This week’s blog is written by Hannah Tricker, #TeamPSHR’s Senior HR Consultant.
Although my New Year’s Eve celebrations were different this year, I still tried to make the most of it; I drank wine and ate as much as possible before the dreaded January 1st diet kicked in (I aim to get to February before I waiver!). But, after the year 2020 has given to us all, I still held hope that starting a new year would bring positive change (and a vaccine), I made new year’s resolutions and set myself some goals.
Fast forward to 8pm Monday evening with my head in my hands thinking about how I was going to be able to cope in another lockdown, with the challenge of a busy job and home schooling. Thanks Boris, I lasted 4 days on my diet!
The challenge for me and no doubt a lot of you is how to remain positive and keep going. Yes, we adapt, we have all got pretty good at this now, but my elastic band is being stretched and I don’t want this to snap. My diet caved straight away, to be fair this is easily done for me, but I don’t want to lose the positivity and hope I had on New Year’s Eve, it keeps me going.
Gary Pinyoun, owner of Positive Shift Solutions and joint owner of A Positive Outlook, specialises in improving mental health for emergency service employees as well as senior professionals. When I spoke with Gary, he explained some of his personal strategies. ‘Routine, routine, routine! I cannot stress how beneficial adopting a consistent routine has been for me generally and even more so during the recent lockdowns. I get up at the same time every day, I have a timetable, it’s like being back at school. This may sound boring but we, as people, like routine and consistency’. ‘I also ask myself, What’s my WIN? WIN stands for What’s Important Now? It can be very easy, especially when working from home to get distracted and get caught up in procrastination, so focusing on What’s Important Now is useful. You can list just 3 things that are important now and get them done because ‘action beats procrastination.’ Gary also added ‘There is a lot of talk about ‘controlling the controllable’ and this couldn’t be more relevant than right now. We can only influence what is within our immediate control so it’s important we focus on controlling our own response and behaviour first as these are what will impact us most’.
For employers, how can you help your employees remain positive?
Be flexible (again) – everyone’s situation at home is different. Don’t assume what worked last lock down will work this time around. I wasn’t home schooling last year, but I will be now. Speak to your employees to see if their needs have changed and do what you can to help.
Chat – Without the gossip during the tea round or over a sandwich, working from home can be a lonely place. Managers should make time for ‘chat’ with their teams, you’re not losing time – it always happened, it just brings a bit of normality back and it’s a good way to swap Netflix series recommendations.
Really listen – Make sure you spend time 1:1 with employees on a regular basis, listen to how they are coping and the challenges they are facing. When you are concerned for someone’s health and wellbeing, don’t be afraid to tell them, ask if they really are OK. Some people are trying their hardest to pretend everything is fine. And when you discover it’s not, know where to point them for help.
Get up! – Make sure your employees are leaving their desk and getting daily exercise. It’s easy to get glued to your laptop when there literally is nothing else to do. Exercise does wonders. If you have competitive people in your team, set a weekly step challenge or in your next team meeting, get everyone to share a recommended local walk.
I’m over the shock of Monday’s announcement now, wine is helping, but I had a good gossip with a client of mine today and my boss is being great about changes I need with my working pattern. I will have Radio 6 on to remind me of being in the office and am now thinking just do what you can Hannah, and to you all, don’t give up!
PS Human Resources are on hand to offer advice and guidance on any people management issues. Try our new HR Advisory Service, a low-cost way to get peace of mind at the end of the phone. Please contact us on 01473 653000 or email email@example.com for more information.
Gary Pinyoun, an advanced IEMT (Integral Eye Movement Therapy) practitioner shifts the PTSD related thoughts incurred by Emergency workers, NHS staff or Military personnel from tragedy to triumph and does this by rapidly releasing unwanted and intrusive thoughts or memories, which in turn dramatically increases confidence, well-being and happiness . A Positive Outlook is aimed at Professional Men and Women aged 40+ who may be struggling with anxiety in the workplace or at home. Please contact Gary if you would like to find out more on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07799030163.