Building Workplace Resilience and Productivity After Coronavirus

03rd September 2020

The modern workplace can be a demanding environment. Long hours, short deadlines, staff rivalry and heavy workloads are all stressors we find frequently pushed onto employees, with the success of the company relying on their ability to cope. This year, organisations and their staff have faced the additional struggle of a global pandemic, which has not only disrupted home and family life but also forced many to adapt to a new way of working. Without the resilience of both the staff and the company combined, the turbulence of today’s times can cause even previously thriving companies to crash. Your team must be adaptable and resilient when it comes to their job.

What is workplace resilience?

Being able to ‘bounce back’ when encountering challenges is the key to productivity and success, in all aspects of life. In the workplace, this means that operations stay strong no matter what is thrown at them, through the combined effort of the business and its employees. The good news is resilience is a skill, and with the right planning, encouragement and environment, skills can be learned. If you would like to learn how to build workplace resilience in the workplace after Coronavirus, carry on reading and we will explain how…

What are the main threats to resilience?

Stressors in the workplace can cause some staff to crumble under the weight. Noone is invincible, we all have a breaking point. So, the first place to start with increasing resilience in the workplace is to tackle the main challenges and negative situations which could be occurring following the lockdown. This includes:

  • Lack of support
  • Organisational restructuring
  • Lack of encouragement and appreciation
  • Unsecure roles or positions
  • Excessive workload
  • Need for retraining
  • Lack of autonomy
  • Bullying or employee hostility
  • High unrealistic expectations

Steps to boosting resilience in the workplace

1. Promote a healthy psychological work culture

Once you understand the main threats to resilience, you will see that it is not only the ability of the employee to bounce back, but the will of the employee. During the lockdown, many employees were put on the Government’s furlough scheme, which meant many had a lot of time off work. Coming back, if the individual feels that the company does not support them in their return, they are less likely to support the company. A way to show your support to your staff is to promote a healthy and happy workplace environment in the following ways:

  • Train managers and team leaders on staff mental and physical wellbeing – (there may have been some drastic changes happen in staff lives including the loss of loved ones, money issues and social isolation triggering mental illness.)
  • Offer fair treatment of all staff members
  • Be considerate to situations
  • Encourage an open and trusting management style
  • Make sure staff are fully trained and retrained
  • Provide job security
  • Lighten workloads if people are struggling
  • Allow flexibility
  • Keep roles varied and interesting
  • Offer emotional support or help with stress
  • Reward and show appreciation for hard work and impressive work

2. Encourage healthy living in and out of the workplace

It is a known fact that physical health is an important contributor to the state of our mental health. Many people however do not use the benefits of this and fall into bad habits and patterns that can lead them on a downward spiral. Happy and healthy staff can boost productivity in endless amounts, so by encouraging them to live a more healthy lifestyle you can both reap the benefits. This will make your workforce more ready to face challenges, create new ideas and adapt easily to new experiences.

Why not set up a free snack bar for your staff, offering fruit and healthy foods they can tuck into when they’re working? Science has proven that eating healthy food like bananas can actually boost brain power and help people with both cognitive ability and creativity. Other ideas include promoting a bike to work scheme, providing your staff with gym memberships or changing the drinking culture – especially if you’re regularly meeting at the pub after work.

3. Inspire open communication and relationships

Humans crave positive social interaction, it’s how we grow, develop and learn. Without meaningful friendships and good social relationships, staff will find it difficult to return to work each day and work to their full potential. Positivity in the workplace means people are likely to enjoy coming back to work, and therefore work harder once they get there. A good way to do this is to encourage teamwork and plan social events/team building activities – socially distanced, of course. However, the most important trait for managers to possess when it comes to inspiring open communication is to be sympathetic, encouraging and considerate. Some people’s worlds have been completely flipped upside down and coming back to work is a little easier if they feel supported there.

4. Provide specialist support

When it comes to mental and physical health, it isn’t always easy to identify, manage and support internally, because not everyone is ready to speak about their situation. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to offer support through a more professional entity, such as an occupational health service provider. An occupational health and wellbeing program can assess the physical, emotional, social and intellectual health of employees following the Coronavirus and formulate ways to control and handle those risks, before they begin to seriously affect work performance and ability to handle workplace challenges.

We offer support and guidance for your workforce to create a happy, honest and productive environment, Coronavirus or no Coronavirus. If you would like to know more about our services, please contact our team who will be happy to discuss your requirements.

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