Why is Having a Resilient Environment in the Workplace so Important?
In a work culture that’s been dominated by increasing stress and burnout, many employees are seeking a better work-life balance. According to research by Achievers Workforce Institute, 25% claimed work-life balance is the reason they’d job hunt and 23% cited it as the main reason they’d stay at their current job. In a changing landscape, due to COVID-19 still impacting how and where we work, its crucial employers take this balancing act seriously if they want to avoid immense burnout and turnover.
A key component of combating this is to create a resilient environment in the workplace. It is unlikely the pace and intensity of our work culture today will change, so we must adapt so we can effectively navigate through it. Here are five ways to start crafting a more resilient workplace.
- Cultivate an environment of safety. Focus on creating a space where employees feel safe and free to express any struggles or needs, they have. By doing so, managers can meet those needs quickly and effectively.
- Encourage compassion and vulnerability. Recognize when circumstances or goals are challenging and remind them failure is welcome and expected. Show compassion for their feelings — this increases positive emotions, creates positive work relationships, and increases cooperation and collaboration. Remind them they’ve risen to challenges in the past and can do so again.
- Advocate for detachment breaks. Our energy cycles throughout the day are typically 90–120 minutes long. By stepping away from our work for a few minutes in between these cycles, we can reset our energy and attention. Research suggests doing so can promote greater energy, mental clarity, creativity, and focus. Long-term, the pay-off is preserved energy that helps prevent burnout over days, weeks, and months.
- Structure your daily tasks. Switching from one task to another reduces productivity by 40% — according to the American Psychological Association. Creating dedicated times for specific work-related activities can help us better process information and make quality decisions while decreasing cognitive load and strain.
- Support each individual. Ask people what they need and offer to do anything you can to support their needs so they can find success. Keep in mind if they ask for something and you fail to ever give it to anyone, instead of building resilience and trust, you’re building frustration and resentment.
Not only will implementing these strategies help create a better work-life balance for your employees, but it is also a great return on investment. In 2014, PwC published a study which found initiatives and programs that fostered resiliency and a mentally healthy workplace returned $2.30 for every dollar spent. The return came in the form of lower health care costs, higher productivity, lower absences, and a decrease in turnover. Building resiliency will serve your organization well in an increasingly stressful work world from a business and employee standpoint.
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Written by Rachel Strysik