• Simon Phillips

Make a change to your behaviour

The quest to save on the bottom line at any cost can often result in a false economy for many companies when compared to the productivity that a motivated workforce can produce.

Not before time, the philosophy towards an employee’s welfare seems to be gaining traction as larger organisations are, once again, beginning to recognise the benefits of investing in training and development in an effort to improve productivity and loyalty.

After all, many hours are spent at work and if an employee is not motivated and has a low morale, how can an organisation expect to get 100% return from their efforts.

All employers have a duty of care for the wellbeing of their employees, irrespective of what position is held, and it’s a fact that being overwhelmed through workload will lead to lower productivity and mistakes being made. AND YES….. mistakes usually end up costing time and money which in itself, is totally counterproductive.

The need to work hard and be on the go, even when not in the office, is an increasing factor in today’s fast-paced world of business, but “Burn Out” eventually catches up with many and is more common today than ever before, followed up by absenteeism, some of which can be prolonged.

Even then, for many, the guilt trip of being off work through illness kicks in and out comes the lap top....”Still no rest and recuperation then”!!

Holidays should be a release and something to look forward to as the busy year trundles along. A time to relax and recharge but hey…. here we go again…..”Have mobile will Travel”. This ever constant need to be in touch, for fear of someone else interfering back at the workplace or you getting behind with work is less than relaxing with a brain that’s constantly working overtime.

Another culprit to us feeling anxious is sleep deprivation. As a good quality rest during those “supposedly” restful hours is essential for recharging our bodies and preparing for the next onslaught of priorities, deadlines and challenges, how many of us lie there planning the next day’s activities?

How about regular breaks……Do we take time out during the day for a “Bit of me Time”?

They say a quick power nap is great for combatting tiredness during the day but obviously this isn’t an option at work as nobody takes kindly to you sleeping on the job! That said, everyone’s entitled to breaks which we should manage in some form or another. – Find time to just “Take a Breather”!

We’re even hooked up to mobile phones during our commute to work. If not on public transport we are all contactable in the car and rarely do we refuse that “heads up” snippet of information prior to getting to work. After all, it’s part of being prepared for the unknown where we all strive to compete. “Power is knowledge”!

Many turn to alcohol as way to unwind after the adrenalin rush of the day and this of course may well be on the back of a rushed lunch grabbed on the hoof – probably a refrigerated claggy sandwich, a packet of crisps or just some fast junk food - not the healthiest of existence.

Equally detrimental is drinking copious amounts of coffee because that’s the cool thing to do and the quickest and most convenient drink available…….. “Yep, I’ll have a coffee, it’ll keep me awake and focussed”……....”Really…. focussed…… is that what a diuretic does”?

Hey… what about water, its free and comes from the tap! Hydration has a major positive effect on energy levels and brain function.

And another thing…….how about using the stairs instead of the lift! Being a little healthier is only going to help you feel better to handle the day ahead and, due to time pressures, is probably the only exercise you’ll get.

Punching above one’s weight can be very stressful and if your job role has changed due to a reorganisation this can be particularly hard as insecurity kicks whilst it takes time to become accustomed to the new challenges.

It’s also likely, that this new ground is totally different from what you are used to, which only heightens the stress factor as you learn the role in the job and still need to be impressive and look in control at the same time.

Often these challenges can be alien to what we are used to and serves only to accentuate all the bad habits mentioned earlier, as we aspire to fulfil our obligations in the new role.

We all feel overwhelmed at times and mental health issues have always been considered a weakness in the workplace. Employees rarely admit to feeling stressed for fear of being stigmatised as weak and incapable of performing in their job.

In theory, good employers/leaders shouldn’t allow this situation to arise but recognising that the “Real World” appears to throw out challenges and long hours it’s become inevitable. It’s for this reason we need to take control of how we handle these events and become more agile as an organisation, as leaders and individuals.

After all, it’s a “Quid Pro Quo”- When employees are happier and healthier, they work harder, return better results, and create a motivated atmosphere in the workplace. All very positive stuff for all concerned.

Taking control of the way we view work and striking the right balance between work and home life is essential, as our personal lives are also drivers of stress which can adversely affect a person’s demeanour.

Outside influencers that colleagues may not be aware of, such as; financial concerns, divorce, death in the family, getting married, having a child, buying a house, chronic illness… this list goes on…… but when added to work pressures it can become overwhelming.

This disease, called pride, commands no boundaries and applies to us all: “C” Suite directors, senior and middle managers along with ambitious employees with great potential given half the chance.

Building confidence is vital to becoming successful in anything we do and changing the way we behave at work and social life is essential in tackling today’s manic and unpredictable environment.

Most are traditionally resistant to changing their own behaviour and often stubborn to understand how they can make a difference to their own wellbeing by doing so.

A lack of confidence suggests they aren’t aware of their own impact and contribution to their role at work and by becoming a “Change Maker” within their organisation, are able to confront the challenges mentioned in this article and make change happen.

The case for change is critical to lead a healthier and happier life and at the Change Maker Group, we specialise in identifying who and how “Change Makers” in an organisation can positively contribute by playing to their strengths.

Contact Mark Hallam at mark@thechangemakergroup.com

#Stress #leadership #Resilience


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