Top Ten Tips... Staying Positive in a Crisis
There’s no doubt that 2020 has been an incredibly tough year for everyone. Our social lives have ground to a halt. Work may be non-existent or massively different. Many of you will have risen to the challenge of home schooling or caring for others, all while trying to keep on top of your work commitments. ‘Social distancing’ and ‘lockdown’ are the most over-used headlines of the year and it’s often felt a bit scary.
There’s never been more need for positivity. In times of adversity it can be hard to look on the bright side but there are things we can do together in our workplace to boost our mood and the resilience of those around us.
Here are our Top Ten Tips for staying positive during a crisis:
1. Build a support network
It’s important to be there for each other now more than ever before. We all feel stronger when we’re part of a group and with support bubbles getting smaller and our loved ones sadly at arm’s length right now, our work colleagues can prove to be a valuable support network. Don’t forget to check in on each other, to ask if your colleagues are okay or to lift their spirits with small acts of kindness.
2. Take time to reflect
One of the best ways to stay positive in the face of adversity is to take time to reflect on what is important to you. This is just as relevant to your work life as well at home. Now is a good time to think about what you’ve loved about your job in the last year. It might simply be being grateful for a regular job during such unprecedented times and when unemployment is high. Or maybe you have a renewed respect for the team you work with, a boss who has supported you or the clients and customers who have remained loyal?
3. Continue to support mental health and wellbeing
Everyone’s experience of lockdown is likely to be different from one another. It may have been stressful for some as they worked to keep the business afloat, demanding for parents working and home-schooling and for others it may have felt isolating and lonely. Offering access to counselling or other health and wellbeing initiatives has never been more important to help colleagues who might be struggling with their mental health.
4. Work on your team spirit
2020 has been an incredibly tough year for everyone and with staff working in isolation, or maybe not at all during furlough, morale is likely to be low. Alternatively, you may have a workforce who have shined during lockdown by working together in the face of adversity. Either way, now is a good time to either help your colleagues to get back on track or to harness the entrepreneurial spirit they have shown during lockdown. Think about ways to bring your colleagues together remotely, even if they cannot be with each other in person.
You may not feel in the mood to celebrate after such a tumultuous year, but with the countdown to Christmas beginning earlier than ever before this year, you owe it to your colleagues to show some positive festive spirit. Traditional Christmas parties may be off the cards but that doesn’t stop you bringing everyone together virtually. Why not host a virtual cocktail party, quiz night or traditional afternoon tea with your colleagues or partners?
6. Look for the good in others
Lockdown has brought out the worst and the best in people but rather than dwelling on the negative, focus on the amazing, positive things you’ve seen within your work place this year. There’s always a silver lining to make you feel proud or grateful for those around you. Maybe your colleagues have been picking up extra shifts, providing a shoulder to lean on during times of crisis or showcasing their entrepreneurial spirit to enable work to continue but in a different way.
7. Strengthen your connections
With more people working from home and far less face-to-face meetings occurring, it’s been hard to maintain relationships with colleagues and partners this year. Having strong connections is more important now than ever before – we will all need to reconnect at some point. A simple phone call to your teammates to ask how they are or to check in on the partners you work with is so simple but will no doubt be appreciated. Perhaps consider extending an olive branch to those around you to see how you can support them.
8. Provide something to look forward to
While it’s almost impossible to plan too far ahead right now, you can boost morale and positivity by providing something to look forward to in the short-term. Now would be a good time to introduce an ‘employee of the week’ award or to provide some other way of helping your employees to feel good about themselves. Why not challenge your colleagues to a virtual fundraising challenge to bring you all together for a common cause?
9. Provide opportunities to learn
In many ways, 2020 has felt like we’ve all been stuck in a rut, but 2021 need not begin in the same way! A great way of harnessing positivity and energy is to provide opportunities to develop and learn new skills. Many businesses have had to adapt and change how they work this year and employees have been taking on additional or new roles. There’s plenty of opportunities to allow your colleagues to try something new – to shadow colleagues in a different role or to take on additional responsibilities. Providing the incentive and opportunities to do so will no doubt make your colleagues feel valued and more positive.
10. Encourage a good work/life balance
With home working now the ‘new normal’ for many employees it can feel harder to switch off at the end of the day and at weekends. Our work and home lives are blurred, particularly when there is no physical office or workplace to travel to anymore. A good work/life balance is still important, especially when work is likely to be full of extra worries at the moment. Now is a good time to check your flexible or agile working policy is up to date. Your employees need to know what’s expected of them but also that you will support them working flexibly where possible in such unprecedented times.
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