We all know that the workplace has changed dramatically since the onset of Covid 19 and the resulting challenges to our mental and physical health have undoubtedly increased both in the degree of the negative impact and the variety and number of people affected.
It has taken its toll on everyone at every level in an organisation and a combination of altered working environment, lack of contact, isolation and financial uncertainty and have added to the well-publicised and universal stresses.
Whilst lockdown created very specific problems for companies and staff, the return-to-work process is where we will potentially see the greatest challenge as furloughed workers and those working from home undergo the transition back to at least some semblance of pre-covid working habits – all whilst carrying lockdown-related personal issues.
This was one of the areas June Burgess discussed with HRH The Duchess of Cornwall on her recent visit to Horses for People. Her Royal Highness was very interested in how Horses for People are helping Directors and business-people prepare for the resulting challenges of getting back into the workplace and normalising business practices again.
Horses for People have developed workshops to address the challenge on two fronts.
Firstly, similar to the ‘put your own oxygen mask on first’ analogy, Directors must address their own wellbeing and adjustment first. They cannot lead and facilitate recovery of a team, who are rebounding from a negative situation, from a place of personal instability. They must acknowledge the challenges that they have faced and recalibrate to be capable of delivering the leadership qualities their people need.
It requires developing new skills on top of their existing business skills.
Secondly, it is imperative for Directors to reinvigorate the self-belief of staff before de-motivating habits develop. The lack of connection that inevitably results from working from home can be a recipe for lethargy and reduced confidence. It stifles collaborative creativity.
Revitalising self-esteem and self-confidence will be the priority over the coming months.
In fact, it will be the most important tool in their leadership toolbox because people with good confidence and self-esteem will be capable of hitting the ground running and bounce back higher, benefitting colleagues and the company.
Having a strong equestrian background, The Duchess of Cornwall was impressed by the innovative approach at Horses for People but totally understood the merits of the workshops aimed at improving wellbeing and reducing burn-out, the benefits of which ultimately ripple out to create a more collaborative and productive environment for everyone in the workplace at all levels.
Of course, there is a very simple yet effective ingredient that adds to the effectiveness of Horses for People workshops – the location is idyllic and immediately upon arrival, stress disappears.
This isn’t about surviving Covid – this is about bouncing back higher than ever and Horses for People offer one and one and a half day workshops for corporate groups and individuals to develop and practice the skills necessary for Bouncing Back to The Workplace.
THIS TRAINING WORKS – IT’S PRACTICAL AND VERY DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL, THEORY-BASED APPROACHES. BEFORE PEOPLE GET TOO COMFORTABLE BEING DISCONNECTED, THIS IS A UNIQUE WAY TO RE-VITALISE SELF-BELIEF AND INCREASE MOTIVATION TO CREATE AN INFINITELY MORE HARMONIOUS AND INNOVATIVE WORKFORCE.