WHERE HAS ALL THE STAFF GONE?
It is well known that absenteeism due to mental illness in companies and organizations has not only increased because of the pandemic, but has certainly increased since. However, how severe is frightening: Mental illnesses occupy second place in the list of reasons for absenteeism with regard to long periods of incapacity to work. According to the DAK Health Report 22, there is an increase from 264 (2020) to 275 (2021) days of incapacity to work per 100 people with health insurance. Absences due to mental illness read like this: In 10 years, anxiety has increased by 77%. On average, employees are absent for 78 days due to depressive episodes. An average of 68 lost days are due to adjustment disorders. Employees who are absent usually struggle for a very long time with recovery and supervisors and colleagues with absorbing the additional tasks that arise.
THE PROBLEM OF DISSOCIATION
What holds body (soma) and mind (psyche) together is a functioning connection between the somatic and cognitive systems. In English: All areas of the brain that are responsible for thinking, analyzing, formulating, speaking, deciding, writing, hearing, etc. normally work together with those responsible for the body. Under constant stress, however, they become more and more disconnected from the body’s functional system, in extreme cases even completely, which is called dissociation. It is extremely dangerous to repeatedly pull yourself together under great stress and to push yourself beyond your own limits, to suppress the body’s signals again and again, even though the somatic system is groaning at every nook and cranny. If the sleep and digestive disorders can no longer be explained away, pain, feelings of exhaustion and tension become clearer, but remain unnoticed, that only makes the scene worse in the long run. In the end, the body always wins this power struggle.
“TOO MUCH” BECOMES: “UNBEARABLE!”
Unfortunately, feelings have no place in the world of work, although they are the first, lightning-fast messengers, long before the body really shows signs of discomfort. But since feelings are frowned upon in most corporate cultures, all too often a “plan B” of repression is needed: distraction and numbing strategies like alcohol to “decompress”, stimulants and tranquilizers to balance, TV marathons to “switch off” or social Media constant distraction, up to overeating, sugar and/or drug consumption are often the reason for the worsening of stress, loss of performance and lack of energy. Feelings and body signals are whitewashed over long distances and thus become stronger and stronger. The avoidance and stunning behavior increases accordingly. According to numerous studies, this accelerates the breakdown of gray matter in the brain, and the brain is in an emergency state. Creativity, innovative strength, empathy, social skills, productivity and efficiency are falling behind more and more. Eventually, exhaustion and overstimulation will progress to the point where even activities that used to be fun become challenging. When instability, loss of trust and insecurities arise in teams and organizations due to work overload and constantly changing working conditions, it happens: Inability to work occurs, for example due to adjustment disorders.
HIGH PRESSURE AND LACK OF STAFF IS NOT THE FULL PICTURE
Especially in times of major changes, most employees complain not only about being overworked, but also about an uneasy working atmosphere. Even more, about the lack of leadership skills of superiors. In most cases, this is based on the following: Employees do not feel heard, not seen, they lack orientation, integration, transparency, reliability, appreciation and empathy. The emotional withdrawal begins. In its last study for the year 2021, the Gallup Institute reported that only just under 15% of employees in Germany feel an emotional connection to their work, to their workplace. Apart from the fact that executives are also under a lot of pressure and can hardly manage to coordinate work processes, the problem lies in ignoring or pushing aside these hard, proven and measurable facts. Facts that are clearly reflected in the key performance indicators of companies, but which relate to emotional sensitivities, tend to go unnoticed all too often.
A FRUIT BASKET IN THE CANTEEN IS NICE, BUT NOT YET A CORPORATE CULTURE
Psychological and somatic stress on employees is often dealt with in the area of company health management. But the offer of healthy food in the canteen, additional payments for fitness offers and regular stress management courses are a start, but not yet a corporate culture. In order to strategically counteract the effects of increasing digitization in the long term, to take into account the strong external influences and the far-reaching change processes not only in organizational decisions, to give employees and managers help not only through company health management, sustainable organizational and corporate management concepts are required .
THE KEY: HOLISTIC AND SUSTAINABLE CHANGE SUPPORT
Mindfulness and leadership are two important counterpoints to increasing digitization and the difficulties in fragile, fear-inducing economic situations. Knowing how to ensure that dissociation can be prevented on a daily basis increases the resilience of managers and employees. The leadership attitude and the socially competent, coaching skills that you bring to organizations and companies as a mindful leader have an extremely positive effect on employee loyalty, employee efficiency and overall productivity. Mindful leadership ensures that in all decisions, in all visions, missions and strategies, in all processes in daily activities, in structural changes and always in encounters with colleagues, employees, customers and superiors, in meetings, employee appraisals, in delegations and not only the ravages of time are taken into account in self-management, but also the future, sustainable results from the work merger.
If you would like to experience and learn how leadership becomes mindful leadership, how you can bring about the change in working climate, how you can maintain and increase the productivity and efficiency of your organization and at the same time ensure resilience, empathy, social skills and promote trust, reliability, orientation and motivation in the long term contact me or book one of the seminars on “Corporate and employee management in times of great change”, “Mindful Leadership” or visit one of the workshops offered.