A staggering 61% of Americans experience loneliness. In the COVID-19 era, just 37% of full-time workers exhibit high levels of resilience—or the ability to recover quickly from challenges—according to Cigna’s latest studies.
2020 knocked us all on our asses. We truly believe our culture at 8THIRTYFOUR has allowed us to build a stronger team and set a good foundation for 2021. We’ve made mistakes along the way. We’re growing, and it’s been hard and a bit painful at times, but ultimately, our culture has allowed us to prevail.
Mental health needs to be the focus in 2021. We must put our workers first and cultivate an environment where they can ask for help, be honest about their struggles and feel supported.
A study by Cigna identified that among workers who reported feeling lonely, more than one in 10 admitted the quality of their work often or always suffered. Workers who experienced loneliness were also five times more likely to miss work due to stress and thought about quitting their jobs more than twice as often as workers who were not lonely.
Not a single business owner could have planned for a pandemic, work from home and the mental health struggles both would cause.
The best advice we can give you is what worked for us.
Make it okay to ask for help
It isn’t easy admitting you are struggling. We are taught to “suck it up,” which isn’t going to cut it anymore. Your employees must have a designated individual on staff who they can speak with to express concerns, fears and struggles. Our HR & Finance Manager is the first stop for our staff, although they can approach any person on our leadership team. They can chat with her or our President, and the matter is then discussed in our leadership meeting.
Put policies in place
We implemented mental health days shortly after work from home became mandatory. We also made sure we reached out to each staff member to check in. We let them know it was okay to not be okay.
We’re still learning, and we’ve gotten things wrong. The only thing we can promise our staff is our commitment to them and the promise we will do better.
Building an empowered culture was Kim’s goal 15 years ago when she started 8THIRTYFOUR. Several years ago, culture fell off the rails and didn’t get back on track until the Entrepreneurial Operating System® was fully implemented.
EOS® gave us a baseline to make decisions and a system to follow to ensure we kept culture on track and focused on transparency and accountability.
If you haven’t heard of EOS®, reach out, and we’ll add you to our monthly support group.