By: Ginny McMinn, Senior Alliance Partner of HPISolutions

“Many of us feel stressed and get overwhelmed not because we’re taking on too much,

but because we’re taking on too little of what really strengthens us.” –Marcus Buckingham

I was always the one in my family that everyone counted on to be strong, to help everyone else make it through their difficulties. And I continued to be strong for them until I just couldn’t.

My own reckoning with overload took place in a three-year period that included the recession, a subsequent business failure, and a computer crash (despite all the precautions). When those things were fixed, I was hit by a car in a crosswalk and both my legs were broken. And the biggest blow of all occurred after I finished months of healing and therapy when my Dad died.

After I made arrangements and said goodbye, I realized I was not myself. Where had my strength and resilience gone? Why was I overwhelmed?

After researching resilience, I learned that individuals gradually maintain their resilience in many ways. These include prayer or meditation practices, time outdoors, writing or journaling, counseling, among others. I also learned that those are the first actions we abandon when times get tougher than usual. We disengage from the practices that help us. This was exactly what I had done. In order to support others, I had stopped these restorative practices.

During the current pandemic leaders and employees are beset by loss, prevention considerations, new experiences like homeschooling, remote work and online grocery shopping, avoiding crowds (like our friends and fun events), masking up and washing up, and financial concerns. A lot for all to handle, especially layered on top of the load we normally carry.

  • Is it any wonder that employees disengage? When they surpass their stress load limit without restoring themselves and their personal resilience, something has to give. Are you helping yourself and others to get past these challenges?
  • Are you or your employees suffering from stress? The Stress Quotient assessment offered through HPISolutions will help to determine the presence of stress and its causes so these can be addressed in business and personal planning.
  • Are there steps you can encourage to restore employees’ resilience reserves? Encouraging the resilience boosters mentioned above may be what “really strengthens” you and your team and avoids a sense of overwhelm due to current business and personal circumstances.

Don’t expect engagement at work when employees don’t have the capacity to take on one more thing. Instead, diagnose and support employees in preventing or overcoming debilitating stress. Show them how to top off their resilience reserves with activities that truly strengthen them.

HPISolutions recently gave a webinar on disengagement and how to improve engagement in your workforce. To request a copy, please contact us.

For upcoming training and development programs, click here.

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