This situation has been made even worse by pandemic, remote working, poor time management and the complete exhaustion and mental tiredness that has caused many people to burn out and fall apart.
Right now, burnout is at a peak, globally. The World Health Organisation (WHO) added it to its medical handbook and there are growing statistics around how remote working and longer hours have pushed people too far. People are tired, less effective at work, unable to complete basic tasks, and they’re unhappy.
This is the right time for the business to step in and make changes to employee wellness and support that will not just help people get through the next two months, but that will become part of the business structure for the foreseeable future.
There is plenty of research that points to how treating employees with respect, listening to their views, and creating non-toxic working environments can have a huge impact on productivity and retention. It also creates a culture of intrapreneurial growth where the people you hire are the people who help you achieve your business goals.
The reality is that the days of deliver and go are done. People are assets, not slaves to your grand master plan. Employees that are physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy will perform better than unhealthy people. It should be obvious but the business world has taken its time to catch up with the idea.
The hardcore of the 80s and 90s is being pushed aside in favour of personal and mental health because it was unsustainable and leads to multiple workplace issues that can be incredibly hard to resolve. Unhappiness, depression, toxic workplace behaviour – these lose you great talent. People want to feel valued and that they are part of something bigger.
Yes, you’re driven and determined and work every hour available. But this is your business and you’re driving the ship so don’t expect this of your employees unless they volunteer this level of commitment. Rather focus on treating people fairly, enabling open and transparent communication, and giving your employees a space in which to thrive.
This will promote a sense of self-worth that will reflect in how people engage with one another in the workplace and how they focus on their work. If your staff believe that they are of value to you and the company, the work they do will reflect that.
To create this culture, which won’t happen overnight, unpack what’s important to the founders, embed that culture into the values of the company, and drive this from as many aspects as possible. It needs your commitment and buy-in and absolute consistency, but if you live the walk and the talk, you will find that your people will follow.