Tag Archives: Mental Health

Taking Care of Yourself is Not Impossible

Taking Care of Yourself is Not Impossible

GUEST POST from Mike Shipulski

When there’s nothing left in your tank, what do you do? When it’s difficult for you to keep your head above water, what do you do? When you see people who need help, do you spend your energy to help them or do you preserve your energy for yourself?

If no one at your company has the energy to spare, what are the consequences? If a small problem isn’t solved quickly, might it snowball into something unmanageable? If a series of unsolved problems develop into a series of avalanches, couldn’t that change the character of your company? If everyone at your company is out of gas, what does that say?

If your calendar is full of standing meetings, you have no time for deep work. But, if your calendar has free space, that gives others the opportunity to fill your calendar with their priorities. Is it okay to say no to a meeting? Is it okay to preserve time for deep thought? Is it okay to cancel the whole meeting series for a standing meeting? What would it mean to your mental health if you deleted standing meetings and freed up six hours per week? What would it mean to the quality of your work? Might you even get to do the foundational work that is vital to next year’s success?

What would it mean if you could create a four-hour block of uninterrupted time that recurred wice per week? What could you accomplish in those two luscious time blocks? How many problems could you avoid? How many cross-team relationships could build? How much could you learn from researching the state-of-the-art? How much could you accelerate your projects? How many young people could you help?

What’s in the way of canceling some meetings? Is your mental health worth it? What’s in the way of scheduling a four-hour meeting with yourself twice a week? Is your work important enough? What’s in the way of stopping work at a reasonable time so you can get your personal things done, get some exercise, and spend time with your family? What would your company think if you took care of yourself and had some energy to spare for others?

What’s in the way of taking care of yourself?

Image credit: Pexels

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to join 17,000+ leaders getting Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to their inbox every week.

Six Ways to Stop Gen-Z from Quiet Quitting

Six Ways to Stop Gen-Z from Quiet Quitting

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

There has been a shift in the workplace culture. Some employees are going from “The Great Resignation,” in which they outright quit, to “quiet quitting,” which means they do the bare minimum and nothing more. While all ages have potential quiet quitters, Gen-Z seems to have earned the reputation (right or wrong) for this practice. The problem with employees participating in this movement of doing the bare minimum is that it can turn into a lack of engagement, and the impact could be felt by customers in the form of a bad customer experience.

I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Santor Nishizaki, author of the upcoming book Working with Gen Z: A Handbook to Recruit, Retain, and Reimagine the Future Workforce After Covid-19, and he has some great tips for leaders to help Gen-Z employees be more engaged at work and create a better customer experience. Here are six of his tips, followed by my commentary.

1. Have Clear Expectations

Dr. Nishizaki’s research found that 98% of Gen-Zs want clear expectations from their employer from day one. It’s frustrating for workers not to understand what is clearly expected of them. The expectations must be set on day one, if not during the hiring process. Proper onboarding is crucial. According to Gallup, clear expectations are essential for all generations. How can we best serve our customers if our employees don’t know what we expect?

2. Be Transparent and Show the “receipts”

Dr. Nishizaki refers to “receipts” as evidence. Just as a customer might get a receipt as proof of purchase, the same concept is relevant for Gen-Z employees, and is one of the significant challenges to getting them to come to work and do more than the bare minimum. Rather than proof-of-purchase, consider proof-of-value for employees. This is especially important as employees are being asked to return to the office after two years of remote work. Feeling valued must be more than words. True appreciation is needed to get workers to feel good about the company that employs them.

3. Help Them “glow up” by Investing in Their Strengths

Dr. Nishizaki believes in playing to Gen-Z’s strengths. Specifically, he uses the Gallup CliftonStrengths to help them grow to their potential. Focusing on your employees’ strengths and partnering them with coworkers whose strengths complement their weaknesses significantly impacts their enjoyment of work and serving customers. Spending extra time to let people do what they do best will make them happier, which translates to more engagement with fellow employees and customers.

4. Support Their Mental Health

Dr. Nishizaki heard from his clients and saw the rise of mental health challenges on college campuses and realized the need for leaders to respond. Recent data from McKinsey found that Gen-Zs are more likely than Millennials to feel stressed or anxious regularly (53% for women, 39% for men), and 82% want mental health days. Leaders must ensure that all employees are aware of resources available to them (mental health apps, therapy, etc.), and lead by example by taking mental health days and being open about burnout. Creating a positive and engaging customer experience is difficult when an employee’s basic needs aren’t met.

5. Build a Culture of Impact

What impact does your company or brand have on its customers—and even the world? Gen-Z is attracted to creating impact, and it doesn’t have to be a major impact. Taking a few extra minutes to explain why someone’s work is important to a customer or their colleagues can satisfy this need.

6. Be a Coach, Not a Micromanager

Dr. Nishizaki found that Gen-Zs ranked the skills necessary to be a good manager as a “coach and mentor” over “technical expertise” and a “task assigner.” If you’re managing Gen-Z (or employees from any generation), asking good questions will help them learn better and is less confrontational. Dr. Nishizaki quotes Timothy Gallwey, an author and performance coach, who said, “Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It’s helping them to learn rather than teaching them.” Customer service role-playing is a great training tool, but rather than offering a list of what they did wrong, ask them why they took their approach. Usually, they’ll figure out what they did wrong without any drama, and you’ll see your retention and customer satisfaction surveys improve.

Gen-Z wants its leaders to be engaged. Managers who can turn up the volume on their leadership skills will retain the best employees, win the war on talent and create a better experience for internal and external customers.

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Image Credit: Pixabay

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.