It is no major revelation that the past year has shown its fair share of turbulence in the workplace. Whether it was transitioning to remote work or navigating a lack of staff due to mandatory quarantines, every organization has undergone an unusual amount of stress in a short amount of time.
As we transition to the “new normal,” employers are feeling the repercussions of this stress. Employees have moved to take advantage of the ability to work remotely, veteran employees are turning in their notice as they have recognized new priorities during this time and across the board, employees are demanding more support from the workplace than ever before.
At Tribe, we talk a lot about the shift in the employee mindset as a result of the pandemic. More recently, we’ve begun looking at ways to help companies as they prepare to make the transition back to the office. We believe if you can align employees with your mission, vision and values, organizational growth becomes significantly easier to achieve.
Now is the time for employers to focus on building resilience within their organization.
The American Psychological Association defines resilience as, “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors.”
Studies show that individuals who are highly resilient not only bounce back from change but use it as a springboard for personal growth and development. Can you imagine if your team came back from a stressful situation better and more equipped to adapt to change than ever? That’s the power of resiliency.
Here are five ways you can use internal communications to cultivate resiliency on your team:
Emphasize employee health
Prioritizing mental and physical health is fundamental to the practice of developing resiliency. Make sure you are regularly communicating the wellness aspects included in any company benefits packages or consider investing in a wellness program that includes mental health or provides mental health perks such as meditation classes or mindfulness training.
Increase workplace flexibility
At Tribe, we continue to talk about how flexibility in the work place is the new benefit. It is also key to increasing resiliency in your employees.
Workplace flexibility gives employees a sense of autonomy over their lives, and research shows that feeling in control of our lives leads to less stress overall. Employees who feel they are able to control their lives and the stressors of their day to day are increasingly able to be resilient when changes occur.
Offering employees the opportunity to choose where they work from (i.e. an office, home or on the road) is one way to offer employees a flexible workplace plan. If you find the organization requires certain job functions to be in the office to maximize productivity, consider offering a hybrid schedule; many organizations have found success with working three days in the office and two days from home.
Find ways to add play to the workday
One key way to lower stress in the work place and increase resiliency is by adding a little fun to the workday. Engage employees at home by hosting virtual events. Consider sending curated packages to employees as a way of creating a shared experience despite being in different spaces. For example, take virtual happy hour to the next level by sending out kits with all the supplies needed to craft a custom cocktail or assign teams for a game of Zoom trivia by sending out monochromatic costume pieces for employees to rock via webcam.
In-person play might look like hiring a food truck to park outside the office at lunch or setting up drinks and snacks in the office kitchen for an after-hours happy hour.
However, “play” doesn’t have to be big office outings or team-building exercises. At Tribe, our team does the New York Times news quiz every week (which, let’s face it, is very on brand for us). Team members are encouraged to post their results on the intranet, and we enjoy competing to see who can get the highest score each week. It provides for some friendly competition and reinforces to the staff that taking time for yourself to have a little fun is never frowned upon.
Make resiliency-centric language a brand standard
The words we use directly influence our actions. Consider adapting the language in your company values or employer brand to support resilient actions. Putting resiliency at the core of the way your company operates on a day-to-day level is a fantastic way to ensure you are working to develop resilient employees, even when the effort is not conscious or top-of-mind.
The language of resiliency is positive, personal, and optimistic. It places emphasis on the long-term positive and takes ownership of the good as happening directly to the individual, not happening around them. In other words, focus on the good and roll quickly through the bad.
Using resiliency-centric language looks like framing threats as challenges to be overcome, focusing on the possibility for growth and the tools at your organization’s disposal, and viewing your team as capable of overcoming adversity rather than on the aspects that might be considered impediments to success.
Positive feedback goes a long way to encourage a culture of resiliency. Shout-outs in a town hall or company newsletter, a Teams channel dedicated solely to celebrating wins, or giving out a weekly reward for benchmarks achieved are all great ways to build resiliency among employees.
Want to make resiliency-centric language part of your employer brand? Tribe can help.