Uncategorized on 18 Jun 2012
Corporate Rest and Rejuvenation
Most athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high-level performance. Rest time allows the athlete to be rejuvenated and allows tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair and rejuvenate, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise. Symptoms of over working or training often occur from a lack of rest and rejuvenation time. Signs of over training and working include a feeling of general staleness, sense of depression and hopelessness, decreased sports performance and increased risk of injury, among others. The body repairs and strengthens itself in the time between workouts, and continuous training can actually weaken the strongest athletes.
In a similar vein, a corporate executive without adequate rest will wear out and productivity thus impaired through industrial accidents, careless mistakes and sick leave. But many employees still over work and feel guilty when they take a day off
Rest days are critical to performance for a variety of reasons. Some are physiological and some are psychological. Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild and strengthen. For employees, building in rest days can help maintain a better balance between home, work and health.One of the most effective ways to improve mental and physical health is rest. People also produce their best results when they are relaxed and comfortable at their workplace.
The first concept of rest in the corporate context is stability. Therein, lies an apparent paradox. To cope with the rapid changes, the company needs to change. Yet, in the quest for growth-inducing changes, the company needs to have rest and stability. It is the same with the human body. A company needs some amount of organizational slack or thinking time. Many companies focus on changes after changes except they forgot that the things that they are currently doing are just as important. As a result these companies went through fruitless diversifications and divestments. Finally they ended up losing focus or neglecting their core businesses because they did not protect their fortresses back home.
Times of stillness during rest facilitate a shift of focus from being immersion in one’s stressful environment to a more tranquil state of mind. This will not only allow one to cope with the onslaught of stress but also enable the mind to be energized and rejuvenated while emptying the negative emotions accumulated throughout the day, week etc. The body needs rest in order for it to re-charge and repair itself. It needs time to relax, think and reflect back. But at the same time, the body needs to remain active in order to achieve optimal body functions and good health. One cannot remain inactive or passive indefinitely. Otherwise, prolonged periods of inactivity can result in the loss of mental lucidness and thereafter a steady decline in one’s body functions and health. It is found that people who retire and do not keep active, often die shortly.
This is why the manager has to master the art of preserving stability amidst change as well as spurring change during stability. Managers think that if the staff take things easy and relaxed, they are goofing off. This is not true. Most creative ideas and innovations come about when the person is relaxed. When he is tense and over-crowded in his mind, he has no time to truly think. How can then the creative juices be generated?
Change can create workload and stress to the staff. If the change is well managed to bring in better processes and increased efficiency, then it is justifiable. However, if the changes come frequently and constantly with little respite, then the workload can bring stress and detriment to the individual as well as the organization. Prolonged stress can result in high employee attrition and customer service deteriorates.
It is therefore abhorrent to hear a manager say: “Firing shall continue till morale improves.” Some companies hire and fire whenever they like. This is binge-and-purge staffing or corporate bulimia, an illness in which there is a great and uncontrollable desire to eat, usually followed by vomiting in order not to gain weight. Such frequent changes in management and staff not only breed suspicion and disloyalty among the staff but also rip off the innovative heart and fabric of corporate cohesion. Frequent changes through downsizing exercises have proven to be a corporate cultural disaster. Self-interest will replace corporate interest, as loyalty and trust are lost.
This is why Lewis Platt, the former Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard said: “There are times when the right strategy is probably to back off on current growth in order to have the company better positioned for the future.” Rest, you cannot afford not to. The time to rest is when you do not have time for it.
This is why there is a saying: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” This is why you need R&R – Rest and Rejuvenate.