Being proactive in ensuring the wellbeing of your workforce is vital in any efforts to reduce absenteeism and/or increase productivity.
For many employers once they’ve recruited & trained their workforce they assume (often wrongly) that all is well, and the staff they have employed can cope, and because they have been employed they are deemed to be the right candidate for the job.
However, one thing is certain.
Most of us fail to remember that we are all only human and as such we were born to be perfectly imperfect!
Employers often struggle to balance their own career & personal commitments let alone those of their business & sadly in trying to do so forget completely that their employees also have almost the exact same struggles. The difference being that as employees they are answerable to you not themselves for an average of 8 hours in any one working day which can add immensely to their overall stress overload when it occurs.
As individuals, we should and must take responsibility for our life and the way we live it but in the context of a working environment the more successful companies in terms of having happier, less stressed & more productive employees are the ones who take time for and make the effort to adopt a whole person holistic approach to the wellbeing of their workforce.
Initially that may mean a significant investment in terms of time and financial outlay but the overall beneficial improvement with regards to reduced absenteeism & increased productivity are potentially immense.
Think about it for a minute when employees are happy, fulfilled AND feel valued by their employer because they know they are not just a number on a payroll but someone who is important as an individual they are much more likely to turn up, on time, focused and ready to give their undivided attention to what’s required of them in the day ahead.
As employers, it’s important to remember this and as such take the time to make sure your employees know that you really do understand that…
Life Can Be Overwhelming!
Overwhelm becomes problematical when we realize we don’t have the time to do the things we need or are expected to do and before we know it we’re gripped by the ‘not enough hours in a day syndrome’ often accompanied by full blown anxiety bordering on panic as we strive to fulfil our obligations on time & particularly in the workplace. As a caring employer, your employees need to know that not only do you understand this but that you can & will do whatever you can to help them when they may need you to.
Everyone’s different but most of us reach the point of negatively based overwhelm when life appears to unfold haphazardly around us as we struggle to successfully balance children, finances and careers etc. but don’t have the time, the energy or the strategies needed to bring order to the chaos and strike a balance.
If someone who works for you is starting to exhibit tell-tale signs of this then action on your part should be immediate, non-threatening & caring because if an employee has reached this point then it’s time for not only them but you to help them take stock & reassess not how but why this is happening & how you can work together toward redressing the balance. From a human perspective, you the employer should reinforce that you understand that the amount of available time any of us have in a day is finite and as such how much they and you as their employer can realistically expect them to accomplish during its course.
By introducing the ‘human’ element and using generic personal examples ‘Look I remember when…?? (you fill in the blanks) then building on them by identifying & empathising with their individual workplace stressors you’re not only opening yourself up as being ‘human’ but one who because of their own experience can & will be able to work with them to resolve their issues.
It’s vital that employees understand that employers also have these same challenges daily and can not only empathize but value them enough to define how best to work with them to resolve any issues. From a whole business perspective implementing whole staff training initiatives as opposed to singling out individuals is usually preferable bearing in mind that if stress etc is an issue for one employee there may well be others who are struggling on unnoticed. That said it’s prudent to remember that each case should be managed on its own merits as situations of this nature are rarely a one size fits all scenario.
Always look at the bigger picture before committing to something and remember sometimes the problem can be as simple as someone feeling proud of the fact that they can always be relied upon to say yes when no would be the most sensible and appropriate answer thus enabling the slippery slope to overwhelm to become self-perpetuating and as such you should be taking your share of the responsibility in that and quickly apply the brakes.
From a practical point of view, it’s vital to acknowledge the absolute fact that the currency of time just like every other commodity is limited. Whilst we will all experience widely differing overall lengths of time here on planet earth, on a day to day basis we are all afforded the exact same amount and put steps in place to achieve the best results for all concerned.
In any one day, we all have – 24 hours. 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds to be precise!
Having taken this small yet massively important reality check what next? As their employer make use of regular informal ‘touch base’ type meetings & positively encourage employees to:
- Prioritize their time every day, preferably in advance. This will naturally lead to the addressing of organisational skills or lack thereof but it’s truly amazing what can be done when we set our minds to it, after all there’s a reason it’s called a mind-set.
- Set themselves up for success by planning for sure but remembering to cut themselves some slack and be realistic in doing so
- Learn to be strict not only with themselves but others by subdividing any plan into life specific areas’ work, household, family & personal and let them know that you understand they have other demands on their time outside of work
- Take each area individually and prioritize its list whilst at the same time removing from it anything which can reasonably be done later then cross reference any task which applies to more than one area & place it in its area of most importance then…
- Form one new list and prioritize in order of importance the necessary things to be done within the available time
With a reduced ‘to do’ list to use as a guideline everything will appear more achievable and thus the perceived burden of pressure will appear significantly lessened if not entirely removed.
Having taken steps to create manageable scheduling, acknowledge & accept that you and indeed they should always expect unexpected occurrences. By showing in advance you understand that for reasons beyond their control employees may well reach the end of their day with things left undone and that’s ok on occasion, you are signalling the need to start afresh the following day with renewed focus and determination to ‘get the job done’ thus satisfying the needs of both employees & business alike.
Proactively enabling todays workforce to deal with work related stressors before they become overwhelming is not only cost effective in the business sense, it’s just one strategy more & more employers are coming to understand as not only being useful but necessary as part of the ever-increasing practice of a whole person holistic approach for employees and is indeed vital to any employer want to avoid having to consistently utilise the ‘rinse & repeat’ strategy of having to continually recruit & train staff only for them to crash & burn because they perceive themselves to be undervalued & overworked.
Sue Curr – Fear LESS & LIVE More
Copywrite @2017 Sue Curr
Empowerment Coach & Speaker
Sue Curr is an Empowerment Coach & Speaker as well as being the Author of the upcoming book ‘Fearless, Fierce & Fabulous’ – 10 Steps to Having Increased Confidence a Positive Self-Image & a Soaring Self-Esteem.
Mobile: 07802 544805