In every industry and every sector, I hear people complaining that they are overwhelmed because of staff and resource shortages. Everyone is being asked to do more with less. The result is increased burnout, turnover, and lower productivity. Even employees who are motivated, innovative, and collaborative can get trapped in survival mode. They may be hard to recognize because their energy and creativity have been drained.
Now more than ever, companies need to help their people manage their stress, build their resilience, and keep a positive edge. Finding easy and simple practices you can incorporate into a busy workplace can mean the difference between losing your best people and creating a positive performance culture.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all formula that works in every company or industry, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Start meetings by asking people to share something positive. If the meeting is small, have everyone participate with some nugget about what is going well in their group or project, or something they appreciate about their work or colleagues. Just a few people can speak if the meeting is large. Research shows that this simple step can greatly increase the effectiveness of the meeting and the group.
- Help people identify their strengths. There are great tools out there like Strengths Finder from Gallup or Character Strengths from the VIA Institute. Also, ask people what parts of their job they enjoy the most. Then be sure to actually discuss and use the information to adjust roles and responsibilities so people can put their best talents to work.
- Let people know that their ideas and input are valued. Create situations where staff members feel comfortable sharing their ideas with management. You could organize small group lunches involving staff members and one or two management leaders, or you could create open office hours and encourage employees to drop in to chat. It also helps to have leaders walk through the company at least one or two times per week and ask several people about their work.
- Create opportunities for employees to have fun together and get to know each other. Make sure there are fun spaces for employee breaks and lunches. Coordinate networking lunches with small groups from different departments. Support after-work activities that are chosen by employees. Feeling a sense of belonging and connection at work helps people to recharge and feel supported.
Every organization is unique, so it’s important to find what works for yours. It’s critical that leaders not just talk but actually take action and show people that they care.
*Want more ideas to help your organization?
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