On February 12th, 2019, we hosted a webinar with ATD Healthcare group. Presenters Danielle Fucci and Scott Bohannon discussed the topic of resiliency, focusing on the healthcare industry.
We spent almost a year researching stress in the workplace. What we found is our employees are struggling. Depression is up 58%, anxiety up 74%, and stress up 28%.
Although for decades we’ve been using the term “change is the only constant”, it’s really true in the 21st century. Change may have come in increments in the past, but now changes is coming almost daily. This is especially true in the healthcare industry where industry specific pressures are likely to increase.
Healthcare is the most regulated industry and it’s not going away. Regulation, prices, privacy, business model changes are all things that impact organizational structure and employees in healthcare. All these increase stress in our employees and effect organizational effectiveness.
Stress is also expensive and impacts the bottom line. Our research shows that because of stress, US companies are experiencing $1 trillion in loss.
When it comes to dealing with workplace stress, we need to work with our leaders to develop the skills make them the most efficient. Our traditional solutions have reached their limits. We should still push items like, fun at work, time away from work, and individual well being, but their effectiveness is now stagnate. We need to expand our toolbox to improve employee satisfaction.
After a year of research, we’ve found that resilience makes the difference. There are three characteristics that build resilient teams:
- Adopt a team-centric approach
- Dynamically establish clarity
- Leverage stress
Adopt a team-centric approach
We hear people talk “team” all the time, but very few organizations put teams at the center of managing stress. Mostly it is human resources and managers that take on the approach, however, this top down approach hasn’t been the most effective in enforcing positive behaviors.
By contrast, if HR and managers set the objectives and allowed team members to define the standards and manage the exaction, we saw much better outcome in healthy behavior expectations and ensuring their peers follow through.
It’s worth noting that “peer-enforced” without “peer-designed” is not effective.
Dynamically re-establish clarity
This one is surprisingly hard because environments are changing so fast. The default approach for most leaders to deal with change is just to communicate much more frequently. This quickly proves unsustainable for leaders to maintain the frequency of communication for and the employees to get overwhelmed.
We found with teams that matching communication timing with change is key. The biggest change to look out for is what “success” looks like. Leaders do a good job of communicating change and what needs to get done. They do an OK job at communicating priorities. They don’t do a great job at communicating what success is when something gets changed.
This does not mean writing effective emails. It means leaders effectively communicating with their teams. Teaching leaders to have collaborate conversations is key in helping organizations build resilient teams.
The objective to this one is to use stress to eliminate the underline causes of stress. The trick for the resilient team is they understand that “success” could mean learning, not fixing the problem. Often pausing to understand the root problem lets teams discover the true issue and find opportunities to support and enable success.
If there is one thing to takeaway from this webinar it’s new sources of stress will keep appearing. We need to build resilient teams to drive organizations success, as well as make work manageable and enjoyable.
To listen to the full webcast recording, visit ATD.