I recently wrote a blog (here) where I gave 2 steps to get time back, but when writing it, I started to think more about some of the potential impacts the Coronavirus pandemic might have on personal energy levels.
Now I’ll state that I’m not a student of psychology, or neuroscience, so the views here are high level. For a deeper understanding, I refer to specialists in the field such as Daksha Patel from Your Mind at Work, but even still, I’ve always thought of my own body as having a fuel tank. To relate that to the everyday look at your mobile phone, it’ll have a battery indicator and usually a percentage level.
The easy way I understand is when a physical activity empties your battery. I’m sure you’ve felt it before, going for a run, or a swim or a gym work out, you feel tired, you feel that you’ve used energy. Then you refuel and sleep to recharge.
But how about mental energy? More recently I’ve started thinking that maybe I have two fuel tanks, one for physical energy and one for mental energy. But not only that, the two can borrow from each other and can top each other up!
Thinking back to the physical activity, it’s very common that after a good workout you’ve more energy, you can think more clearly and get more done. I guess you’ve topped up your mental fuel tank. But you can overdo the physical activity which can be counter-productive. I know for sure it was hard work after a long run to stay focused, and I could also be more short tempered, so there was a lot of mental energy used to keep that in balance.
With the recent global impacts, things have shifted. Some have increased physical activity, others have increased mental activity and some will have increased both. So how can you check in and get a balance with both? This is where I’d handover to Daksha for support. While I understand my own body, everyone has a different way for checking their own battery levels.
Where I can offer support is how you can help your employees while they are managing their energy and resetting their routines. Especially as routines are changing so frequently at the moment.
Initially, an employee should have a sense of worth, that their input is valued. This in itself it’s a big topic to discuss, as it runs beyond financial remuneration, but your team needs to know the value that they’re bringing to the table. Worrying that they’re not doing their job well, or adding the value will quickly drain their battery.
The next one you can work on is the sense of belonging. Does your team feel like they belong as a part of your organisation? This has been an important aspect to consider but even more so this year as staff are being asked to work from home, or working in what can be a very uncomfortable environment. You can still create an environment that people want to be a part of. That doesn’t always mean that everyone will get along, but you don’t want to create an environment where people hate coming to work. You could end up with a “boss vs” or “Us vs the customer” culture which will be hard to shake.
The last item I’ll cover is the sense of direction. I’ve covered this in other blogs but a vision of where you want your business to be, and the journey you’ll take to get there are crucial. But while the destination has always been a way to obtain employee buy-in, clarifying where it’s going relative to the impact COVID-19 has had is important. Your staff need to know where you’re going, and be a part of your journey. You need to clarify that before they look for an alternative path and you end up with too many gaps in your team.