Resilience and Wellbeing as a Business Owner Manager

Posted by The Icehouse on 18/10/2022 10:00:00 AM


Running a business was always challenging. Throw into the mix what’s happened globally in the past two and a half years around lockdowns, labour shortages, and the daily struggles of simply trying to keep a business afloat and running a business has now become “incredibly” challenging.

Moreover, there’s an emerging scenario playing out around resilience fatigue, which Employsure (an NZ provider of workplace relations and health and safety advice) calls the “silent epidemic”

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‘Having just suffered through a seemingly unending pandemic, small business owners find themselves battling on all fronts. The emotional distress of the past, coupled with rising uncertainty of the future and chronic labour shortages, and a looming recession; the mindset to soldier on is fast draining business owners mentally.’

Developing resilience hasn’t just been the preserve of the struggling owner. Many business owners have been slammed by unparalleled success too, navigating a path fenced off by supply-chain disruption, a lack of available talent, and more.

“People are tired from trying to manage the last two years – whatever that specific situation may have been, whether the business wasn’t doing well or because there was more opportunity than they’d ever seen. So, no matter what the position, it wears you down,” says Liz Wotherspoon, Chief Executive at The Icehouse.

“One of our recent pulse surveys indicates that the fear, anxiety, and frustration for the next 12 months is far greater than what they experienced looking backwards. It’s very much no rest for the weary, and we still have challenges ahead.”

So, what can be done? Business owners and their teams need all the help they can get. Pandemic or otherwise, the daily grind of ownership and leadership has always been “a thing”.

Warren Thurlow is the former owner, co-director, and operations manager of Kerb & Concrete. “Towards the middle of last year [2021], I saw some signs that I needed to exit the business. I was having some mental health issues and made the hard decision, but the right one, to do that for both myself and my family.”

We hear this a lot at The Icehouse, which is why mental health and wellbeing is at the forefront, and a particular focus of, the Owner Manager Programme, with dedicated sessions and access to resilience-focused resources and tools.

“What programme participants start to realise is that getting that network of like-minded business owners around them is more beneficial than they realise because they see other people with the same issues they have,” says Gareth Bayliss, Sales Manager at The Icehouse.

“We teach fantastic business acumen but we also encourage business owners to talk and network and confide in each other. Often they realise there are changes they can make because someone else is doing it and they can see that they've got a lot from making that change.”

“I loved the resilience session with Dr Sven Hansen. His resilience app has taught me how to sleep! And now, because of the techniques I learned, I can actually get to sleep in under five minutes, and have a more restful sleep. As an adult, learning how to sleep sounds weird, but it's changed my life,” says Kylie Bosanac, Business Manager and co-owner of Bosanac Builders.

For any struggling owner, these supportive, small and safe steps in the right direction can be the beginning of a much bigger and nourishing process, and more and more businesses are making mental health, resilience and wellbeing an integral part of workplace life.

Dr Sven Hansen, friend of The Icehouse and founder of The Resilience Institute, explains that resilience is front of mind for business leaders at present and states that many aspects of daily life and work are testing us now more than ever before.

The 2022 Global Resilience Report, produced by Dr Sven and his team at the Institute, explains that, ‘Effective business requires effective performance, which is only sustainable if organizations care for their employees and help them meet the challenges posed. Resilient people and organizations work at the higher levels. When resilience fails, we drop into the lower levels.

‘The organization that fosters resilience yields a motivated and engaged workforce, with salutary benefits for both the employees and the organization. Given the challenges we face today, resilience is an imperative. Embed it in the DNA of your organization.’

“Resilient people enable resilient organizations because they have the skills necessary to meet performance challenges without compromising their wellbeing. Investing in resilience is a practical and achievable goal for meeting the challenges of our time,” ends Dr Sven.

For information on programmes, workshops and business coaching services from The Icehouse, click here.

For more business ownership and leadership advice, check out more of our resources.

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