Business Leaders are finally realizing the importance of addressing the mental wellbeing needs of their employee base, since it is affecting their bottom line. It is unfortunate that it took a global pandemic for this issue to come to the forefront since the World Health Organization has stated that workplace stress was a global concern several years ago.
Leading in today’s environment can feel like a constant uphill battle where external circumstances are weighing on your team members. The good news is, your business (and your individual team members) can still experience growth no matter what chaos is happening around you. Burnout is an official medical diagnosis, according to the World Health Organization.
Based on my decades of experience, I have found 3 ways to improve team performance in a challenging environment.
3 Ways to Improve Team Performance in a Challenging Environment
Before you even begin, I invite you to shift your focus from the past to the present. No need to be looking in your rearview mirror at a past that is long gone. And worrying about the future has never proved valuable.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
What can you do right now to support each individual and improve team performance?
- Pause and notice your thoughts and your own mental well-being. It is time to put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then look around you and see with fresh eyes who else you can help support. A leader’s day-to-day attitude and behavior has a tremendous impact on the entire organization. Your health, and the health of everyone around you, will improve greatly.
- Support natural breaks that break up routines throughout the workday. Invite your teams to take breaks. One of the simplest things we can do even when working from home is taking at least 60 seconds (!) of every hour for what I call “non-doing”. Just rest and notice how it feels in your body without wanting it to be any different than how you find it. Encourage it.
- Provide your team with flexibility and resources introducing them to the practice of Mindfulness.
“Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment, nonjudgmentally…. in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.”
The mind and the body work together. Your body is listening to you! It can hear you say, “How am I ever going to get all this done? I don’t even look forward to the weekend anymore.”
Why Your Team Needs Mindfulness Now
NOW, not later, is when you want to introduce a Mindfulness practice into you and your colleagues lives who are working so awfully hard for you, your company, and their families and friends.
Are you thinking, “I don’t have time for this… or we don’t have time for a program right now!”?
When people are thinking about the costs of health and wellness, they rarely consider the costs to the organization of sick time and lost productivity due to stress. All of us have been on Zoom meetings with others who are distracted, unproductive, or not fully “present.”
A Brief Mindfulness Practice
Join me in dipping your toe just briefly into the water of Mindfulness with this short practice. Find a quiet space where you can focus and follow my directions below.
I invite you to take a moment right now…and fully notice how it feels to be in your body…
noticing where your body is making contact with what you are sitting on…
feeling your weight on the back of your legs…and just resting in the moment…
with no place to go and nothing to do…and when your mind wanders as it surely will…
just noticing without judgment…once again how it feels to be sitting.
About the Author
Harriet Stein is the President of Big Toe In The Water (www.BigToeIntheWater.com), and has over 30 years of corporate and professional experience in healthcare. She is an expert on the topic of Mindfulness in the workplace as a presenter, coach, and inspiring teacher.
Harriet delivers Mindfulness programs to companies of all sizes – from small professional practices to global conglomeratets. If you are interested in having a mindfulness program for your company, please contact Harriet at Harriet@BigToeInTheWater.com or call her at 215-326-9459.