Thursday, September 21, 2023

How leadership can tackle the big layoff

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

dr. Fanike-Kiara Olugbala YoungDBH, LCSW is an Integrated Wellness Program Designer and Wholistic Wellness Therapeutic Coach.

It’s no secret that the Great Resignation has affected every one of our professional sectors in one way or another. According to the American Chamber of Commerce (2022), more than 47 million workers left their jobs in 2021. But with the wave of layoffs on a professional level, the impact was also felt on a personal level. Due to a labor shortage, many of us were given tasks not normally assigned to us, working hours were extended and work expectations changed.

The problem is, we didn’t have enough time to adapt to the already overwhelming conditions set in motion by the pandemic at the outset. The home environment became the office, spouses became assistants, and in many cases, the work-life balance was lost. Once the Great Surrender began, the existing difficulty in setting time limits only got worse. Minor stress turned into long-term major stress, leading to inevitable burnout.

Prior to the pandemic, the work environment was a place to focus for many and was separate from the expectations of personal life. Working from home presented its own challenges. Some of us had kids attending our Zoom meetings or family sitting on the corner of the kitchen table we’d identified as our home office, and we found it hard to stop working on a project even after spending the allotted hours. had completed for the day. So while many had come to enjoy the comforts of working from home, there were many who welcomed the idea of ​​returning to the office.

Now that we’ve continued, resumed or discovered the job prospects that will carry us in the years to come, it’s time to decide what to do to address the changes and transitions we’ve all experienced over the past two years. Leadership in companies and organizations, from board members to executives to managers, must be proactive to prevent future burnout while also addressing the current stress that so many of us experience. The previous approaches can no longer meet the current needs of the workforce as we have all experienced trauma and are no longer the same individuals we were before the pandemic.

Creating a wellness culture can tackle burnout and show employees that they are valued through leadership. Here are a few tips when considering how to approach wellness in the workplace:

1. All team members must have a specified time to check in with their supervisor.

This can be daily or weekly; however, it should not go beyond weekly. Our lives are currently changing at an incredibly fast pace. The loss rate due to deaths, domestic problems and financial difficulties is unprecedented. According to the World Health Organization (2022), worldwide excess mortality associated with COVID-19 was 14.91 million in the 24 months between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021, representing 9.49 million more deaths than those worldwide as directly attributable to COVID-19. Checking in with each other can build connections and send the message to employees that they are more than a number or their role at work.

2. Do not avoid discussing mental health status and needs at work.

Our mental health is part of our holistic makeup, so it shouldn’t be ignored. By providing others with an acceptable space to share how they feel in general, your employees know that you accept that they are people and that you are too. The time of just going to work and getting the job done no longer fits in these times. Using the first 10 to 15 minutes of meetings to give everyone time to share how they are doing is a very practical exercise. This creates awareness about the barriers that employees face on a daily basis.

3. Normalize taking mental health days when you need to.

We have all experienced feeling overwhelmed and just needing a break. With an increase in remote working and the use of a hybrid model, help in recognizing the need to distance themselves from work would be helpful. The World Health Organisation reported that in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by as much as 25%. Having policies and procedures in place around taking mental health days would encourage employees to take the time to care for their mental well-being rather than persevere if they are not up to the challenge.

4. Encourage emotional intelligence in leaders.

Leaders must use emotional intelligence to improve communication, operate from a place of empathy, become self-aware of their own emotions, and express their emotions in ways that are effective yet understanding. Unfortunately, organizational leaders are not exempt from experiencing the effects of the pandemic. However, the way stress is handled should be modeled by the leadership team. If leaders are open to expressing their emotions, employees will feel comfortable there too. If leaders continue to hide their experiences, employees will do the same. Having an emotional open door policy is beneficial for all involved.

Retaining employees requires more than just a position and a salary. Employees need to know that they are cared for and valued as people. Encouraging the idea of ​​taking care of yourself is an essential step in reducing overwhelm while strengthening an organization’s culture. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

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