Keep Your Most Competitive Advantage Healthy
There’s much in the design in nature that parallels with how we humans are designed. In vegetation, emerging signs of droop or brown leaves signal a lack of water, sun, or nutrients. This is the time to intervene. The important thing is to pay attention to those early signals and add the necessaries whether it’s a little water, fertilizer, or a move to a sunnier spot. The timely intervention will soon revive - back to green and healthy.
Similarities can be drawn with the people on your teams. It’s essential for leaders to pay attention, walk around, observe, ask questions. When the heat is on and everyone’s running at full steam, it’s crucial that you as a leader are in the middle of the action seeing who is handling it and who is getting stressed. Show up, and show care. Seek and be open to feedback: What’s working and what isn’t? How can I create an opportunity for that person to revive? Give your team members the space and freedom to be open and share thoughts and concerns. And then listen.
Then what? Humans are not meant to run at high RPMs for extended periods of time. We will crash and burn as stress can manifest itself in health consequences if not released. We all lose our balance once in a while. Help people, yourself as a busy leader included, get back to balance. Offer suggestions, strategize on how to take some of the pressure off whether it’s a workload redistribution, additional resources, or a time factor adjustment. At Achilles Group, we talk about getting “blue sky”. It’s our way of encouraging our team members to recharge, reduce stress, and boost happiness whether it’s a restful break, connecting with nature, exercise, a hobby, people connection, or something else they enjoy. These are the nutrients needed to get back to a green and productive state.
The concept of feedback previously discussed in our HR Insight article: Feedback Is A Gift, is echoed here as well. A positive work environment is created when leaders seek feedback; your people feel cared about and listened to. And this is not only beneficial for your employees, but also for your business to thrive and expand.
After all, your biggest asset and differentiator is your people.
Here’s a recap of steps, as a business leader, you can do to keep you most competitive advantage, your people, healthy:
Eyes and Ears Open: As a leader, be mindful about checking on your teams, and ensure that your team leaders down to the supervisory level are trained and committed to watching for common signs and symptoms of stress and know how to respond.
Culture: Foster a work environment that encourages feedback. Encourage open and honest communication and create a culture that supports self-care and work-life balance. Encourage managers to be approachable and empathetic and to provide opportunities for tailored solutions to a stressed situation that are wins for the employee, team, and business.
Lead by Example: Lead by example and show your employees that taking care of yourself is essential and valued. Share how you get your “blue sky.”
Recognize and Reward Achievements: Recognize and reward your team's achievements regularly. Celebrate milestones, acknowledge hard work, and provide opportunities for growth and development. Let your employees know they are valued.
Learning and Development: Offer training and development programs that help employees build their skills and knowledge. This can help employees feel more confident and engaged in their work, which can reduce stress.
In summary, set your intent to be observant of your teams, train your leaders, and take action when stress is recognized to promote a positive and productive work culture. With today’s tight labor market, keeping your competitive edge as an employer is vital.
And, as a leader with many responsibilities who can easily be consumed by work, it’s important to remember that getting your “blue sky” is key for your health, productivity, and mental sharpness.
At Achilles Group, we are the guides to help you get to a healthy and productive team culture through effective communications, policy, process, and leadership development. We give HR a new name through a professionally human approach.
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