Workplace pressure and stress can have a significant impact on the wellbeing and health – both mental and, as a result, physical – of people across every industry.
When creating the programmes we offer to our clients and partners our business psychologists play a significant part in designing and implementing learning which will support not only the growth goals of an organisation, but the people within it who are expected to deliver on those goals.
We recognise that people are at the heart of every success and failure in business, and that celebrating and supporting those people is the only certain path to success; if you drive and dominate your people, you will burn them out and harm them. If, however, you make the happiness and success of the people who work for you the first priority, and invest in their wellbeing and their personal goals and development, you are investing in the future success of your business in ways that far outweigh financial goals.
What you get in return is the commitment, the passion, the skills and dedication, of a cohesive team who want the business to do well, and who are personally invested in that journey. Not because they have to be, and not from a fear of repercussions for failures – but because the ethos and culture in the organisation offers the freedom to evolve, to question, to push and to grow.
That all relies on the environment for success being smooth sailing – on honest communication, on a supportive workplace culture, and on your leadership team supporting the needs of your employees so that everyone can perform at their best.
Leadership and mental health
Much of this – the questions to ask, and how to implement and embed behaviours which support a healthy workplace culture – has long shaped the programmes we offer at ASK, and we have guided a great many organisations through challenges, as well as through expanding a successful workforce when times are good.
Implementing changes in an organisation can have a huge impact on the happiness, and thus the performance, of a team, and many of those changes come from small behavioural adaptions and a conscious decision to lead effectively.
We also recognise that some things are beyond your control. Things like a global pandemic, and the huge impact on global economies that has resulted from the crisis, for example.
Not only do you then need to manage the goals and plans of the business, and take steps to protect the future of your company, you also have to manage the individuals who work with and for you. Some difficult choices may need to be made, some challenging changes put into action, and some drastic plans that impact everyone. Some people will be coping well, others will be struggling enormously, and that will impact their ability to work.
Leadership is a goal many people dream of, and the dream includes the successes and the achievements – but leadership is more than reward; it is leading those difficult conversations, guiding the team through those changes and challenges, and taking the weight on your shoulders of protecting one overreaching goal when that impacts your team in significant ways – whether that’s redundancies, reassigning people or needing to downsize the workforce.
These are hard times. Hard times which are impacting all of us – and which make leadership more challenging than ever before.
As we move through October and see mental health awareness being more openly discussed, we can’t ignore the impact that long-term trauma and anxiety has on our employees, and on our leadership team. Concerns and uncertainty around the pandemic, the impact that varied levels of lockdown and restrictions has on our family life and our loved ones, and the huge changes in the way we are able to work or communicate with our team, means that many people are struggling, and that can impact their work.
In normal times there are processes for how to support and manage a team member who isn’t meeting their expected workload – but how can you adapt that if it’s your whole team, and times are so far from normal?
Meeting the complex needs of your team
We have been working hard throughout 2020 to adapt our learning programmes and the mentoring and leadership development we offer to our clients and partners, and this need to support additional pressures and challenges is at the forefront of this development.
Not only have we carefully reshaped our programmes in order to offer impactful, effective learning and development via virtual and digital platforms – presenting to your learners via technologies like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, rather than in person, to protect all learners from the risks of Covid-19 – we have worked on content which highlights and engages with learning around mental health in the workplace, supporting the needs of an anxious workforce, and facing those difficult conversations with kindness, professionalism and processes which make it easier for all parties to process what is being discussed and understand what steps to take.
Difficult times don’t need to derail the plans you had for the future of your business; together, with commitment to growth and progress, we can help your organisation to thrive through and beyond the pandemic, and reshape those plans to embrace a workforce who are forever changed by a difficult year.
Call us today on 01234 757575; we can guide you through these challenges. Just ASK.
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