The modern workplace is a challenging place. Fast-paced, complex with an environment of constant change that’s stressing us out. As a result, we have two options:
- To get a “get out of jail” card, choosing to leave and find an alternative working environment that doesn’t seek to exact its pound of flesh every day
- To suck it up by attending a Resilience Program or signing up for the Health and Wellbeing initiatives on offer. Perhaps you’ve been wondering if meditation or yoga might be helpful?
But the problem is, for many there is no Plan B. You need the job, to pay the bills, to keep a roof over your head and provide some financial security. Other positions might be few and far between and how will you know if their working environment is any better?
The other issue is while health and wellbeing programs have the best of intentions because it’s been well documented that healthy happy employees stay longer and are more productive, in many instances there’s no known ROI – because it isn’t being measured and the growing burden of economic pressure means there’s little cash on hand to run these programs effectively.
So, what if we’re focusing on the wrong thing?
It’s not that we need more resilience at work, which from a cynic’s perspective is seen as “let’s see how much more we can squeeze out of our people before they crack?”
If anything, it’s about creating sustainable resilience at work, which won’t be created by getting people to attend yoga classes, nice as they are.
Rather than pushing to get people to change (and we all know just how hard that is) why not seek to change the workplace environment, nurturing individual and collective output by providing greater flexibility of work hours, autonomy and asking “What would make the biggest difference to help you get more out of your day?”
Making a good workday great is about:
- Knowing it’s OK to leave on time to pick up your kids from school
- Feeling safe to seek clarification around the expectations for a new project you’ve been asked to join.
- Understanding how your contribution to your team is making a positive difference.
- Being encouraged to step up to learn something new that will enhance your career progression
- Spending time with great people who are open to sharing ideas, concerns and aren’t scared of taking a punt to try something new.
Feeling safe, supported and secure is all that’s required to boost your confidence and optimism. This automatically elevates your ability to handle those curveballs that arrive left of field, that would otherwise knock you sideways.
Because no matter how much better your balance is from practising yoga, it’s not enough on its own to create the growth-oriented mindset, sense of purpose and mastery that makes it a joy to come to work and make work better.
What have you found helpful to elevate your stress resilience at work?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.