You and your team have been working from home for more than a year now. The only time you really interact is during your team calls. You miss sharing lunch with them, sipping on your evening coffee together, and even team lunches. Those little pieces of random encounters seem like a big glue today. A glue that was seamlessly holding all of you’ll together. But the past year, completely upturned everything. 2020 felt like an eternity. We experienced so much, collectively as a society, and as individuals that our emotional health has taken the worst hit.
Some lost a loved one, a stable job, a source of income. For others, it was a loss of their college years, graduation, gatherings, or even a vacation. We all lost someone or something. We lost our normal. Surviving every day, in four closed walls, made us aware of so many things – we were grateful for food, our health, our family. But it also took away so much, our peace of mind, our sense of stability, and our normalcy. It was similar to living amidst a burning jungle, where we knew we are safe for the moment, but didn’t know by when the fire would catch up.
Today, we come face to face with two pandemics. The first is of COVID, and the second is the pandemic of loneliness, disconnection, and un-wellness. Recent surveys by the CDC show that in any given week, between 25-40 percent of us are struggling with anxiety or depression. The feeling of burnout is on a constant rise, and emotional drainage, apathy, and our capacity for compassion is fraying. For leaders, this state of unrest poses a bigger threat. Because the added responsibility to shoulder a team, pushes their bandwidth in ways that are unimaginable. There is so much on the plate and so little that they can chew, that the lines of right and wrong are blurred.
What does not kill you makes you stronger
As the captain of the ship, your job is not just to adjust the sails, but to own the winds. Remember, that you’re strong, resilient, and unbroken. If you are looking for a sign, then this is it. You have the opportunity to heal your teammates and yourself, with little steps. Try to look for ways that ensure the mental peace and emotional health of every person on board. It can be a random off day, a fun virtual meet, prioritising and analysing the task list for optimum efficiency, allowing everyone to maintain a work-life balance. Invest yourself, communicate, learn, listen, you’re all a team, you’ll all got each other.
These three ways will come in handy.
A good leader can acknowledge that what we’re going through is tough. They know how valuable employees are to the success of the company. A little token of gratitude, and recognising the challenges and sacrifices everyone is making, will make the employees feel seen and heard. Show your strength in vulnerability, let your team know about your journey, ask them theirs. This creates a canopy of safety for everyone to open up, have real conversations, and feel more connected to each other.
Companies just want to get things done, and typically, more rules are put into place when trust is low. This is where you can step in and enable an environment that is abundant in productivity as well as in trust and compassion. People feel less stressed when they have more flexibility and more control over their work environment. Trusting your employees and giving them more freedom will actually yield better results than you expect. It allows space for flexibility, better management, reduced stress, and far better emotional health.
In a recent employee satisfaction survey done by Glint, across many companies, they found that nearly 75 percent of employees wanted more from their company in terms of mental well-being. Rightfully so, in the current times, the need for mindfulness is more pronounced than ever. This is where the guided meditations on the ThinkRight.me App comes into the picture. Curated and perfected by experts, the soothing vocals will help you manage your stress better, churn negatives into positives, and help you lead a more fulfilled and calmer life.
If we get it right, together we can change work, and the world, from the inside out.
Read more: 10 Empowering Quotes To Start Your Day