Pandemic-related changes, mergers, new technology, corporate restructuring. Change is constant in today’s workplace, and making sure employees have the skills to thrive in spite of it is essential. In this week’s blog, we focus on how you can leverage elements of well-being and workplace culture to create resilient teams to support change management initiatives in your organization.
Maybe your organization isn’t experiencing a major change right now. But chances are there’s a change initiative on the horizon. What can you do to help the organization better prepare to support employee resilience and change? We have a few ideas.
Leverage your well-being program.
A well-being program benefits the organization in many ways, but perhaps you haven’t considered using well-being to support change management. As you plan your wellness program, focus on these key elements to strengthen employees’ ability to cope with change.
Resilience is our ability to deal with adversity and recover quickly after experiencing a challenging time, and it’s key to dealing with change in the workplace. When you offer resiliency training in the workplace, employees build skills to manage emotions, remain calm, cope with stress, take on new challenges, reframe setbacks, and improve thought processes.
Mental health support.
There is widespread agreement that our mental health is as important as our physical health. And it goes without saying that when employees feel emotionally healthy, they’ll be better able to face the challenges that organizational change often brings. Support may look different for each individual, but common elements include mental health counseling and coaching, meditation and mindfulness apps, social media support groups, mental health podcasts, and access to the EAP.
Our experience with the pandemic has underscored how important moments of connection with colleagues truly are. Organizations that help foster these social connections at work are in a stronger position when change occurs. These bonds between coworkers can help us cope with change, experience moments of levity, and allow us to practice grace with one another as we work through change.
Support for physical health.
When we’re physically stronger and healthier, our bodies have the stamina to withstand the stresses of change. Wellness offerings like one-on-one or group health coaching, nutrition counseling, condition management programs, group fitness classes, and sleep coaching improve the population’s overall health and increase employees’ ability to absorb constant change.
Create a healthy workplace culture.
A healthy workplace culture provides the solid foundation organizations need to successfully weather change. Consider focusing on these elements that can strengthen workplace culture:
Leaders need to openly acknowledge that change is difficult, and provide reassurance that employees will be supported. Change brings about many different emotions—excitement, fear, anxiety, opportunity—and leaders need to validate all of them. Empathetic leadership also includes soliciting employee feedback, really listening, and taking action.
Psychological safety is a hallmark of high-performing, resilient organizations. A psychologically safe workplace is one where people feel they can be themselves and won’t be embarrassed, rejected, or humiliated for speaking up. This is particularly important when an organization is undergoing change. Leaders and managers can create this kind of environment by showing their own vulnerability, practicing the benefit of the doubt, and encouraging open dialogue.
Put simply, a void of communication during a change will automatically be filled with conjecture, misinformation, and rumor. Establish a regular cadence of transparent communication with frequent town halls, videos from leaders, workplace social media posts, and newsletters. All of these vehicles build trust and loyalty and ensure that employees receive accurate information. Managers are also a key component in the communication process. Equip them with talking points and toolkits so they can easily keep people informed during team meetings and one-on-ones.
Authenticity and trust.
Workplace cultures that allow employees to be their authentic selves—no matter their background, experience, gender, race, or sexual orientation—stand a much better chance of getting employees on board with a change. When leaders model authenticity, they also generate trust in the organization.
Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, we can’t expect to create a workplace culture that’s 100% ready to tackle change overnight. Instead, work slowly to incorporate a couple of key elements—like helping employees feel socially connected or opening up the lines of communication—then expand over time to help them truly become resilient to change in the workplace. This is the best way to ensure a thoughtful, genuine approach to change readiness. If you’d like some help preparing your organization for change by focusing on well-being and healthy workplace culture, visit our website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.