive.
Microsoft actually released research showing just how bad this is for the brain and how transitions from meetings can actually become high stress points for individuals who have to re-align and re-focus their thinking.
Integrating play into your working week
Traditional teambuilding activities have been challenging due to various COVID-19 restrictions, but this doesn’t mean you have to take the fun out of your workplace.
Whether it is an informal internal cooking or fitness challenge, setting up an action soccer team or something more structured like a Lego Serious Play or a MINECRAFT facilitated session.
There are so many creative options to introduce play into your team.These activities let your staff detach from work for a bit, improve problem-solving skills and reignite the competitive juices required for a competitive organization.
Mind and Body have to be part of your organizational culture
The idea of forming a mind-body connection is not a new one in the world of fitness. The benefits of strengthening the link between your mind and body when exercising, have proven to be substantial and an investment in this area of your staff wellness program could pay substantial dividends in the long run.
If we walk into the gym one afternoon with a lazy or negative mindset, telling ourselves how unappealing the upcoming workout seems or how we would rather be at home, chances are our workout potential will be limited. On the other hand, arriving at the gym with a mindset of eagerness and determination, our physical capabilities during that workout are automatically maximized.
Our minds cannot reach full cognitive functioning if our bodies are not being fuelled correctly with food, exercise, play, water and sleep. We cannot expect ourselves to interact with colleagues, friends, and work projects efficiently if our bodies are hungry or tired.
Similarly if your teams are overworked or undernourished, their performances will lag.Empathetic leaders recognize the toll that the last 18 months have taken on their people and are making conscious decisions to invest in the mental and physical wellbeing of their people to ensure they remain competitive in the market.
Kelsey Rod is the Healthcare Ambassador for Dynamic Body Technology, a South African wellness business focused on building the workforce of the future. For more information, please visit www.dynamicbodytechnology.com