Is everything running smoothly in your organization regarding employees?

If you can answer “yes” to this question, consider yourself lucky.

However, this is, unfortunately, not the norm, as many companies are facing massive challenges.

Current Workplace Challenges

The World is increasingly volatile, unsecure, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA world). Agility and digitalization are central topics for companies and institutions. Upcoming skills shortages, decreasing loyalty, and high staff turnover are also growing risk factors for employers.

According to the research of EY from 2020 until 2022, 43% of employees are likely to leave their employer within the next 12 months, whereas 25% look for better job/career advancement with associated learning and development opportunities.

Traditional career paths will mostly disappear in the future and workplaces modify. There is also a tendency to more flexible types of working contracts. Whereas employees might enjoy more flexibility, they might also feel higher pressure and miss stability at times.

Increasing Mental Health Conditions

A significant number of people at work are suffering from mental health conditions, which has even increased during the pandemic. Excessive job demands and restricted job resources further increase the risk of mental exhaustion, anxiety, and depression (Smith et al., 2021).

According to a recent study of AXA Switzerland, 75% of the small SMEs rate the psychological robustness of their employees as rather or very good, but only 47% of the large ones. Conversely, this means that slightly more than half of the large SMEs see clear deficits in the resilience of their employees. Furthermore, 76% of the respondents stated that there are special challenges for their own company regarding the health of their employees – in the case of large SMEs, the figure is as high as 97%.

Besides physical absences, mainly large SMEs are affected by absences due to mental illness as high as 42% of them. Large SMEs are not only particularly frequently affected by mental health-related absences, but they also perceive the development more negatively. 38% of all SMEs with 50 or more employees report an overall increase in such incidents over the last five years (HZ Insurance, 01.07.2022).

Proven Concepts are Not Sufficient

So far proven concepts of change management do not seem to be sufficient for the fundamental challenges of the workplaces. The development of an «agile mindset» is required. This can only be achieved through interventions to strengthen the inner dimensions, particularly with traditional-oriented employees. Leadership and the themes of «inner work» as a precondition play a precisive role. Ultimately, a dismantling of external structures shall be continuously and iteratively replaced by the growth of the inner dimension (Hunziker et. al, 2022).

Furthermore, as traditional career paths will disappear in the future, and rather transform into a series of learning experiences (Argarwal et al., 2018) constant learning of new skills, perspectives and judgments will become critical. Companies will need to find effective and non-threatening ways to equip their workforce with a wellbeing and growth mindset and substantial personal resources (Smith et al., 2021).

Positive Psychology Coaching to Tackle the Workplace Challenges

Positive Psychology Coaching aims to activate the best of human functioning at the individual level, within teams, and the broader workplace systems. Job satisfaction seems predictive of key outcomes, such as employee retention, financial performance, and customer loyalty. Thus, I recommend that organizations increasingly invest in such measures for wellbeing and performance enhancement, preferably as a prevention measure and risk mitigation factor.