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Our responsibility as leaders has changed.
Today, leaders and companies are struggling to meet the changing requirements that directly impact performance:
- employee wellness
- mental health
- general burnout
- uncertainty and nervousness
- shifting priorities
This is important, especially in a world that’s always told us, “it’s just business” and “leave your personal stuff at the office door”.
By building deeply integrated policies that regenerate, energize, and care for your employees, leaders not only elicit the “A-game” from their dream team, they often surpass OKRs too.
The question is: how do we encourage rest and wellness without faltering on urgent business goals?
Good news: taking time off is just ONE of the ways to recharge.
HOW TO RECHARGE A BURNT-OUT TEAM
Rest can be taken at every scale from the macro (e.g. long service leave or vacations) to the micro (e.g. responding to a question asynchronously.)
Often employees feel stress due to the pressure of responding to urgent requirements in uncertain scenarios, both personally and professionally. Taking (and allowing) your team’s space to process is an effective way to de-escalate stress.
A simple way to encourage restful communication in your team is to create space:
During a conversation or meeting, if you need time to integrate what you heard/learned, it’s okay to ask for/take time BEFORE you respond.
To put this concept into action, you might say:
“I heard everyone’s position and need time to process. Can I get back to the group by tomorrow?”
Or, when needing more space after a 1:1 conversation:
“I hear your position and understand your voice… I’d like to revisit our conversation after I’ve had a chance to think more about this important topic.”
9 MORE IDEAS TO RECHARGE YOUR TEAM
- Summer Friday – finish work at 1 pm
- No Meeting Wednesdays – providing time for people to process work from earlier meetings and prepare for meetings ahead
- Schedule a Leadership Team Retreat to work on team cohesion, connection, and relationship building. This connection will fuel productivity.
- Provide time and event space for work/company successes, recognize and take time to celebrate accomplishments and achievements, large and small
- Have post-mortem meetings – discuss what worked, what went well, and what could be improved. Go around and have each leader speak about what they observed on the above, what personally they thought they did well and where they’d like to improve in the future.
- Regularly measure the energetic fuel of the team. On a scale of “E” empty to “F” full or on a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your team’s energy level? Respond accordingly if you feel they are on low energy.
- Create Wellness Friday – one Friday off every month
- Add Coaching and Mental Health Support to benefits for employees like Bravely and Spring Health
- Train managers and leaders on how to have check-in conversations with their teams on personal wellness, what they require for success, and discuss how the company can support employee success
A FINAL WORD: YOUR OWN REST AS A LEADER
We’ll invoke the age-old wisdom of airline safety features:
Put your own oxygen mask on so you can help others breathe too.
In ambitious teams and companies, behavior gets modeled. If your team sees their leaders and managers doing what’s required to care for themselves you create space for the team to follow suit.
What could I be doing, employing, and modeling as a leader that will help my team practice self-care and take breaks and return to work ready to go?