Have you ever wondered how to get your employees to show up strong in a stressed-out world? Do you want to get more productivity, fewer mistakes, and more focus from your employees, when society seems to be teetering on chronic instability with a new stress every day?
One of the greatest ingredients for anyone to Show Up Strong is having mental resilience. It’s the ability to get blindsided by a crisis, feel the emotions, or even set them aside temporarily, then have the strength of mind to refocus on the tasks at hand.
When someone is under long periods of stress, that stress impacts the brain’s ability to be resilient and to make strategic decisions. Long term stress changes the brain.
The type of stress, mainly fears, have a tremendous impact on the brain’s ability to use the executive functions of the brain; which are areas used for critical thinking, decision making, emotional regulation, impulse control, and focus. The greater the stress, the less productive, accurate, and focused your employees will be.
Given our current social climate, being stressed and in fear for our safety and that of our families, is not easy to avoid. Given our current economic climate, fear for our financial future isn’t easy to ignore.
That’s all the more incentive to make your company culture and work environment feel as stable and safe as possible. So, how can you do that?
Leadership Stress Awareness
Yes, managers and leaders are stressed too, however, part of their role is being able to lead others in times of stress. These roles have more control over the work environment, whereas employees don’t. Fear includes feeling a lack of control over the situation and the environment. Those who have more control may feel less stressed and those without may have higher and more chronic stress and the symptoms that come with that higher level of stress.
Be aware of the mental states of employees and do what you can to calm their work environment.
Leadership Wisdom in Times of Instability and High Stress
Leadership will need to take extra steps to nurture their own resilience, while they set the tone for their employees. During these stressful social times, be aware of your own need to give yourself, your teams, and your business a little extra leeway in scheduling to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Notice if you’re having knee-jerk reactions and learn how to stop being a creature of habit in stressful circumstances.
Remember the old saying “if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. This is true for your employee’s home away from home in the office. If you’re stressed and unhappy, you’re more likely to snap at your team for every minor infraction, for everything that goes wrong and things that may be normal everyday occurrences.
It’s wise to take inventory of your own emotions and communication skills. The more you stress out your employees, the more mistakes will be made. The more chronic stress your employees are under, the more physically and mentally unhealthy they’ll be.
A Little Empathy Goes A Long Way
Use empathy and compassion with the stress everyone is going through. Your employees will appreciate your leadership more and get an extra vote of confidence in your leadership skills when they feel you care about the stress they’re going through.
Impart this knowledge and mindset with leadership across your entire company. This is the trickle-down that truly works.
Leadership’s job is to make sure employees have all the tools they need to get their jobs done as quickly and easily as possible. One of the best tools with the highest ROI is lowering stress in their environment.
When employees feel a sense of being in a stable work environment where someone’s got their back, it makes everyone’s life easier, including yours (and bonus that shows up in your P&L).
Caring about your employees does not mean coddling them. What it means is using emotional intelligence to gauge who’s slacking off and who’s under tremendous stress and to take action accordingly. It means using discernment.