In 2018, the UK Mental Health Foundation reported that 74% of people felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. Fast forward to the current COVID-19 pandemic and it’s easy to assume this figure will now reach an unprecedented high, resulting in important challenges around mental health, productivity and national wellbeing. Anxiety and stress are arguably the earliest indicators of poor mental health in our society and we are living in extraordinary times where people will inevitably fall into a spiral of both stress and anxiety. Economically, prior to COVID-19, 12.8 million working days were lost every year, and mental health services were already bursting at the seams.
How can Government and workplace organisations build resilience during and after COVID-19?
There are two important challenges that will require focus both during and after COVID-19:
- Effective mental, emotional and social support for the workforce, clients and the people in their care
- Ensuring people have the skills to maintain relationships, accurate decision-making and self-leadership.
This is not the time to implement routine tick box exercises or fall back on existing support
With the pressure of COVID-19, it’s going to be far too easy for decision-makers to fall back on existing leadership training and wellbeing interventions. However, together with BREXIT, we are now living in extraordinary times in which old ways of doing things simply won’t be enough.
We’ve highlighted some key concerns and how skill-based resilience training directly addresses them:
Productivity – According to the Office of National Statistics, productivity of British workers fell at the fastest pace for five year in the second quarter of 2019. Add the uncertainty of COVID-19 into the mix and maintaining a resilient, engaged and productive workforce should be a key strategic focus throughout the next 12 months and beyond.
Our resilience training generated a:
- 7% increase in productivity across 800+ people within a FTSE 100 bank
- Financial saving in year 1 of £500k and a 10% overachievement of targets in an NHS Health and Social Care Service.
Mental health – According to the CIPD, only 32% of organisations train line manages to support their team with poor mental health and the UK Mental Health Foundation, report stress and anxiety as one of the greatest challenges of our time.
Our resilience training resulted in a common language and set of skills that produced a:
- 66% decrease in stress in senior Emergency Services professionals.
- 47% increase in resilience levels across a division of 100 Mental Health and Social Care professionals.
- 45% reduction in anxiety across 800+ people within a FTSE 100 bank and ‘Gold’ status in the Mind 2017/2018 Workplace Wellbeing Index.
Retaining talent – What’s the average turnover within your organisation?
Our resilience training resulted in a:
- 33% decrease in attrition across 800+ people within a FTSE 100 bank
Leadership capability – According to the 2019 CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work report, poor management styles and poor relationships at work are the top causes of stress related illness.
Our resilience training resulted in:
- 98% of leaders saw a direct link between our resilience skills and creating a great culture. 79% reported the programme improved communication. 92% also agreed they now had a better understanding of how and why people disengage and have the skills to deal with it. Those same leaders also reported an average 8% increase in their productivity. (FTSE 100 bank).
- 100% of senior Emergency Services professionals reported an increased ability to think accurately in challenging times and recommend the programme to others.
Now is a great time to develop a resilience strategy within your organisation
The acute physical, and mental, emotional and social behaviours inevitably highlighted by COVID-19, enables leaders to ‘deep dive’ and assess workplace culture, leadership effectiveness and employee resilience.
Analyse the current reality
As a leader, manager or HR Professional take the time to reflect on:
- How confident are you that your people are engaged and mentally healthy?
- How confident are you that your people have the skills to manage their own mental health and resilience?
- Do they know how to grow and adapt during times of change?
- Do they know how to avoid burnout?
- What are the costs of not having the skills?
- What could a more resilient culture create or mean to your organisation?
Now part of me wants to apologise for what is arguably a blatant advertisement for our programmes. In the interest of creating a level playing field in which you may wish to research other resilience providers, here are some helpful points that will ensure you get the best out of your resilience training:
- Look for a provider that is able to offer evidence-based programmes that give people the knowledge and the skills to enable them to adapt and change their thinking, behaviour and habits to better manage stress, mental health and accurate decision-making. Take heed: ½ day workshops don’t work!
- Are their programmes skill-based? Most programmes fail because they don’t keep it real. They create an environment in the training room and then expect that learning to easily transfer to real life.
- Avoid the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Will the provider appear credible in front of your CEO and people? Does the provider have experience of operating in high performance cultures at a senior level?
- Do they offer the opportunity for both face-to-face and online learning to fit with the operational challenges of your organisation?
Our challenge to you
If this article resonates with you and you’d like to learn more about how we can support you and your organisation during COVID-19 and beyond, give us a shout as we love talking resilience!