Cate Murden PUSH

Cate Murden, founder of PUSH.

Today, we see an unprecedented opportunity to put the value of work-life balance in a human environment into practice across many sectors, creating happier, healthier and more productive businesses and individuals. Cate Murden, founder of PUSH - a business consultancy grounded in human behaviour - shares her advice around the most effective ways in which SME business owners can move their business forward today, this week, month and year.

Managing teams’ resilience – resilience is a muscle, not a plan!

During the current crisis, businesses have worked faster and better than they ever dreamed possible just a few months ago. Maintaining that sense of possibility within our people will be an enduring source of competitive advantage.

As we think about the next phase of work, we should be mindful to consider how we rewire our organisations for speed: based on design, rather than adrenaline. Indeed, the next phase is not a plan with an end goal – it is a constantly moving beast.

So, how can we best equip our organisations and people to be resilient in the face of whatever change comes next? Here’s how…

Firstly ensure there is absolute clarity on what you stand for - beyond shareholder value and an understanding of how to get things done right.

Next is leadership, this is everything when building resilience and conscious leaders who realise their impact and can lead and empower a team – regardless of proximity - are the ones who will empower their workforce, thus reinforcing resilience.

Also, never be under the illusion that small is less. Small, nimble and highly-connected teams with the power to make important decisions faster and better will be able to reach, pivot and thrive if the workplace culture and ethos is right. An engaged workforce whose training has been invested in extensively with new skills, behaviours and beliefs cannot fail to be resilient, even through the toughest of crises. 

Creating brilliant cultures whilst working remotely

As we begin to settle into what is now not such a ‘new normal’ post-COVID-19, this next phase must not be considered as a return to a version of what we had before, rather than taking the opportunity to genuinely reset our people who will be able to relaunch our organisations into an ever-changing future. Creating a powerful and positive remote working culture has never been more important.

We recently conducted a poll about the ingredients of great culture and the most important factor mentioned time and time again was ‘frequent and open communication’. At PUSH, we are always honest about how we’re feeling. Like a family, we have our ups and downs but we're good at talking - sharing feelings and understanding the impact that it might have on our work. We also know it’s important to talk through the obstacles, as well as celebrating the wins.

What to do if your teams are zoomed out

Recent research conducted by our team has identified that whilst Zoom saves us time which would have otherwise been spent commuting back and forth from the office, or meetings, it is zapping our energy. We’ve also chatted with a couple of clients recently about teams who are so zoomed out that attendance on sessions supporting their mental health or wellness are dropping off.

When we started working from home, we were all blown away. Hold on, what? We can do our work and make calls around the world, all from the comfort of our own home? And, we can have our PJs on our bottom half whilst being around to put the kids to bed every night too? AMAZING!

However, as time has gone on, working in the same place that we relax has been relentless and exhausting for some. So, it’s concerning that, in order to accommodate the brain-drain, we’re now looking at dropping some of the most important content of the week - our own self-care! 

Some simple ways to overcome Zoom fatigue include:

  1. Switch it up to calls or actual meetups where possible. And whilst on these meetings, if it’s possible, encourage the teams to get out of the house and walk whilst on the phone.
  2. Block out at least two 30-minute breaks per day for walking, light exercise or meditation. Our energy needs to pulse between different states not to be static.
  3. Challenge your wellbeing provider to come up with different session formats, for example, podcasts or audiobooks. Whilst listening to these, make sure you get out and about to stretch your legs.
  4. Give your team 1-2 hours per week for their wellbeing and encourage them to take this time. If you can schedule this around committed sessions supporting their mental health or personal development that everyone consumes together, all the better.
  5. Finally, treat this period like an experiment, Encourage the team to come up with new ways to interact and take care of each other, outside of Zoom calls.
Contributed by Cate Murden
Neina Sheldon
Article by Neina Sheldon
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