I think we can all agree that the last few weeks have been unusually difficult and stressful. A recent Gallup study found that 81% of full-time employees feel that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted their lives “a great deal” or “a fair amount”. Gallup continues on to report, “The combined effects of frightening uncertainty about physical and financial health in the near future and the pressures of required self-isolation have led to record levels of stress and worry that far surpass those recorded in past years. Compared with 2019, reports of daily worry have increased from 37% to 60% among the full-time working population. Daily stress has increased from 48% to 65%.”
Are we doing enough to revitalize ourselves and help our employees cope during this difficult time?
Resilience is key. By resilience we mean “the acquired ability to regularly recover, adapt, and grow from stress”. It is time to help our employees gain these skills and use proven tools to not only manage stress but learn to embrace and grow from stress.
As leadership coaches, we understand that emotional resilience begins with a positive mindset. Neuroscience has proven that our thoughts (positive or negative) drive our stress response. Resilience requires intentional focus, mindfulness tools, and practice. It is akin to building a muscle.
For many years, we have coached CEOs and other executives in high-stress situations on how to build these skills and integrate them as a lifelong practice. Now, the entire world needs to know how to flex these underdeveloped muscles.
Don’t shy away from programs that seem more personal or ‘touchy-feely’. Consider adopting a program that teaches leaders, or better yet, all employees some basic tools for building emotional resilience and adopting a positive mindset.
More than ever before, we have been supporting our clients help employees improve to improve their emotional and social skills. The result of this work is our virtual Building Resilience program. One notable engagement we are particularly proud of is using this program with 34 front line COVID-19 response teams as they prepare for, respond to, and recover from the challenging job of caring for patients infected with the virus.
Our interactive three-part program is designed to help employees walk away with a practical plan of action for managing through a stressful time.
1) An understanding of resilience and its importance to health
2) Practical tools to apply to their work and personal life immediately
3) A personalized resilience action plan
Facilitated conversations in these sessions are guided by a well-established four-part model for building resilience based upon awareness, exposure, recovery, and mindset. As we unpack the model it provides participants with an awareness of emotional resilience and the value it serves, time to proactively practice reducing stress, and tips for recovering from stressful events and focusing on a healthy mindset they can adopt to sustain the practice.
I hope this message raises awareness that stress is not something we just have to endure. It can be managed. Its negative impact can be reduced. And when effectively managed, stronger individual, team, and organizational results will follow.
To learn more about our virtual Building Resilience program, click here. If you need support or have questions on this or anything, call us – we are here to help.