Employee wellbeing | Workplace culture: keeping staff reassured during uncertain economic times

Workplace culture: keeping staff reassured during uncertain economic times
Promoted by Workplace culture: keeping staff reassured during uncertain economic times

Anxiety can understandably set in among your staff when times are looking economically threatening, and Brexit is painting a particularly sobering picture.

At the time of writing, the UK House of Commons has not approved the proposed exit deal with the EU, and firms remain unready for the prospect of the country leaving the bloc with no deal at all, says People Management.

"A no-deal would be an economic shock for this country," Bank of England governor Mark Carney has warned, but you can still reassure staff while the fate of Brexit remains up in the air.

Ease potential or emerging ruptures in staff relationships

Clinical psychologist Linda Craig has explained to Personnel Today: "Uncertainty is a huge precursor for mental illness", with various mental conditions "born out of a need to introduce control in a chaotic world." Brexit has delivered the double-whammy of proving both chaotic and divisive.

For this reason, it is important that staff strengthen their relationships with each other by collaborating and finding mutual ground, even if deep divisions in political views continue to linger.

Encourage workers to "feel the fear and do it anyway"

As he rose to the US Presidency amid an economic crisis, Franklin D. Roosevelt famously declared that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". He had more than a point, judging by the words of mental health writer Brené Brown, who says that succeeding entails being prepared to be scared.

It could therefore pay for you to instil this attitude in your workers. In words quoted by Psychologies, Brown concedes: "It feels dangerous to show up. But it's not as terrifying as thinking, at the end of our lives, ‘What if I had shown up? What would have been different?’"

Look on the bright side

Yes, it might be clichéd advice, but following it can work surprisingly well during economically confusing times. After all, spreading doom and gloom is easy, but rarely helpful.

You could encourage green shoots of positivity by asking staff to spend some of their working day sharing what perks them up. In sharing their answers, they can inspire their work colleagues.

Spur activity – both mental and physical

People can't always control their situation, but they can control themselves. You might have read that in a mental health book before, and it's very applicable when managing staff, who should be encouraged to keep stimulating their minds through learning and development.

In acting on that encouragement, your staff could help themselves to ward off depressive feelings. You could even arrange walking meetings; regular physical activity seems to be a reliable anxiety-buster.

Give your staff opportunities to make themselves more valuable

Another reason for your workers to relieve their stress by pursuing development opportunities, such as courses or training, is that they can increase their value as employees in the process. It may therefore be advisable for you to make a particular effort to place regular development opportunities in front of your staff.

Finally, you could also give your business an extra layer of financial security by taking out extra insurances; a broker like Be Wiser Business Insurance could help you to do so cost-effectively.

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