What companies can do to support their exhausted people

What companies can do to support their exhausted people
July 29, 2021 Linda Murray

Last month I shared some statistics with you around stress and our futures at work. It’s clear that people are struggling, especially during the extra pressure of COVID and lockdowns. They are struggling to the point of quitting their jobs.

What can companies do to keep these experienced and talented people?

With many of us feeling tired, overworked, and reaching the point of burnout, I’ve noticed a trend lately. Organisations are offering added leave and RDO’s in an effort to support their people to develop more work/life balance and boost job satisfaction.

Do we want time off?

It made me wonder how effective that would be. After all, we don’t have enough holiday leave to survive the long pandemic, so could this work as an alternative? I decided to find out, so I posed the question on LinkedIn.

If your company gave you more vacation days to avoid burnout and stress, would you take them?”

The results surprised me. At the time of writing, there were 92 votes cast. 89% said yes and only 11% were against the idea. I’m heartened to see so many people willing to take care of their needs and I hope they would put the time to good use – self-care rather than playing catch-up on housework etc!

But what about the 11%? How can organisations help them cope with the exhaustion they feel?

And how can they help their entire workforce while they work? Remember, many people are working from home now, too.

Techniques companies can use to help their people cope.

Encourage regular breaks during the day

This is something we can all do no matter where we’re working. Set an alarm on your phone, schedule 5-minute breaks across the office, or introduce your teams to the Pomodoro technique to ensure they have a break instead of being stuck at the desk.

Create a lunch space so people stop eating at their desks

They can gather to eat and chat together or even go for a walk to clear their heads. It’s the act of leaving the desk which eases the load on the brain.

Reduce the urgency of work

There will always be a deadline to meet, but careful planning and delegation will allow for longer lead times for projects and tasks. It’s not often a truly urgent piece of work that pops up, so give yourself and your teams a breather.

Prioritise your work

The pandemic has changed the way we view what’s important and what isn’t. If your people are struggling, prioritise the work. Decide which tasks or projects will have the most impact or benefit now and in the future. Work on those because they matter.

Know your people – DISC Profiling: 

DISC is a personal profiling tool that helps people to understand themselves and improve self-awareness. It gives insight into what drives individuals and how they prefer to communicate. It reveals their behaviour patterns and uncovers ideas for self-care, according to the DISC style. When you (and your people) understand what drives them, you can work together to manage it. For example, people who have a high score in dominance can learn to occasionally step back and let go, instead of pressuring themselves to constantly achieve.

Knowing what informs personality gives you a key to effective communication. It helps build better relationships and that’s what caring is about.

Companies hoping to support their people during this pressurised time need to investigate how they currently support and promote self-care. If your company does very little, don’t feel too bad. It’s a concept that has become incredibly important, incredibly quickly!

Your people need to rest and recharge if they are to work at their best for you. Now is the time to do a mental flip on our expectations and start delivering support.

Need help to work things through? 

Try using some of the profiling tools available via my website, including DISC. If you find you need more help, give me a call and I’ll help you to help you and your people through.

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