WFH – From Novelty to Drudgery

Boosting team resilience in a time of COVID.

Lockdown 1 – Novelty, rapid change, winning the COVID fight.

Lockdown 2 – Drudgery, uncertainty, disengagement, a marathon.

This is how a Victorian CEO of an international company responded when asked the difference between Lockdown 1 and 2 and the impact on his team moving from HQ to WFH in March.

“There is a sense of people doing it harder, disengagement and just plain fatigue leading to increased personal leave, work/life imbalance and utilisation of support services”. And this is from a company where business and jobs are stable if not growing. This is hugely amplified if your business, like many, are undergoing rapid change, restructuring and redundancies.

You’d have to be superhuman not to be affected by what’s happening in the world at the moment and the uncertainty that currently exists. So much is out of our control. Beyond Blue have reported a 66% increase in calls from 2019 and 33% increase in self-harm cases reflecting the rising impact on mental health.

Creating resilient teams

Self-care is critical in these times and is all about the daily choices we make to improve our wellbeing. This includes remaining socially connected and being open to give and receive/ask for help if needed. It’s a way to take back a certain level of control in a way that enables us to be our best and most resilient selves during these times.

We know this is easier said than done. Let’s face it, most of know what we need to do to be at our best physically and mentally. Exercise, eat well, manage our stress and sleep but many of us lack the motivation to do it. Particularly when things feel ‘hard’.

HealthChase has been working for the last 7 years with diverse and geographically dispersed business communities to reward and motivate positive wellbeing behaviour change to support mental wellbeing and improve team resilience through game-based programs.

Here’s what our data says leads and activates wellbeing change.

1. ‘Supporting the Team’ is the biggest motivator for engagement and change.

We are more likely to change behaviours if it supports others. Doing it alone is tough! We feel better if we are supporting others.

It’s the main reason our programs hold teamwork, inclusiveness and peer to peer connections central to all our Game frameworks. It works. It’s also why team connections are so critical right now, particularly for business communities new to WFH and in it for the long haul.

Focused photo/video boards remain the most popular and engaging way to motivate, learn and connect diverse and dispersed teams.

2. Conscious choice is the second biggest driver of change.

This refers to having simple and clearly defined common behaviour goals that remains forefront of mind throughout your wellbeing program. We use gamification for this as it helps keep the goal visible and gives instant rewards to the team when wellbeing behaviours are activated. The important thing is to not be prescriptive in how to achieve goals. Creativity is great for mental health and also allows for full inclusion, idea generation and peer to peer sharing.

For example, over 90% of participants in the BP and Australia Post retail games found that acts of kindness (the behaviour) improved their sense of mental wellbeing, reduced stress and helped people feel good about themselves. There were thousands of photos that showed different ways people achieved this. Very inspiring, kept it forefront of mind and motivated others to activate and share.

Healthy diet is critical to improving employee presenteeism and overall wellbeing. So a foundational goal might be to increase your vegetable intake. We don’t mind how you do it just get them into your diet. Salad, curry, soup…whatever works for you! Just do it…and share.

In summary…

Bottom line is that times are tough for many people and each in their own way. Keeping your teams engaged and connected with a culture that prioritises and rewards self-care and team wellbeing is critical. Stay focused on positive actions within an individual’s control and you’ll find yourself with a resilient and productive TEAM that helps drive business success in a time of uncertainty.

“HealthChase Games have allowed us to have conversations about mental health and overall health that have been difficult in the past.” 

Chris Roach (Manager, Retail Sales Programs) Australia Post