Work has changed dramatically over the past two years of pandemic. The future of work will look very different from the past.
While there have been some positives from the disruption COVID-19 wrought on the workplace, there have also been challenges. A major one has been stress and wellbeing – many felt not just that they were working at home, but that they were living at work.
This begs the question, looking to the future, how resilient are workers to future workplace updates and transformations?
Wraw research spoke to more than 7,000 employees globally to find out. The resulting report – titled ‘The 2022 Wraw Resilience Report’ – found that leaders rated themselves highest in terms of resilience, particularly their ability to adapt to difficult circumstances and see things from different perspectives.
Their ranking was 30% higher than for non-managers surveyed by Wraw. Senior leaders had the highest level of resilience – 18% higher than line managers and 21% above that of non-managers.
In addition, leaders ranked themselves 28% higher than non-managers on motivation and self-belief, and 18% higher than line managers.
These figures are promising given that Wraw’s report found that leaders had a significant impact on improving employee wellbeing.
22% of individual wellbeing was accounted by the extent to which they felt supported by their manager, and how much their manager role modeled good behavior.
So, now is the time to act to ensure that leaders and managers are actually helping their teams to be more resilient.
How to drive employee resilience
Wraw’s research suggests, therefore, that employers focus on getting managers to hold one-to-one meetings with individual employees. This will allow leaders to better understand their needs and their struggles.
Leaders can then feed the information back to HR teams and senior leadership to ensure the employee benefits on offer are actually in line with what workers want.
To support here, employers need to invest in management coaching – so that managers feel empowered to have these conversations, as well as spot early warning signs of burnout and stress.
Further to this, Wraw calls on leaders to be better role models of good behavior – whether that is taking lunch breaks, or not sending emails outside of working hours.
But coaching shouldn’t just be available to management. Wraw is clear that employees (particularly younger generations) need more support, and they need access to mentorship schemes, as well as the ability to learn from their senior colleagues.
Finally, success around resilience comes from employees having strong workplace relationships. This is something that was lacking across employees and managers – and it is for employers to figure out how to build social connection at work, even if teams are distributed.
This could be in-person events, or it could be more team bonding using virtual platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Ask your employees what they want and then deliver if you want to drive resilience at work, as well as avoid high attrition rates in the ‘Great Resignation’.
Leaders must “tailor their strategy to the real needs of their people. In turn, this will show up in the bottom line of the business, and in the lasting health and engagement of their employees,” concluded Wraw founder Sam Fuller.
“My hope is that organizations will be inspired to take action. By showing true care, and building healthy, psychologically safe working environments, it is possible to buck the trend and thrive.”