Showing Stress

Stress is a natural state which allows our minds and bodies to prepare for the unexpected. Some stress is good: It helps us prepare for a big task and protects against imminent threats. However, a constant state of stress is exhausting and bad for our physical and emotional health.

We show stress in four ways:

Physically: feeling the rush of adrenaline, headaches, muscle tension.

Emotionally: becoming snappy or teary with little provocation; losing our confidence and vitality.

Cognitively: black and white thinking; catastrophising and dwelling on unhealthy thoughts; being indecisive.

Behaviorally: increasing our drinking or drug use; avoiding people and places; eating comfort food or not eating at all; insomnia.

By identifying indicators that we are stressed, we develop self-awareness that allows us to intervene before we feel overwhelmed.

 

To see the full tip sheet, download your App, AccessMyEAP via Google Play and the App Store. Please note the contact details on the App are AccessEAP contacts details. Please call 1800 650 204 to arrange an appointment.

 

 

 

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Identifying your Stress Signatures - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. This month we have a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP.

As we turn towards the second quarter of the year, it's a good time to reflect on how we are travelling and what we want to create as the year continues. With recurring lockdowns and travel restrictions, many of us did not have the break we were hoping for at the end of last year – and without that break, batteries could be a bit low and edges a bit frayed. And now we are facing floods and the loss which accompanies the damage. So if your energy levels are low, you're feeling overwhelmed or a bit "blah", it is not surprising. To support those that may have been affected by the recent events or if you have been directly impacted, please see our article, Support through Natural Disasters, which includes individual support strategies as well as information for managers and leaders.

Stress can show itself in many forms. As a leader, I am on the lookout for signs of stress and low energy in the people I lead – and in myself. Stress might take the form of headaches and tension; it might be losing your confidence or being irritable; it might be having difficulty concentrating or making decisions. Or stress might cause you to reach for that extra drink, that extra piece of cake, or you might lose your appetite altogether. These are all signatures of the effect of stress to be aware of. 

Resilience is a word that is used a lot when it comes to discussing how to respond to stress. The trick is to make the word meaningful for yourself and for those in your organisation, and not just an expression that is equivalent to 'move on and get over it'. The word resilience has been around since the mid-1600s. It's from the Latin meaning 'to spring back.' And that meaning is part of the problem. Sometimes springing back to the way we were is absolutely not what is needed. If I notice my golf-swing is not producing the results I want on a particular course, it may need to adapt to the unfamiliar conditions rather than persist with what I usually do. I like the definition of resilience given by CSIRO Research Fellow Brian Walker – "Resilience is… the ability to adapt and change, to reorganise, while coping with disturbance. It is all about changing in order not to be changed." Resilience is about:

  • having available to you a diversity of styles of responding
  • being self-aware and open to challenges
  • not being over connected with others and your environment (you might get overwhelmed), or under-connected (in which case you may not learn and you might miss the bigger picture)
  • being able to respond quickly
  • being ready to transform if necessary.

This is a much more nuanced version of resilience than the one we are often told about.

So, how might we all put this version of resilience into practice? I believe it starts with being curious. Curiosity lies at the heart of the joy and excitement of discovery, of finding new ways of doing things, of finding our unique approach to the world that uses our strengths and insights. Curiosity also means we aren't afraid to make mistakes. It's said that when a reporter asked him, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps." A growth mindset is vital.

So, as you face into the second quarter of the year, take an energy check for yourself and others in your organisation, and have a think about what resilience can meaningfully mean to you and encourage others to do the same.

 

Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

 

Newsletter Cover Image- Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

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Connecting Mind & Body- a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. This month we have a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP.

As we head further into 2021, I’ve been thinking about ways in which we can take control over areas of our lives and how this increases resilience and overall health. In particular, the connection of mind and body, looking at where Eastern and Western understandings of health can both give guidance.

Finding ways in which we can regain a sense of control in our personal lives despite what is happening all around us can help us with managing our feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. What are things we can do in terms of looking after our physical health? And what are the flow-on effects in terms of our mental health? In the West, we used to look at the mind and body as related but separate systems and illness as a faulty body part. While your sore wrist may be RSI from using a mouse, one way of treating it would be painkillers and maybe a steroid injection. A holistic response looks at your posture, how much time you spend on a computer, what forms of exercise you are engaging in. The Eastern understanding of the body would look at is as a connected system that includes diet, social connections, spiritual engagement – the totality of your life away from work.

A simple way to bring all of our systems together is to have awareness of what we eat and how we move. Both of these activities impact the body and mind. We know the relationship between exercise and mood. There is now a growing understanding of how food impacts our mental clarity and emotional wellbeing: what we eat and how we move influences how we feel, how we sleep – and how we think and work.

Problem-solving capacity increases after exercising – so the idea of clearing your head by going for a walk is an easy starting point; it also increases endorphins, thereby lifting mood.   The previous image of the dedicated employee who only eats lunch at the desk has been replaced by a workforce – led by compassionate leaders who lead by example – think walking meetings! At Newport & Wildman, we know how quickly time passes, so our Wellbeing Champions work with our employees to implement initiatives to remind everyone to take mindful and active breaks. As a leader, role-modelling good habits is essential. Recharging your batteries increases satisfaction and productivity and minimises burnout. Getting away from the workplace, whether on a break from your workspace or around your neighbourhood and enjoying the season – the shade of a tree in summer or bracing wind while rugged up in winter – activates a range of our senses, a key aspect of mindfulness. If you haven’t exercised much, start with a walk, and increase the time and the intensity. No matter what your current level of fitness is, working towards a physical goal promotes mastery and self-esteem.

High sugar/high-fat foods give a short term lift which is often followed by a sugar slump or binge-regrets. I’m certainly tempted by the array of quick and easy local café options but the majority of what I eat I try to be mindful about. The gut and the brain are intimately linked – what you eat affects the production of neurotransmitters. Serotonin is produced in the gut, and so good gut health has a significant impact. Looking after the gut means a high-fibre diet, low in processed food and sugars – which includes regulating your alcohol intake. As with exercise – make changes gradually, so you don’t set yourself up to fail. You may also notice that regular exercise and mindful eating will impact the quality of your sleep.  You can get the benefits of small changes as well as a sense of control in a year which still feels unusual.

The benefit to organisations that promote healthy food and exercise patterns are a healthier, more productive workforce. Over 2020, we prioritised health at Newport & Wildman with employees joining in online yoga, setting walking challenges and ensuring we made time for mindful activities. In the absence of a shared lunchroom for much of 2020, shared food became online shared recipes.

In changing times, flexibility is a necessary strategy to succeed, so keeping your employees informed and engaged about their health and your journey, as well as the business direction, will help to carry all of us through.

 

Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

 

Cover Article Image- Pexels image by Trang Doan

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Diversity & Inclusion Resources

This month have celebrated International Women's Day and Harmony Day within Harmony Week. Harmony Day is about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background, united by a set of core Australian values.

These are just two days that are highlighted but we encourage you to celebrate and implement diversity and inclusion in the workplace across all of March and throughout the year. To support your organisation through this, below are two great resources.

Inclusive Language Guide: Respecting people of intersex, trans and gender diverse experience 

Learn how to use inclusive language in a respectful way with this Inclusive Language Guide

Universal Music UK
Creative Differences: A handbook for embracing neurodiversity in the creative industries

Learn about neurodiversity, which refers to the infinite variation in cognitive functioning that can lead to differences in thinking, attention and memory. The handbook explores the experiences of people with specific facets of neurodiversity such as ASD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia and Tourette Syndrome.

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Sleeping Well

Looking after our physical health is a significant part of looking after our overall wellbeing. Having a healthy lifestyle includes making the right choices such as healthy eating, being active and maintaining a healthy weight. Another aspect is getting a good night's sleep.

We know we need sleep but how do we get a good night's sleep? 

It's important to have sufficient, regular, good quality sleep so we can function effectively in our busy lives and help to maintain strong, robust immune systems. Nine hours a day is the standard health professionals suggest while realising that for many people, because of multiple competing demands, this is often difficult to achieve. The importance of short “nana naps” cannot be underestimated, as well as short, still “zone out times” during the day to help us to refresh our brains and bodies. If we review our sleep pattern there are probably some small things we can do to make our routine healthier – and we’re likely to then be surprised by the difference they make.

Some Useful Tips

  • Aim to go to bed at a similar time as often as you can so you can have enough hours to help repair and heal the body from the stressors of the previous day.
  • Spend a quiet period immediately prior to turning in to help your body and mind settle. That means no phones, tv, tablets etc.
  • A warm bath or shower before bed can trick the body into calming down, loosening.
  • Get to know your body and the effects of alcohol, spicy food and other stimulants too close to your bedtime.
  • Darkening the room so your body automatically prepares itself for rest can be helpful.
  • If you regularly wake up during the night and have difficulty falling back to sleep, remember that it may help to get up, have some water or a soothing tea, sit and quietly breathe, rather than lying in bed tense and frustrated that you are awake. Once we notice you are feeling more soothed and settled return to bed.
  • Some people find it helps to read for a while or have a shower before trying again. It is to do with interrupting the pattern of tension and trying something different that may help to soothe your mind and body.

It is worth formulating your own list of practical, healthy, accessible, common sense ways to soothe your body and mind, so you can get optimised times of rest and rejuvenation.

To arrange an appointment, contact us on 1800 650 204.

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Self-care through changing workspaces - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. This month we have a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP.

In the face of the changes we all went through last year, now is a good time to reflect on how our workplaces and activities will change. What will this mean to leaders of organisations as we optimise our work environments? This month I look at two related concepts: big-picture, structural changes to our workplaces; and how we respond quickly to ensure that our best assets – our teams – are supported.

Managers have always looked at how they can improve productivity, support customers and engage with employees to deliver on goals.  Previously this might have looked at maximising resources like the real estate where offices are located. Hot desking was loved by management but not embraced by employees. Concepts of touch-free, physical distanced workspaces, rosters which stagger staffing levels and even downsizing office space are being discussed at companies and departments, and these changes will make their presence felt over coming months. For those who have remained at their workplaces, managers have had to adapt to ongoing changing/fluctuating restrictions and help their employees through these changes.

The concepts of physical and mental health overlap significantly. When employees feel that their physical environment is safe, their job is safe; then it is easier for them to feel emotionally safe and remain productive. While we can’t guarantee how safe anyone’s employment is, we can provide a calm, caring presence for our employees, and encourage them to take steps to look after themselves within the workplace and at home.

Encouraging (and role-modelling!) self-care is not only a kind and ethical approach to leading our people. It increases self-esteem and productivity by giving employees a sense of autonomy and control, and the effects carry across to home life.

Working hard is admirable – and setting a realistic boundary is as well. As the economy and the collective soul of the country recovers, I’m aiming for balancing constructive work with exercise, closing the laptop at a decent hour, and connecting with family and friends. At Newport & Wildman, these are discussions that leaders frequently have with their teams: our KPI discussions now include talking about mental health and wellbeing as well as outcomes and results.

On my work from home day, I make sure I exercise, and if there is an opportunity when I've finished work, I try to incorporate my passion for golf, which allows me to be clear-headed, focused and gives me the headspace for thinking. My other essential is going for a walk; early morning exercise puts me in the right headspace emotionally and physically to tackle the day. A walk is so easy – low impact, all I need is a pair of comfortable shoes, and I ease into the day.  While my phone is available for emergencies, I leave email till I finish my walk. With flexible work, employees find their own work-life balance. For many responding to emails or thinking time, can be early in the morning or after bedtime for the kids, it is important to have discussions with employees to ensure they are looking after themselves and managing to fit in self-care routines.  Despite the restrictions that 2020 placed on business – and the fears many managers had about productivity as work from home became the necessary work model for so many – what became apparent was that our employees were on the journey with us. Productivity was solid as workers largely felt trusted and empowered to manage their outputs.

While physical alterations to the new workspace will evolve gradually, the social changes start with us – with sensible, well-considered policies, and trusting our employees to be empowered and make decisions.  Our new challenges are isolation, disengagement and lack of collaboration as workspaces change and remote working is the new norm. If we encourage our employees to do their best and also be kind to themselves, we get the balance right. If we continue to communicate, to listen and adapt to the changing circumstances. To listen to the needs and challenges of our employees, business environments and society, we will continue to build sustainable businesses where people want to work. Encouraging and leading our people to show that we can work with focus but also value the time decompressing and enjoying our lives is the biggest gift we can give them this year.

Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

Newsletter Coverage Image- Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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Emotions at Work

Workplace culture has changed since the days where people started work, did what the manager told them to do and 'logged off". Today, workplaces need to engage and motivate their employees by understanding what employees need from their work. We know employees want to grow, want to be valued, involved, and to feel part of the organisation.

Each generation may have differing needs and not factoring in employees’ values, needs and expectations leads to strong emotions at work which can lead to decreased productivity. Engagement is key to a mentally healthy and productive workplace culture – organisations need emotionally intelligent leaders who know how to respond in a way that facilitates positive workplace behaviour.

What do we unwittingly do that creates negative/positive emotion?

Insight and awareness around the impact of behaviour on others is a skill that can be learned and developed – paying attention to body language and others’ reactions is key. It’s important that you choose your moment to seek feedback or deliver information.

Are negative emotions in the workplace bad?

Emotions are contagious so it is important to listen, be aware and address underlying issues before the emotions impact on others within the workplace. Negative emotions are defined as, for example, anger, frustration, burnout - all emotions that are part of being human. It’s unrealistic to expect people not to have emotion, but they need to learn how to effectively manage their emotions. One way to manage emotions in the workplace is for leaders to know how to have a constructive conversation which includes active listening, de-escalation, providing feedback. If your managers require some skills in this area our Constructive Conversations training can help employees use negative emotion to create a positive consequence.

What works?

Upskilling and training managers to manage emotions is important.

Many managers get promoted for their technical skills and abilities and may experience difficulty managing strong emotions. These skills can be taught through coaching and training and should include: de-escalation skills, skills to keep calm, active listening, reflecting and summarising. 

Modelling behaviour from the top down

It’s important to model the behavioural response that you want to see in others. Leaders set the tone for organisational culture and communication. Consultation is key; that is, consulting with employees to understand the type of culture everyone wants to create. Role modelling that behaviour is important as employees become disillusioned if they do not feel heard and their value isn’t acknowledged. It’s like building a muscle – it takes time and practice.

Managing difficult emotions/trauma

Acknowledging emotion, without deciding whether the emotion is valid or not, is very powerful. People want to feel that their emotional response is heard and understood. Your first step is to calm the situation by listening with real empathy.  The person is then ready to work with you to generate solutions, and while it takes longer, does mean there will be “buy-in”. Managing trauma in the workplace means moving at the individuals’ pace and understanding that everyone is impacted differently and therefore there will be different responses. Recognising and acknowledging that there is a range of normal reactions to trauma, and suspending judgement (no right or wrong response) will assist the workplace to recover effectively.

To arrange an appointment call 1800 650 204 or for enquiries about related training please contact the Newport & Wildman Team.

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Keeping Constructive

The pandemic has forced us to look more closely at the way we work particularly in terms of team and people interactions and dynamics. The way that our teams function is crucial to our workplace culture and productivity. If your organisation adopts an approach of creating teams based on aptitude, skills and diversity it can create endless potential but also a natural breeding ground for differences in approach and opinions, and if this isn’t acknowledged, it could lead to potential conflict. 

From time to time we all encounter situations where we dislike a person’s behaviour and we feel we need to say something. It may be that your job requires you to have these conversations with people on a regular basis. A common myth is that raising the issue might make things worse, however, a carefully constructed conversation might save things from getting worse.

Constructive Conversations Training

To arrange a training session for your organisation, please speak to the Newport & Wildman team.

Here are some tips for initiating a potentially difficult conversation:

CCoversations

  1. Be Confident with your Concerns

It can be easy to stop ourselves from raising concerns by minimising their importance. For example, we may tell ourselves we are “just being silly” or we are “being too sensitive” or “it’s not such a big deal really”. If it is impacting you or someone else negatively, it is important. Be clear with yourself about the reasons why you are initiating the conversation.

  1. Focus on the Behaviour

Let the person know that it is their behaviour which is upsetting or concerning to you. Be careful not to label the person, for example instead of saying “you are selfish and lazy” you could say “when you leave me to clean up everything I feel let down because I am doing it all alone without any help”.

  1. Be Clear and Specific

Anxiety about how someone might react can lead to messages being “watered-down”. We may give a lot of positive feedback in amongst the negative, or we might talk generally to a group about behaviour that bothers us without speaking directly to the person involved. The risk is that your message will not be heard by them.

  1. Listen

This can sometimes be the hard part because people can be defensive or angry after hearing your concerns and your feedback. They may attack. They may deny that there’s an issue. They may even convince you it’s “all in your head”. Let them talk. Don’t interrupt, explain, justify or defend. First, listen. There will be time to respond later.

  1. Respond Calmly

Depending on how the person has reacted to your concerns remaining calm can be tricky, however, focus on clarifying the factual accuracies of what the person has said. Their feelings are subjective and you can’t change these. The person may be angry with you for some time. Confidently re-state your concerns. If you can, come to a resolution or compromise. You may need some time to think about what each other has said.

For more information, you can arrange an appointment or utilise our Manager Support Hotline on 1800 650 204.

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2021 Wellbeing in Focus Calendar

Our 2021 Wellbeing in Focus Calendar has launched!

It's time to put Wellbeing In Focus with our 2021 Calendar of tools, training and resources. 

The Newport & Wildman Wellbeing in Focus Calendar is a great way to plan quarterly activity around the areas that may be of particular importance to your organisation while making sure you are aware of a wider range of topics. The Annual Planner gives a great overview while the quarterly themes help you to deliver information in manageable parts, highlighting importance and focusing attention. Over the course of the year, you will have access to new and updated resources! 

Our 2021 Wellbeing in Focus Calendar Annual Planner is available through the Employer Login Section and of the website.

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Realistic Resolutions

We've reached 2021 and with that, another year of expectations and resolutions for the year ahead. Chances are, at some time in your life, you've made New Year Resolutions and then broken them only to repeat the cycle the following year. It is common for people to get caught up in a pattern of resolving to make important changes across life and then not following through. This year, keeping these few simple tips in mind may help to increase your chances of success.

Pick Realistic Goals

The surest way to fall short of your new year’s resolution is to set your goals too high. Remember to keep your goals realistic, small and achievable.

Define Those Goals

A common pitfall for people is that they are too vague about what they want to achieve. Spending time developing a specific, concrete action plan with the details of each small step will help increase your chances of success.

Plan Ahead

If your action plan involves tasks which need to be done daily or weekly, set specific times of the day or week which you will use to work on it. The key is to stay flexible and adopt changes needed to be successful in your goals.

Have a Contingency Plan

Decide how you will deal with temptation. This could include practising positive thinking, reviewing the reasons why you set goals in the first place or calling a friend.

Track Your Progress

Keep track of each small success you make toward reaching your larger goal. Rewarding your small accomplishments will help keep you motivated along the way.

Seek Out Support

Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell family and friends who will be supportive of your resolve to make a change in your life. Let them know how to help you achieve your goal.

Keep Trying

Accept that there will be times when your resolve weakens or you will have that slip-up. Don’t beat yourself up – simply start over again! Keep trying and enlist the help of professional services if needed.

To arrange an appointment, call 1800 650 204.

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Reflecting on 2020 - a message from Sally Kirkright, AccessEAP CEO

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. This month we have a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP.

We endured 2020, and many of us learnt something about ourselves and the resilience of human nature. It had tough and challenging moments – as well as some really poignant times when we embraced a "we're in this together" mentality. While looking back at how hard it was, it is just as important to reflect on the learnings, the wins and the positives of 2020.

I am amazed and proud of my team's resilience and of all people in the organisations we work with, especially those in essential services, hospitals, health care, aged care, transport and retail, who continued to show up and provide support, care and services. For those of us who worked from home, spare rooms and dining tables became impromptu office spaces. New processes and new ways of working came along, and we changed our thinking about the way we do things, focusing on our safety, health and wellbeing. From looking out for each other and loved ones to time spent on walks or exercising instead of the daily commute, the one constant was uncertainty and change. Each of us were challenged to think about how do we thrive during these times. For leaders, we were challenged and experienced the responsibility of looking after our people's wellbeing whilst balancing the needs of our businesses.

Being at the helm of AccessEAP and Newport & Wildman means being close to the emotional pulse of the country. I aim to look outwards on behalf of our organisations and their people and see what matters are relevant and important on many levels; local, national and international – and also to look inwards to see how my teams are managing and what they need to thrive. What transpired for us were record numbers of managers and employees reaching out for support. This highlighted and reinforced how mental health support and a focus on wellbeing is an integral part of running a business and is increasingly a priority in any organisation's strategy for the future.  

My role here has given me an amazing insight into how adaptable people can be. Change is a challenging concept for people and companies. The uncertainty can induce a lot of stress. In the face of the biggest changes that we have faced in generations, staff have shown flexibility, and managers have shown compassion and incredible kindness. Newport & Wildman will work with you as we face similar or new challenges in 2021 whether that includes a transition to the office or to a new normal (whatever that may look like) for your people, through individual support, coaching for managers and people leaders, and learning and development opportunities for teams.

We have seen ordinary Australians show what extraordinary things they can do when called upon. This gives me great hope about how quickly we will recover and move forward to thrive with whatever 2021 brings. We must acknowledge the individual losses of friends, family, work and mental health. But as a community, we will come back and support each other and those bonds will make the recovery faster.

In adversity, I look for the positive and the opportunity; the opportunity for a deeper understanding of myself and others; an opportunity for personal growth. That's what got me through last year, and I hope this can help you in 2021.

 

Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

 

Cover Image by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas from Pexels

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Wrapping up 2020

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. This month we have a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP.

In recent newsletters, I’ve highlighted a consistent theme – clear and kind communication. In 2020, being clear about what we require from those around us is what moved us forward in this year of uncertainty.

As 2020 gets ready to shuffle off into history, it’s time to cast a glance around at what has been important this year. Putting people first in terms of protecting their health, safety and ability to keep working has been front and centre for most organisations. Organisations who have staff working away from their offices tell us about prioritising team connections while being separated. Not just employee briefings but also birthday celebrations and family moments, and re-creating informal time where smaller groups log in with a cuppa and just talk. Like people used to do informally in the lunchroom.

Thank goodness Australia’s response – and particularly the bravery of Melbourne – has led to some sort of normality returning. Most of our offices have been welcoming staff back in – in staggered at-work and work-from-home rosters. It’s such a relief to hear laughter in the lunchroom again.

This feels like a time to reflect on how important kind, as well as clear communication, is. How you talk and write is as important as what you say or write. Emotion is transmitted as we communicate. Think how heated conversations about masks, protests, and overseas elections can become. So taking the time to pause and consider the emotional understory of our communications is paramount.

Caring communication is not just about what you say. It benefits people when you just listen. If someone is struggling, ask how they are, and just listen. A lot of us want to fix things – give people a solution to a problem that they still might not fully understand. Rather than give advice, just let them tell their story. Our clinical staff often say that their best work happens in the sessions where they talk the least. Letting someone talk though issues allows them to understand their situation. Understanding and relief follow.

If Christmas and the festive season is about giving and being together, then the best gift we can give is true kindness. Connect with those who are isolated, family members who have drifted away, old friends and find out how they got through this year because we did get through. And now is a time to pause and consider how all of those around us are more precious than any physical gift we could find under the tree.

Happy Holidays. Best wishes for a safe and restful festive and holiday season.

Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

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Keeping Connected

As we continue through December and prepare for the festivities, it’s easy to become distracted with long ‘to-do’ lists; calendars booked up with extra social events whether that be socially distanced or virtually; and perhaps finalising work in preparation for a well-earned break. These distractions can impact on our relationships with the people we care about most, so here are some tips for maintaining positive relationships during the festive season.

1. Take Time to be Present: During busy periods, it’s so easy to be on auto-pilot and not notice the passage of time. Stop yourself from just going through the motions by paying attention to the moment. Observe without judgement the sounds, smells, sights, and people around you.

2. Acknowledge Feelings First: When someone you care about is upset, you may find yourself offering them solutions only to have them become more upset. Consider whether, in trying to fix the problem, you’ve forgotten to first show you understand why it’s upsetting for them. Studies show that understanding another person’s emotions is key to maintaining effective relationships.

3. Give Compliments: You may be confident that the people you care about are fully aware of your positive feelings about them and there is no need to tell them. Don’t leave them guessing. Tell the important people in your life the things that you like or love about them, often.

4. Re-connect: Consider when was the last time you connected with someone important in your life that you don’t see often. Do you know what they did yesterday or what their plans are today? Take the time to call, send a message, or visit if you can, someone you have lost touch with.

5. Find Common Ground: Sometimes it’s the differences between us that can cause a sense of disconnect. Identify and talk about the things you have in common, whether it be hobbies, goals, opinions, or values.

6. Be Inclusive: A sense of belonging is critical to our wellbeing and overall happiness. You are in an ideal position to create an atmosphere of inclusiveness and belonging by ensuring that everyone is on your invitation list, and has a valued place in your family, social group, or workplace.

7. Connect to Values: Be clear about your own values, that is, the things which are important to you, and which guide your life decisions. Behave consistently with your values and ensure that these are the things that guide and motivate the choices you make within your relationships.

8. Add Humour: Make sure that there is plenty of room for fun, humour, and silliness in your relationships. Humour and jokes about shared experiences and those things which are out of your control, can help relieve stress or frustration.

 

As we head into the festive season it is easy to get caught up in the festivities. There is pressure to have fun, spend time with family and loved ones but for some people, the festive season can be a time of sadness and loneliness. See here for more information and tips for managing loneliness

 

Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

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AccessEAP CEO Feature - Shaping our future workplaces

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. This month we have a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP.

As we come to the close of a year none of us could have imagined possible in our lifetime, I don’t know about you, but I need a serious recharge. It has been a tough year, and it’s not over yet. Before you and your people take a well-earned break, I wanted to start a conversation in terms of what we’ve learned. This year has been unrelenting, with bushfires, floods, hailstorms and the pandemic. The pandemic is front and centre of our thinking, particularly how the post-pandemic workplace is evolving. It is important for you and your teams to take the time to reflect as this year will shape next year and beyond. This reflection will help each of us to process and understand the personal impact and then the essential next steps you need to take for your people and organisation.

Although the catch cry for this year has been “unprecedented” in reality, businesses regularly face events which completely change the landscape in which they operate. They have to adapt quickly or become irrelevant. The internet has changed businesses in every industry, and we’ve seen the emergence of and potential impacts of a cashless economy. Digital transformation will continue to change the way we do business, technology is continually evolving, and we need to regularly question why we do what we do and how we do it.

This pandemic certainly got us thinking and questioning at lightning speed. Has our decision making abilities as leaders improved in response to navigating through rapid change and upheaval?

What has been interesting for us has been the speed businesses have adapted when faced with the need to protect their people and keep their livelihoods as well. The pandemic crystalised the why for many businesses. The primary focus was on people and their safety. For us we have surprised ourselves how agile we can be and more confident of what we can achieve. The top lessons for us and when working with your people can be put down to: Putting your people first, Purpose to guide decision making, Agility, Communication; Done. Not Perfect and finally Be Courageous!

In a microcosm of digital transformation, our team implemented a new VOIP telephony system within ten days, to speed up our transition to securing our people’s safety by working from home. I am not going to pretend my team weren’t stretched by the end of the ten days and needed time to regroup. We have been acutely aware of promoting self-care and good physical and mental hygiene to avoid burnout. 

I encourage you to focus on self-care, particularly in the lead up to Christmas. Due to Covid restrictions, we haven’t done a lot to give us a real break this year, e.g. dinner with friends, weddings, celebrating significant events/birthdays, travel etc.  Events such as these usually give us a break from BAU, and we haven’t had these things in our life to take away some of the cognitive load of the year.

Try to carve out time for activities that allow you to unwind and have fun; it could be a picnic, or travel to regional Australia spending some money where it can help local communities. What is in your toolkit to avoid overloading? I have started swimming – I have to be mindful and focus on my breathing so I don’t drown! Put moments of “fun” in your calendar, seek out fun and time out, don’t talk COVID, fires, trauma and the year we have had – it’s not about avoidance it’s about having a break and committed to your self-care.

As we settle into new ways of working and the immediate threats have become manageable when can we shift a greater focus to recouping losses and being more overt about being profitable? How can we harness the ways of working, behaviours and skills our people have learned throughout the past year, to forge deeper corporate cultures and create stronger Employee Value Propositions/engagement? If you have been able to lead your people through this time building trust, improving culture and productivity, you may be hesitant to risk losing this impetus if the communication comes across as harsh and unfeeling.

We are asking these questions and will be developing resources to start the conversation around the Future of Our Workplaces. As always, I welcome your insights as we work together to explore a new possibility. What have been the important shifts you have seen in the way you work? What will you keep post-pandemic?

Big questions to ask and begin to answer. For now, best wishes for a safe and restful festive and holiday season. Please be assured our counselling and onsite services are available 24/7, 365 days a year however our other business functions observe the Australian public holidays and a short break from 25th December to 8th January 2020.

Sally Kirkright, AccessEAP CEO

 

Newsletter image- Photo by CoWomen from Pexels

 
 
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Support through the Festive Season 2020

Newport & Wildman wishes you all the best for the Festive Season. We appreciate the opportunity to work with you and look forward to a brighter 2021. We would like to thank you for continuing your partnership with us.

Please be assured our counselling and onsite services are available 24/7, 365 days a year however our other business functions observe the Australian public holidays and a short break from 25th December to 8th January 2021.

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Raise Awareness

Domestic Violence and Family Awareness

We're here to help

Supporting your organisation to respond to
Domestic and Family Violence during the pandemic

25th November is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with White Ribbon Day being observed on Friday, 20th November.

At Newport & Wildman, we strongly support these awareness days, particularly with the severity and frequency of domestic violence reported increasing as a result of the pandemic. Often the workplace is known to provide a safe place for victims of domestic and family violence. Working from home and other restrictions has increased isolation and the natural circuit breaker that leaving the home provides for both victim and perpetrator. Organisations have a vital role to play by raising awareness of this issue, understanding when and how to offer support, and addressing attitudes in the workplace, which perpetuate violence against women.

How we can support you

At Newport & Wildman, we are sensitive to the complexities of Domestic and Family Violence and encourage you to reach out for support especially at this difficult time given the unique pressures created by the pandemic.

Psychological Counselling and 1-1 Support
We have a team of counsellors who are experienced in Domestic and Family Violence support and are available for one to one, in-person, telephone or video counselling 24/7.
Contact us on 1800 650 204

Access the Employer and Employee Login Areas of our website to access the COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence Tools from earlier in the year.

Live Zoom Training and Webinars
Please contact Newport & Wildman so we can connect you with our Clinical and Organisational Development Teams.

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Movember Conversations

Movember Conversations

 

This November it's time to talk about Men's Health. The Movember Foundation is taking a stand to Tackle Prostate Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Mental Health And Suicide Prevention. To challenge the stigma of Mental Health they encourage everyone to have a conversation, just remember to use ALEC.

  • ASK
  • LISTEN
  • ENCOURAGE ACTION
  • CHECK-IN 

Click here for more information about Movember and how to get involved.

We often hear from men that they feel pressure to be seen as invulnerable, stoic, and fearless. This can lead to unrealistic expectations that as a man you should be able to cope no matter what, and “get on with it”. Emotions become synonymous with weakness and powerlessness. Men may also dismiss their feelings as unimportant and worry about burdening other people with their concerns.

Men experience emotions just as much as women do, however the pressure not to show emotion or vulnerability means that emotions will build-up and result in what appear to be random and unexpected behaviour. Reluctance to talk about or acknowledge emotion can manifest in all sorts of unhelpful ways including:

  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Addiction to gambling or betting
  • Ending relationships prematurely
  • Resigning suddenly from their job
  • Stopping activities of interest e.g. sports
  • Neglecting friends and family
  • Working longer hours
  • Communication only via emails or text messages
  • Aggression or violence
  • Excessive time watching fantasy, films, or gaming

For more information or to book an appointment, call us on 1800 650 204. To arrange training, please speak to Newport & Wildman.

 Cover photo in newsletter- Nonresident Unsplash

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Navigating Change - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

Newport & Wildman is proudly part of AccessEAP. This month we have a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP.

The amount and pace of change in the world is accelerating. Every leadership book talks about how the pace of change will continue to increase, and organisations who do not embrace change will be left behind. This is also true for those of us who have transitioned to working from home at a rapid rate. Now almost all people that we talk to can log onto a Zoom session and speak to their doctor via the phone.

As leaders, we need to think about our own responses to change and our employee's responses, and plan for both. There are change management courses and consultants for a reason, and that is because change is hard. We are told communicate your vision, communicate the changes and to take employees on a journey – all great advice – but most people think "what does the change mean for me?" and that will dictate their response. How we as leaders respond to their response will impact on how successfully the change is negotiated.

In organisations, the landscape is constantly evolving so we use change management models to create, plan out and communicate our vision to adapt to developing markets or new regulations. Steven Covey, of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, wrote that we need to "Begin with the end in mind" but I would add that we need to be ready to pivot in the face of developments and redesign the plan, reconsider what that 'end' goal looks like. Being fast and flexible is more than ever, a key component of change as organisations and employees are being asked to reconsider what normality is on a daily basis. At Newport & Wildman, we increased our Executive Leadership Huddles to daily briefs at the height of the pandemic to allow for this fast and flexible approach.

While we know that communication is always key to effective management, we have heard the stories where organisations faced restructures or changing markets but didn't see the staff as the first port of call. Effective change management requires you to be the information conduit, understand the vision and why it is required, and ensuring that everyone involved has a comprehensive picture of where you are all heading.

As leaders, we have responsibilities to our own managers, boards and shareholders, so they need to know where we are moving our organisation. They pay the piper, and so of course we need to show them how their investment is moving to the most secure and profitable future. But our biggest investment is the people on who we rely on to be on this journey with us.

Without ensuring that our staff are central in change management, we risk alienating them.  I recall the feeling of shock by many when we first heard Richard Branson's comment that clients don't come first. Employees come first – and when you treat employees well, care for the clients all flows from that. I love this kind of philosophy, and I would add a coda to it: fully communicate your vision to them – that way they know where you are all heading. Be kind and honest about the challenges you are all facing and how your personal management focusses on their wellbeing and security.

By communicating the hows and whys of any change to staff, you minimise fears, resentment and gossip. Acknowledge the challenges, display your care for people and treat them like equals who are fully capable of carving a new future. We have a number of channels for communication at Newport & Wildman including a weekly Team Update from myself and a Monthly Q&A to ensure we are keeping staff informed and engaged.

We offer a range of services here at Newport & Wildman to support you and your people. Speak to your Relationship Director to get an idea of what particular change strategy suits your organisation best.

Every sector of the country is moving through this changing landscape this year. While some change can be seen coming, sometimes it's a sudden blow across the bow. Responding with clarity and compassion keeps people calm, hopeful – and along with you for the journey.

 

Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

 

Newsletter Cover Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

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Positive Psychology in the Workplace

Positive psychology is a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings and behaviour with a focus on strengths, rather than weaknesses. Positive psychology aims to help people build on the good in their lives rather than repair the bad, and to help people thrive and flourish.

Professor Martin Seligman, one of the founders of positive psychology, developed a model of psychological well-being and happiness covering 5 core dimensions. The evidenced based model he developed is known as PERMA (Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning & Achievement), and can be applied to the workplace. Recent research by Australian-based Michelle McQuaid has added a new dimension H for Health to make the PERMAH model.

Positive emotions – Positive emotions boost our job performance. Positive emotions in the workplace are also contagious. People thrive when they are happier and experience less stress and fatigue. They are better able to remain optimistic, problem solve and work together in teams. 

Engagement – Look for opportunities to utilise your strengths. Be proactive. Have a conversation to discuss how you can apply your strengths. Managers should look at creating opportunities for team members to draw on their strengths and interests.

Relationships – Fostering positive relationships in the workplace has a number of benefits. It makes people feel connected and supported. Promote opportunities that allow collaboration and interaction.

Meaning – In the work environment, when there is a shared sense of purpose, people are more likely to feel satisfied with their job. Understanding how your role contributes to the vision and mission of the organisation you work for and the impact it has on helping others, provides a sense of meaning to the work you do.

Achievement – People thrive when they feel that they are succeeding, achieving goals, and bettering themselves. Set goals to work towards and when they achieve their goals, their success should be celebrated and acknowledged. 

Health – Are you building your foundation for your mental wellbeing? People thrive when they are eating well, moving regularly and sleeping deeply. Physical health can have a huge impact of mental wellbeing – and vice-versa.

 

Alison Keleher, Director, Newport & Wildman

 

References:

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Look after your Mental Health

WMHD Promise

 

1 in 5 of us experience a mental health issue every year. Mental Health Awareness Month in October is an opportunity for us to advocate for and raise awareness of mental health. With the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting the lives of our communities, it’s time to give mental health the focus and attention it deserves.

Organisations that create and harbour a culture of understanding, empathy and trust allow people to be open about the issues impacting their lives. And it is especially important for people with mental health conditions to feel safe and comfortable in discussing their experience and obtaining appropriate support. Please contact Newport & Wildman to discuss what Mental Health Awareness options we have to support you and your people.

For more information and tips on How to Improve Mental Health in the Workplaceclick here.

Even though World Mental Health Day has passed it doesn't mean you can't make a promise for your own Mental Health, check out their website for some great resources.

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