Nov 28 2010
5 Ways to Assess and Improve Your Employees’ Health
Emotional health is a state of wellness that comes from understanding and acknowledging our emotions and locating appropriate ways to express them.
As staff, we often bring emotional problems from our childhood or current family life into the workplace because we haven’t dealt with them effectively outside of work.
This can seriously damage worksite relationships and lead to poor performance and negative feelings all around.
A lot of tools and techniques exist for assisting us improve our emotional health. Some of the most common are given below, with real-life case histories illustrating their use.
When an unpleasant mood or feeling persists over a length of time, do not hesitate to seek out a certified professional. Wellness programs normally have professional support already in place as part of their services.
1. Wellness Coaching –
Among the hallmarks of emotional health is the willingness to ask for help when we need it.
Confidential specialist help, the coaching and counseling provided by employee assistance or wellness programs, can provide an external source of strength and insight for “working out” emotionally-based problems in lieu of “working them in” to your job.
2. Self-help Groups –
Self-help groups are designed to aid individuals in emotional situations in which they feel alone. The purpose of these groups is twofold – to allow individuals to safely feel and express their emotions, and to help break their isolation at work and/or in society at large and reintegrate them into society with the support of a coworker group.
The classic self-help group is Alcoholics Anonymous, but thanks to technology, it’s possible to connect with others that have common health challenges, no matter how unique the situation.
Exan Wellness, for example, offers teleconference cell groups and moderated wellness forums for interacting with others in a supportive, confidential and anonymous environment.
People with shared challenges get together and discuss the emotional challenges they’re facing at work or in other areas of their lives and work through change together.
3. Journaling – Journaling is usually recommended by counselors as a way to help identify and process emotions. Individuals record their emotions in writing as they experience them, in no matter what form they wish.
By assisting the writer gain greater emotional clarity, journaling can help in making more emotionally informed decisions. In much the same way, letter writing enables people to identify and process the emotions they feel in relation to others.
The letter does not have to be sent or its contents shared – it simply provides a place for the expression of feelings.
An 18-year-old “army brat,” Brent has always done well at school, academically and athletically. But in his last year of high school, something seems to have happened to him. He has lost all interest in school, becoming moody and withdrawn.
Brent describes to his guidance counselor all the times he had to move when he was growing up. Each move wrenched him from his friends and forced him to play the role of the “new kid on the block.”
The counselor suggests that Brent write letters to the friends he has missed over the years telling them how he felt. Lastly, he has a chance to say a proper goodbye.
4. Assess Your Emotional Health – Companies that seek to increase employees’ interpersonal skills, or emotional intelligence in the worksite are more successful, according to ground-breaking journalist Daniel Goleman.
And emotional intelligence is the buzzword in workplaces these days. Some health promotion programs have information about emotional intelligence, or emotional health assessments. Seek out more information about emotional intelligence for better corporate health promotion.
5. Friendships/Support Systems – Friendships allow individuals to feel supported in their emotional journeys. At the same time, they give individuals an opportunity to develop their empathetic skills.
These skills are also important for workplace health. When we’re empathic with fellow personnel, we help them resolve negative or unhealthful emotions. New friendships are made through hobbies, classes, clubs, or even through web-based groups.
Many people are finding emotional satisfaction by connecting or re-connecting with friends through Facebook and other social web sites.
Sometimes workplace stress that is not dealt with in a healthful manner could be brought home. A 36-year-old mother of three, Sarah, wants to be a good wife, a good mother, and a success at her job.
One day, drained after a long day at work, she shouted at her rambunctious children and threatened to hit her youngest son. Her behavior horrified her. To make matters worse, she believes she’s a failure at her job as well as at motherhood. She watches with jealousy as younger coworkers advance much more quickly up the corporate ladder despite having less experience than she has.
On the advice of a counselor, she determines to take time out for herself and take a course for amateur painters. It doesn’t take long before she strikes up a friendship with a single mom in the class.
She once led a life very similar to Sarah’s before managing to achieve a better balance between work and family. Her new friend becomes a much-needed sounding board for Sarah and offers her perspectives on her life that she had not considered before.
Addiction is an ever-present concern for employers and families alike. Statistics show that sober workers are 33% more productive than their non-sober counterparts. We found a great Guide to Employee Interventions which we wanted to pass along for your consideration.