October 2021 Organizational Wellness Challenge – Emotional Wellness
Did you know that October is Emotional Wellness Month? It’s important to assess and manage the stress levels of both ourselves and our team members. The past two years has been extremely stressful on the world as we all do our part to ensure the physical health of not only ourselves but those around us. However, a lot of people have forgotten the toll that this can take on one’s mental health.
Mind Share Partners conducted a study of global employees in partnership with Qualtrics and SAP back in early April of last year. They found that the mental health of almost 42% of respondents declined since the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19. The top five reasons of this decline are: anxiety, stress, worry, less productivity, and the challenges of working from home.
So, what can you do as a manager to help alleviate some of these issues within and among the teams that you lead? This month we challenge leaders to cultivate trust and improve employee engagement and performance by empowering employees to focus on their emotional wellness.
- Manage Stress
Stress is inevitable, but it’s important to ensure you and your team are successful at managing it. Unaddressed stress will lead to burnout in the workplace and can oftentimes lead to health issues if left unchecked. Encourage employees to take more breaks throughout the workday, month, and year. Setup reminders for your employees to get up, stretch their legs, and grab a cup of water. Encourage time off – physically and mentally. Create and support programs promoting a healthy diet and exercise. Simple initiatives of this nature can help your team members maintain a proper balance and reduces negativity.
- Remind Employees of Their Worth
Help your employees discover and maintain healthy opinions of themselves. A low self-esteem leads individuals to become vulnerable to feelings of failure, stress, etc. It’s important to teach your team member’s self-compassion. Giving employees the tools to help bolster their self-esteem can provide a huge boost to emotional health. Implement a new exercise of having your employees write down the positive qualities they know they possess on a weekly or monthly basis. Reinforce what they’ve written and be sure to add any positive qualities they may have forgotten about.
With so many people working from home, it can often go unnoticed if an employee is struggling. In the study with Mind Share Partners, nearly 40% of global employees said that no one at their company had asked them if they were doing okay. Start checking in with your direct reports and ask specific questions on what they need. You may not always have the answer, but make sure your team members feel that you’re listening. Repeat these check-ins on a weekly or monthly basis so they know they are valued.
Mental health training as a leader is imperative in the current work-place environment. It’s important to debunk common myths regarding mental health and help reduce any stigmas. Build the necessary skills to have important and productive conversations about mental health in the workplace. Watch a video, take a class, or book a workshop to expand your tool set in order to better help your employees.
Sometimes the best thing you can do as a leader, is to simply acknowledge the problem. Openly share from your own experience. Encourage and support your team as they experiment with new ways to manage stress and anxiety. Promote mental wellness and CEEK a Better Way!®