Last month, World Mental Health Awareness Day was the reminder we needed to refocus on the employee experience, which can too often trickle down the to-do list as the loftier tactical and strategic parts of our work take precedence. But, hello — we can’t Make Work Happen without people! The health and wellness of our people not only matters from an ethical standpoint, but it’s a critical component to organizational success. And right now, it’s at risk (according to the research shared in this blog post).
Let’s hone in on the mobile workforce. Because they’re navigating what is classified as one of the top three most stressful life experiences — more stressful than divorce and (gasp!) having children, according to studies! So how can we, as mobility professionals, protect their mental wellness to help them be successful? Resilience.
Resilience is defined broadly as the capacity to persevere through or recover from setbacks. A more specific definition is “the ability to maintain or regain mental health after experiencing stress and adversity” (Herrman et al., 2011).
We can achieve this by building resilience three ways:
Ideally, we want most mobile employees to go into a relocation with a certain amount of acceptance, and maybe even enthusiasm for the change ahead.
However, if someone feels that their move is disruptive to their life and is forced to move, they will undoubtedly experience a lot of uncertainty about the changes ahead of them. This is where they want information – lots of it – as well as support, communication, and contacts in the destination location to help ease this uncertainty. They want to know what it means to them personally before they will accept the assignment or feel excited about it.
It’s our responsibility as mobility leaders to demonstrate that we are invested in their well-being, and to take the time to learn what can be done to ensure they are comfortable, supported, and resilient. Sharing the roadmap of the journey, what they need to do, what we will do, and ensuring ready access to support, will lower their stress levels by creating more certainty, even if the move wasn’t exactly what they wanted.
Let’s face it: the mobility landscape is more rugged than ever, and it’s not going to get any easier to navigate in the near future. The silver lining: the value of mobility professionals has never been greater. And resilience can help a company make the case for using mobility, proving value to leadership. We have the specific knowledge, skillsets, and agility to support employees through any existing barriers to relocation. And we are committed to forging trusting, informed, transparent relationships with those we support, helping them be resilient throughout their move, and beyond it!