Everyone’s had a lot to deal with over the last year. Some of your employees will have needed support; others will have coped reasonably well.A few may even have thrived on change. But changes in the workplace still continue at pace.
On 13th July, we are hosting a webinar with Olympian Anna Hemmings on ‘The Resilient Leader’s Toolkit’ – more details are at the bottom of this article. In advance of that, here are three ways you can support the wellbeing of your employees, help them avoid change fatigue and build resilience:
1. Be available and show empathy.
In the midst of change and immediately after its impact, don’t disappear. You’ll have your own reaction as a leader, but it’s important that you don’t bury yourself in work. Even if you feel you’re available to your team as much as before the change, HR leaders need to be even more visible – particularly when we might not all be back in offices. Provide as much one-to-one time as you can to your team to ease any fears. If there’s more change planned, don’t lie, but be present and empathetic. Make the effort to really listen to your team members and try to understand what they are experiencing from their perspective.
2. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Even if you think your organisation has communicated the change sufficiently well, plan to communicate more – especially with remote employees. People want to understand why the change has happened, what’s happening when and what the plan is for moving forward. Let people know that they are valued and how they can contribute to the new future. Be aware of which managers might need training or support on the messaging regarding the change. Encourage them to meet with their team members individually to surface any concerns people don’t feel comfortable raising on a Zoom call or in a team meeting.
Communication of change isn’t a one-time thing. Remind managers to communicate updates regularly and be as transparent as possible regarding what’s happening. If there are no updates, just a message to say ‘no further updates at this time’ puts people’s minds at rest; instead of worrying about what’s going on and why they aren’t hearing anything.
Communication, transparency and availability will go a long way to helping people build greater resilience and maintain productivity and job satisfaction – but there’s a third thing you can do to take it further.
3. Build trust.
In the midst of change, there are a lot of variables and moving parts. But there are some things that you can do to build trust with your team despite the uncertainty: do what you say you’re going to do, be accountable and show your team through example that you can be resilient through major change.
You can also build trust through strengthening relationships. Be sure to take care of your team members as individuals, not just as a source of work outputs. Ask questions to show you care – about what they’ve got going on outside work, what they’re looking forward to, how they feel their physical and mental health is, and if they need any time or support to address any family matters. Caring about workers as actual people goes a long way to cultivating trust that builds resiliency. People feel stronger when they know someone’s got their back.
Show people you trust them by giving them the autonomy to work out how they can help achieve the big picture goals of the new vision and let them feel in control.
Resiliency can ebb and flow in all of us. Having a toolkit to dip into can help when your resilience takes a dip and you need to bolster it a bit. Join us for a webinar on ‘The Resilient Leader’s Toolkit’ with Olympian and World Champion marathon kayaker, Anna Hemmings on 13th July.
In advance of the webinar, Anna is offering participants a free resilience assessment to identify how they can develop the tools to build their own resilience during times of change and support their employees. You can register here.
You can also find more advice on how to manage change, transition and resilience on our blog.