Listen to this episode here: Build Your Resilience

Welcome to our blog for TALKING NUMBERS with Paul Jansz. In this article, we share our conversation with Jodi Woelkerling, director of Jodi Woelkerling Enterprise. We will focus on the wellbeing, people and culture in the workplace.

Culture is an Intangible Yet Essential Concept

Jodi specialises in working with people on their resilience and working on cultures and businesses to build a resilient culture. Jodi explains that culture is an intangible concept, but she sees it as the vibe and the engagements. It is a very multifaceted term; it includes the general positivity or negativity, the amount people collaborating and working together to innovate and adapt to change.

We Don’t Have to Accept Stress as A Way of Life

Jodi realises that stress has become such a common way of our lives these days; it’s almost so common that we don’t notice it. Stress has enormous negative effects. Jodi is trying to alert people that it doesn’t have to be the way, and we can live with a feeling of calm and in control, and resilient to the challenges that we face.

Jodi thinks it’s a case of building up how you proactively handle the stressors in your life at an individual level. We can’t always reduce the stressors in our lives, but we can build up the ability to manage them, so those stressors don’t negatively impact our wellbeing. Jodi emphasises it is definitely doable.

Stress is Often Presented by A Combination of Symptoms

Jodi says the signs of distress vary. However, some key patterns always come up when people feel stressed. For most people, their sleep gets affected. Sometimes, they have trouble falling asleep; sometimes, they have trouble getting back to sleep if they wake up. For some people, they feel like their mind is racing and they are unable to switch off. Some people feel like they are always on-edge and don’t have emotional control, which often showed via anger or upset.

None of these factors on their own mean stress, but people experience the combination in certain time of life. It’s also important to look into how long the symptoms persist. It’s about both quantitative and qualitative measures.

There are easy ways to fix those feelings, but not necessarily good for people in the long run. Jodi illustrates that some people deliberately use alcohol or chocolate to make themselves feel better, which actually could be a sign of stress.

Measurement for the Workplace is A Good Start

Jodi introduces there are statistics available to use as indicators. A business can use employee turnover, performance reviews, engagement surveys to measure how people are doing, and they can also create more quantitative measures.

Jodi uses engagement surveys as an example. It’s a good way to make people feel safe to speak out, and build trust and a feeling of anonymity, if you are doing it right. If people don’t feel safe to be able to speak up openly, that’s a major red flag.

Jodi says there are also general things, like the way people interact. Jodi looks at things such as if they are friendly or walking around with a smile on their face. Jodi works on this mixture of qualitative and quantitative measurement, piece it all together and work out an assessment. Then she lists out the strengths, weaknesses and areas of improvement.

Resilience Is the Ability to Weather Challenges

Jodi says there’s always challenges that we need to face. Resilience is about being able to weather those challenges while staying calm and catching the bad mood before they get too overwhelmed.

Jodi believes resilience in our leaders is very important. Leaders set the tone of the team, if the leader looks stressed, people might stop raising concerns and come with suggestions. For leaders, time management is one of the critical management strategies to be able to recenter themselves and keep calm.

Business should focus on helping senior executives to create that enduring, resilient culture, which is positive, productive and collaborative. People who work well, and people who are happy working together are generally going to be more productive, which drives profit.

Jodi further explains, sometimes leaders need to sit down with the team and have that serious conversation, but it’s important to have ongoing conversations. Businesses need a provision of support and training to help people perform.

Building the Right Culture Is the Priority

Jodi summarises that, building resilience is always about creating a mindset of growth and development. If the culture is not right for a business, business viability will be affected. Being in a stressed environment is not a fire emergency. It’s more like a back burner; it escalates and becomes a problem that doesn’t get addressed..

Jodi suggests treating a workplace culture as an absolute priority; it is a non-negotiable thing to address in the viability of a business going forward.

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