Have you ever felt that blah feeling? That wave of apathy you can’t explain? The thing that keeps you in bed watching Buffy the vampire slayer until 8:13 am when you have a Zoom work meeting at 8:15 am? Well that blah feeling is called languishing, and that’s what some call the dominant sentiment of 2021.
Languid is a newly discovered state of mental health that encompasses a sensation characterized by apathy, dissatisfaction, and loss of interest in most things. And it can drastically affect your success at work.
With 85% of employees saying they would take a $ 5,000 pay cut to feel happier at work, and with just as many employees leaving companies at a rapid pace– employers and employees both need to take languor seriously.
Our guest: Maya Garza, Vice President of Solutions Consulting and Behavioral Science at BetterUp
In this week’s episode of #WorkTrends, I was excited to speak to Maya Garza, VP of Solutions Consulting and Behavioral Science at BetterUp, on the languid phenomenon. Maya leads the team of behavior scientists who serve as executive advisers to our partners. With over 15 years of experience working with Fortune 500 organizations to implement human capital solutions, she is an expert in maximizing human potential.
I asked Maya what she thought was the most overlooked employee problem to date. Unequivocally, she said, it’s mental health and well-being. And this is due in part to a widespread misunderstanding of mental health issues.
This lack of understanding can hurt the business, Maya explained, as BetterUp research shows 55% of employees are languishing.
“Those who languish experience increased stress and physical and mental exhaustion,” Maya said. “Employees at work can feel overwhelmed, overwhelmed or uninspired… They can even procrastinate what was previously a difficult or exciting task. This turns into a snowball effect which then leads to stress, burnout and lack of innovation. “
How can everyone cope with the experience of languishing?
The first step in managing the experience is to admit that you are languishing.
“Just asking yourself where you are mentally is actually a useful diagnostic tool. And then you might want to think about, well, my God, how do I get out of this? “
Maya suggests celebrating small victories and reminding yourself of what you are grateful for. Research shows that these practices help improve mental health. Of course, says Maya, it will take more than individual employee actions to help address organizational-wide mental health issues.
“Going from a stuck or languid state to true fulfillment is really hard to do. You don’t solve it with a walk or a conversation with yourself. You really need systemic intervention. And I think that’s where HR can really be that thinking partner for managers and leaders, ”says Maya.
“The real problem is, is your organization’s leadership intentional? Are they really thinking deeply about aligning their words and actions? So remember, we are humans first, we are employees second… Change is accelerated from the bottom up and we need to invest in the potential so that every employee is truly their best.
I hope this episode of #WorkTrends sponsored by BetterUp. I think we could all benefit from imagining what our teams can do if they feel their best, and how we can achieve it. You can read more about this topic by connecting with our guest, Maya Garza, at LinkedIn.