The wellbeing & resilience “double whammy”
Most members of an organisation have the equivalent to a line manager, and many are themselves providing such a role to others. When the going gets tough for us as humans we need support from others, and it is that next layer up in our organisation that we rightly look to. But what can they do to help? And who is supporting them? Whether you could do with some guidance yourself or are the one who should be providing it, it is a sad truth that many simply lack the skills needed to effectively support their team members in their roles.
Most managers are not geared up for supporting the wellbeing of employees and boosting their capacity to overcome adverse events. They do not understand how to be role models of resilience.
It’s a well-known fact that stress in organisations is on the increase. As organisations face ever more uncertainty, continual change, market volatility, new technologies and disruptive competition, their people need to know how to master that stress. Ironically, change is best met with change. If not handled correctly though, it can exacerbate the problem and most employees don’t know how to self-manage or navigate these issues. The result is that the leader - employee relationship today is adding more value at the onset of stress, than that with a GP.
All the while, leaders are under increasing pressure to deliver with teams who are in dire need of more support than they can give them. They too are unable to manage their own wellbeing, hence their inability to role model. This failure to self-manage the impact of organisational and psychosocial stressors is a viscious circle. You might call it a “double whammy” skills gap and as a result organisations are burning out their talent.
Wellbeing in the workplace is now such an impactful factor for all organisations to consider. It simply must be taken seriously at board room level first if we are going to see demonstrable behaviour change in the way in which we currently operate. The “lean”, “more for less” agenda is putting today’s workforce under huge amounts of stress, and the silent, and “work hard” generations are working longer and harder than ever before. The ripple effect is creating anxiety about performance, making performance conversations even more tricky. The younger workforce has been nick-named the “Burnt out generation” and they are just at the start of their long careers.
So, where does it end? What resilience attributes will the workforce require in 5 years’ time? Leaders need to be thinking about this now and influence organisational activity to future-proof and develop a workforce that can adapt, optimise and sustain their resilience so they can cope with what lies ahead.