16 Feb Are staff in your team voting with their feet???
The implications of not seeing your staff as your greatest asset or managing work stress effectively.
When your Team are not performing, when there appears to be a high staff turnover, connecting with your staff and finding out what might be affecting your team will be essential. Having worked in a team where there are increased resignations, I’ve noticed how this can shake the morale of everyone. Ignoring how this might affect the wellbeing of the remaining staff is often a mistake.
There are many things that can be done and here are 3 essential tips for managing staff stress in times of change and upheaval:
- Be aware of how your team are feeling and the current stressors
- Develop a transparent management structure and ways of communicating clearly.
- Introduce individual and collective responsibility for mental wellbeing.
Be aware of the indicators of stress and burnout
Have a way of regularly getting feedback or understanding about how your staff are feeling. Make time for informal catch ups or generate anonymous staff surveys so that people can talk openly about any issues of concern. Use the outcomes of these fact finding sessions to generate open 2 way discussions focused on problem solving and ways to improve. If staff are being heard and issues taken seriously there will be a heightened sense of respect and value. You also have a way of measuring the impact of the strategies you introduce by the feedback from your staff over time.
These are some of the common areas of staff stress that can lead to burnout to take notice of in the first instance:
Feeling alienated or separate from those you work with: Individuals experiencing burnout view their jobs as increasingly stressful and frustrating. They may grow cynical about their working conditions and the people they work with. They may also emotionally distance themselves and begin to feel numb about their work.
Physical symptoms of stress: You might be aware that you are getting more headaches and stomach aches or intestinal issues. Chronic stress can cause these issues and you might find you’re getting colds more often or just waking up aching. There will be more anxiety generally – leading to agitation, less ability to concentrate on one thing and waking up in the night.
Emotional exhaustion: Burnout causes people to feel drained, unable to cope, and tired. They often lack the energy to get their work done. This is partly due to the excessive physical response of anxiety but also an inner lack of motivation.
Reduced performance: Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work—or in the home when someone’s main job involves caring for family members. Individuals with burnout feel negative about tasks. They have difficulty concentrating and often lack creativity.
Develop a clear management and communication structure
If there isn’t clear guidance and accountability from managers, staff can feel less able to talk about the problems they are facing directly or ideas to generate positive changes. Staff may feel that their concerns are falling on deaf ears and stop suggesting solutions. Their trust in management may well be shaken. A silent team in meetings doesn’t always mean a content team.
Do your team members know who to feedback concerns to, and are they encouraged to pass on good feedback? If you notice that changes are affecting members of the team – how do you communicate this so that the problem is seen as a collective responsibility and reduces the possibility of isolation and separation of team members.
Having a good onboarding process helps to promote a company’s ethos right from the start– having a clear structure for learning the job, who to report to and how to get additional support or where to ask questions will help reduce stress. Also setting up a buddy system for new employees or a mentor programme, will help the new member feel like they are valued and are part of the company.
Setting good boundaries to help maintain work life balance is a key area for managing stress, particularly when staff are blending working from home and returning to the office – Some ability for flexibility may be required. Good communication is also about maintaining boundaries for how information is shared, the use of meetings but also the informal spaces, creating time and regular catch-ups to help bring a sense of support and inclusion. A regular newsletter or wellbeing hub to share information between teams can add a more personal touch, to help someone feel connected to the company.
If staff are leaving take time to listen to what are the reasons for going, are there common themes that might need addressing? Staff who are not clear about the values of the company or do not think that the company values are translated into how they are treated themselves can lead to lack of loyalty in the company and general dissatisfaction.
Introducing individual and collective strategies for managing wellbeing at work
As an individual, we advocate developing a Wellness Action Plan. Build this plan with goals and accountability, that can be part of an appraisal or supervision and feedback. The aim is to look at what is motivating you, what exacerbates stress and what resources you have rather than purely on work based goals. We have developed the Wellness Action Plan that helps you reflect on what the struggles are at work but also what are your resources and skills. It can help you to build in support systems when stress build up or burnout is on the horizon. Contact us for more information of how this can be part of your work review.
Offer regular Pop-up Mental Wellness Clinics. We have developed a package of support around stimulating shared understanding through pop up clinics on a variety of themes. This structure encourages questions and provides education around different problems and how to build tools and strategies to overcome these through evidence based Cognitive behavioural Therapy.
As a Manager, HR officer or company owner, building in regular awareness days and communication around mental health issues can reduce stigma and build Team loyalty and support. With a sound strategy in place, staff can feel that their wellbeing is of importance and difficulties can be faced collectively with a more positive mindset.
We’ve found that building an informal versatile mental health package for your workforce is a good way to encourage self-care as well as build support and resilience for uncertainty and change. These clinics offer some information giving, open discussion and ways to build relaxation, that can significantly reduce stigma in the workplace. By offering a cycle of 3, 6 or 12 pop up clinics you are more likely to get staff involved in discussions and support each other around mental health. If you designate the time at periods when people are more likely to attend and advertise the availability then you are encouraging engagement to make a difference in how staff view support.
What to do next?
Why not contact us to find out how we can provide support for stress management and mental health awareness that can be tailored to your company or individual needs.
+44 (0) 7510 223561
We offer a free consultation online. We are keen to share our knowledge and experience to help you manage staff wellbeing. We are not a large generic company, we provide more personal effective outcomes based on our clinical expertise in the mental health field.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Contact us for a brochure and to book a free consultation appointment.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Kim and Carrie
+44 (0) 7510 223561 – +44(0) 07549 857216
Covering London & the South East in Person and UK & Europe via Online Services
We cover businesses and organisations across London & the South East. Individual therapy online or face to face all while still providing support for our front-line services working as NHS Mental Health Professionals & the chosen provider for South East Coast Ambulance Service ( SECAMB )
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