Burnout. Low resilience. We’ve all felt it, but why now?
Employee resilience and why there isn’t much left right now.
If you are looking around your office (real or virtual) and lamenting that almost everyone seems sick, on leave or present (but not really there) right now – you are not alone!
While the lockdowns are over, and the worst of COVID has passed (touching wood as I type!) – the ramifications of the past 2.5 years are still keenly felt. So if you’re tired, or everyone in your team seems to be, this is why:
• We’ve just run a pandemic marathon. Uncertainty, lack of control and being fundamentally unsettled all takes up energy. Often, it is not until you finish the race or have some relief from the trauma that you realise how much of your energy it has taken.
• Our workplaces have changed. Hybrid working, WFH, back in the office – how and where we work is different now. Change that might have occurred over 10 years happened in 2. Many companies and individuals are still trying to work it out to understand the longer-term impact (both good and bad). While good can come from this – it can feel unsettling compared to our (old) normal.
• Our society has changed (and not for the better). One of the largest impacts of the pandemic has been on the fabric of society. Poverty, crime and failing businesses are a part of our daily lives. While it’s always been there – it seems out of control right now, with no plans for improvement and this is a fundamental stress for us all.
• The uncertainty continues. Whether it is the war in Ukraine, the local and national political drama, the interest rates, property prices and whether you still need to wear a mask or not – all of these things are unsettling, suck up energy, and cause worry.
• We are all understaffed. Whether it is team members visiting family for the first time in years, team members being off sick, or people resigning to head offshore or into a new role – the reality is that most teams we speak with are running with a less than optimal number of people. This of course puts pressure on everyone remaining and it’s easy to feel like you are in a circular loop.
• Business transformation is underway. While 2020 was the year of the pivot, 2022 is the year of transformation. Which is exciting if you are well-resourced, full of energy & optimism and curious about learning. If however, you are tired, under resourced and have had enough (life) learnings in the past couple of years, then transformation can feel a little overwhelming.
• Your favourite cafe is closed Mondays. A small change with huge impacts for a number of reasons. As resilience is low, we yearn for comforts and for many (myself included) – a coffee is a special treat. So when your favourite cafe has to close early because of lack of staff, it is one of those micro stress doses that has a larger impact than we realise. We gain efficiency of energy and resilience through habits – when the routine is changed, it absolutely affects us.
So if you’re tired – you are not alone. If your team is shattered – you are not alone.
If you are hanging out for Christmas – you are absolutely not alone!
Next time, we will give you some pragmatic ideas for how you might be able to start filling the energy and resilience bucket again.