Looking after the Mental Health & Well-Being of Your Staff Working Remotely
Welcome to living legacy leadership where we explore discover and Sherry insides tools and strategies for life. Well lived into elder. I'm your host Donna. Kim Brand Author Speaker Legacy Strategy Coach and creator of the concept living legacy where you choose to live life on your own terms while contributing to people places and projects along your life journey. I believe that a life you live is the legacy you leave now. The guests I bring to each week. I'll address some unique aspect of learning leadership. Were legacy this house. You raise your own game as a leader in business in life and also showcases some extraordinary people who exemplify living legacy leadership at least once a month. I also offer training session to skill. You in game changer. Thinking for your own application so get your notebook ready or sharpen up your memory by tuning in your attention and we'll dive right in. Well Guess What folks today you get me. I'm actually going to be looking at the issue of Looking after the mental health and wellbeing of your staff many of whom are now working remotely so we have a situation where what ninety at least ninety percent of businesses have been deemed so-called non-essential Which simply means that? The staff does not is not required to be on premises working On a daily basis in this time of the corona virus Kobe nineteen pandemic and because of that office's businesses companies be they solo printers or a larger organizations with multiple staff members are having to very quickly readjust setup remote or virtual distance working Some of whom are thrown into the throes of technology of managing families also stuck at home at the same time. Be They small kids. Who might need homeschooling? Maybe it's a spouse Who also is working from home? Maybe it's elderly parents grandparents relatives neighbors Whatever it happens to be in this unusual time we have been thrown into a cauldron of unexpected on usual and non normal circumstances so in the best cases you create pressure and depending on all kinds of things And all kinds of factors from personal to structural to organizational factors people will handle this and manage cysts in a variety of different ways so look came from the point of view of. Let's say a leader in an organization. It doesn't have to be the company owner but anyone who has a leadership role in an organization where you look out for other people and by the way that includes yourself so you can be a solo printer in this applies to you just as much as it does or you with a number staff under your management or supervision. So you know when you go to remote learning because it's different in your thrown into it and you have to readjust to your tasks on top of the technology. There can be a tendency to micro manage which a lot of people who've been used to having freedom and autonomy in their job. We'll find quite Stifling and and yet sometimes even just to get past the technology curve or just the restructuring of the workload curve not to mention just dealing with everyone else you only deal with the vendors or customers or anyone else in the supply chain You might actually know your job well enough that you don't need to micromanage but you do. Because of shortfall in technology and then this can cause an internal conflict and relationship conflict. So just be careful of that and look out for that the opposite side of the coin however is a leader who takes an extremely laissez faire. Approach someone who? Who says you know you got this in a go? Go to it I want you to have a flexible schedule. Just make sure you deliver your work on time or work with your team or whatever and they're pretty hands off and a lot of people love this. I'm one of those people but on the other hand At the same time we often need guidance and structure just to make sure that we're working on the same priorities as leadership and the organization so finding that balance between micromanaging and they say fair Is a really key point. Just for starters now In terms of your people you want to have a sense for each of your staff members. What's going on in the background of their life. Like I said the beginning. Some people are are stuffed in very small quarters or inappropriate quarters for remote working and there's all kinds of other people in activities going on all around them some of which are making demands on their time at the same time that They're working like children at home or spouses at home. Significant others at home elders parents at home or or even sick people at own that need tending and care so it really helps in in terms of managing the mental health and wellbeing of your teams and staff to have have your finger on the pulse of what is going on for each of them and Then be prepared to check in every once in a while whether it's every few days or once a week or you know. Give people time to explain their circumstances. Some of whom may need a bit more flexibility in scheduling Based on on the other demands that are on them at the same time. They're certainly willing to work in many cases most cases but they might need just a bit more schedule flexibility. So you have to consider the role of trust in. Oh how do you make sure that people doing their fair share particularly in a team setting versus overdoing There's some people that just can't escape. Were they're perfectionists or You know they burn the midnight oil to the detriment of their health and wellbeing and to the detriment of they're not only team relationships with family relationships which eventually can deteriorate or burn out over time so you have to watch out for that. So the best way in terms of agenda trust is always is in most relationships A quite a staunch bit of transparency. And and with your teams. Especially if you can chunk down into small teams whether it's just a buddy or a small team versus a large team that people people can feel safer in exposing Through transparency and honesty. What's really going on for them Now people have different communication styles and Whether it's in their routine of communication whether it's in understanding that ground rules that you sat from the beginning that you want people to follow along with whether it's and redefining their job role description or priority tasks given this whole new scenario that we're living within and also in terms of feedback and monitoring so once those that lamentable elements of communication are are are distinguished and made clear than at least people couldn't either agree to follow along or agree to disagree or have a discussion about it but when it's last very iffy and Waffly than there's there's room lot more room for misunderstanding now. Longwood trust another whole element is purpose and I'm talking about purpose. Both on the the bigger scale. Of course we're kind of as we say all in this together in terms of the pandemic And keeping people safe and healthy in these trying times and for some people that means a lot more than two others and they're sort of front of mind consciousness but also there is organizational purpose. People who are have really bought in with loyalty to your organization certainly want to promote and maintain the best interests and the future prospects the sustainability of your organization. Your company on Your Business Enterprise. So anything you can do to bolster them inspire them. Remind them that everything they're doing is really assisting in maintaining the Pur- purpose and longer term sustainability on. The Enterprise will be something that they are happy to respond to You know and in the process understand that they are a valued member of that organization that The organization profits because they are a part of the enterprise so they mix it validates. What they're doing and all the effort they're making. Sometimes that involves being clear about daily achievements either. Individual or collective achievements are expected On a daily or maybe weekly or whatever sort of measurable small chunks to start with basis and Also at the same time leaders can step up and keep reminding people of a not only the short-term vision but the term vision both for the individuals for the teams for the organization and for our larger communities and eventually our Globe and Planet Planetary Community so Trust and purpose through honesty transparency and excellent communication will really help keep an even keel on the mental health and wellbeing of your team's staff now it's also important to build in social activities to a certain extent When you're online and doing Burma work. Obviously we are social distancing. We're not meeting up for the most part with a lot of our colleagues but it's still gets buy in from people if you have a little bit of fun so that they feel part group And you know whether it's having a you know. Some organizations are having happy hours and others are doing book clubs once a week others are doing Sort of online joke caption writing Whatever it is that your organization or people in your group individually come up with to engender a sense of a relationship with your colleagues. We'll help them to laugh. Little bit to see each other not just with their professional has but also as being people just joe around the block now to be careful of two is an and I found this myself. I am usually on my feet a lot of the day teaching or walking. When I'm touring around the gardens and so on and I've been sitting a lot more often in front of the computer so it's not only my eyes on which I have these special glasses that are supposed to filter out certain race. What my rear end He's a lot more exercising. And so I have to remember to get up and move much more often Simply because I'm spending longer times in front of the computer in a you know a bent over position Sitting and so on so it's a combination of physical Toll on my body as well as the anguish of me being attacked tarred and having to figure things out or get help or ask for help. On technological issues of certain online programs I'm seeking to establish And I I'm aware as well especially in the tech field that busy nece Can seem to be productive but in fact is just a way of coping and so watch out for team members who are always too busy Doing stuff all the time. But don't seem to be able to achieve their goals or move forward. They may need how particularly on the on the tech tasks and also a lot of people in front of a computer all the time who aren't used to it if they're people persons than they are feeling an overload of isolation so just be aware of that. Now you can build in mindfulness anytime now In terms of mindfulness This is a way to stop a brand There's all kinds of different approaches to in some people say stop doing. Some closure is take a nice deep breath into your nose out your mouth kind of reset your norm. Just just ground yourself again. It's a good. It's a good thing to do. Especially if you when you're doing that you stand up and you move in you stretch a little bit. The thing is there's a lot of anxiety floating around in the house Not just with with your company and your organization's but with everybody on a global scale every person you run into every bit of news you hear on the television news and so on so you need to recognize that everyone will have an anxious moments. Those are normal because we live in anxious times however there is a degree of anxiety which leads into depression which is a clinical sort of depression or clinical anxiety. Where you might need more help than just a coach or an encouraging word from a you might actually need their appeal or someone professional to speak to To separate out your thoughts and your feelings and make sure that it isn't a clinical situation. That's developing so As a leader be aware of this within your team and team members be on the lookout for your colleagues and You know on the one hand everybody is responsible for our own self care and you have to be aware of how we're feeling and No that it's okay to to feel anxious and sometimes fearful but not when it's so overwhelming that it becomes a real a health problem mental health problem that could turn into something much more severe In other reality is our brains are being bombarded with data saturation. Every day even taken a half an hour news bulletin. It's full of data and scary stuff at that. So you know with the occasional good piece of news but You know realize that you are in control of your life and for the both part at least how you take information if it bothers you. Stop taking in that information if you can You know learn to control what you can and accept what you can't and understand that you know. Fear and worry are ways of thinking about things that haven't happened yet. You're projecting forward in a negative way if you use the same projection forward in creat- creative fashion. You might ask the question. What if and then you say what? If in a positive sense what if we could come out of this and an even better place. What if I could come out of this situation or healthy or with better relationships with new skills and so you actually use that mechanism of mind that wants to take you into the what if scenario in a positive in a creative sense so that you can move forward so there's more when were in a physical place with colleagues Sometimes you can separate yourself because of rooms or you walk down the hallway or you're on a different floor or even we're going to for building or different country than some of your colleagues online especially for all showing up at Zoom Conference and you can see people's pictures and you see how they're looking and how they're behaving in that meeting You you can feel kind of invaded in your personal space and so we need to remember not to over step our boundaries either as a boss or a leader but also as a colleague and it's tricky because you want to and we're talking about looking after the well being and mental health of your staff and your colleagues but at the same time you have to be careful not to overstep into the realm of the personal to the extent that it it actually damages not only the relationship on a personal level but the collegiality or the professional professionalism of that relationship So you've also got issues a work life balance now. It's one thing to be able to say. This might come along with the ground rules where you might say look We GonNA draw the line. Everybody needs to lot long audit five. Pm or whatever time you say but the reality is some people if they have kids at home for example they have to home school during the day. They got a war with their kids during the day and then do their their professional job. They're paid work in the evening. So there has to be some flexibility with Even pronouncements of of You know work life balance and going outside to get your one hour exercise or whatever it is or you might make a pronouncement that there will be no emails or expect. Don't we don't expect answers of emails after X? Amount of time five pm or something like that but once again some people who lead to because of other demands on them at this present time need to do work in the evening or at night or early morning That won't fit them so new in the leadership position and as a colleague or team member needs to just work in handy knowing the situation of every person so that you can understand. They're not trying to be uncle operative. They're just dealing with their own personal circumstances And ultimately you know. I Love in coaching one of the phrases. I loved the bunks. Just assume positive intent in oak people or the most part really do want to make positive contributions. They want to be good team player. They want to do a good job. professionally even while they are maintaining their personal life during this difficult situation. So make sure you you kind that you don't overload people with tasks and timelines unless there's a deadline that that you can call on their dear what's that phrase Oh there's a special phrase it'll come to me in a minute Where you can ask beyond the norm for people and they will deliver because you don't make demands on the all time I did speak earlier about checking in every so often having conversations with people so that you can see how they're doing but the reality is there are certain staff members that you know are more likely to be supportive You have a better relationship with them or they're in a position to help you in a certain way if you are the staff member So recognized who go people are that are appropriate for you for whatever it is you need to go to them for some people might be appropriate for. Hr related issues others might be prepared for tech related issues And also remember that your if your staff member if you've got higher ups if you have managers or other leaders or supervisors or bosses that In the hierarchy and things are above you. They're also going through the same situation. They are also thrown into a situation of having to lead in a way that in most cases they never have had to lead before so remember to be kind upwards as well as with your peers or with anyone who was not in your direct line of collegiality So again is a staff member. It's helpful to start with owning your own issues whether their personal or professional see what you can do Before you make a complaint see if you can come up with suggestions or ideas I so that when you do go for help you at least aren't just dumping on someone else but you're actually bringing something different issue but at the same time you're making a contribution towards it's possible solution and you can also organize your own support groups within the organization as long as it isn't an unethical or Exclusive to the point of leaving out people in a way that would be hurtful and of course. It's not always easy to know ahead of time now. Tom Studies show that happiness. Which is you know. Most people want to feel happy. They WanNa feel happy at work so even though I work. Circumstances are different The the common factors in experiencing happiness are both practicing gratitude. Being grateful that yet even have a job. A lot of people are out of work indefinitely. No income Because they're not on a salary GIG workers Have trouble even getting unemployment You have to jump through a whole lot more hoops when you're a good worker or a independent contractor than if you're on a W. two in urine employees so be grateful for what work we have or any other blessings you have in your life whatever you count them to be and be a source of service to someone else. So that's another aspect of how people experience happiness in life so it's practicing gratitude and being of service to someone else so then you could start your day with just waking up and asking all right how can I be a best service today so ultimately just to wrap up here. We are in a momentous time in history. It's one of these moments of months. Who knows how long it will stretch? But we're GONNA look back later in our life and tell stories about what happened during this time so I would suggest you live it in a way that you have the fewest possible regrets so get to know yourself and use your time wisely be personally or professionally now in this stressful time. Use It as a way to Sharpen not only your mental edge but also sharpen your the softness of your heart find ways to share carrying and loves and humor in patients with people in ways that you haven't had to in the past Or haven't thought to simply because you were skimming through life in a less reflective way and it also does help in times of disruption to keep some sense of normality certain routines that appeared to be normal and be aware that You yourself can be a role model for someone else in this special time in history. Make new relationships or With New People or new relationships with people you even share the house with concepts. Be Your kids your spouse your parents or anyone else so I want to wrap it up here in terms of looking at a mental health and wellbeing of your teams and staff starting with yourself and I wish you health and happiness. Thanks for tuning in and do look the SOB radio network dot com for five shows and also check out game changer. Thinking Dot Com and remember the life you live. Is the legacy leave.