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Rising in Popularity: Addressing Emotional Wellness

By Jessica Etheredge, CCWC, CPT | October 8, 2018 | Employee Well-Being

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There is considerable focus on wellness: preventing illness, keeping people healthy and improving quality of life.

However, our emotional well-being is often overlooked. People spend more time at work than anywhere else, but just because they go to work doesn’t mean they’ve left their worries at home. Anxieties crowd out focused work time, and hospital visits create mounting unpaid days off, but employees aren’t the only ones who suffer during a crisis.  Time after time, employers repeat stories of inadequate workplace support programs and feelings of helplessness.[1]

Emotional Health 

Emotional Wellness refers to an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of our feelings, and our ability to manage effectively through challenges and change. Are emotionally healthy people higher performing? Do teams that are made up of wise, creative, emotionally grounded people meet their mission and objectives more efficiently and effectively? Is emotional resilience necessary to challenge our work teams to become the best they can be and to consistently deliver excellence?    

Research would indicate that the answer to these questions is YES!

What does it mean to be Emotionally Healthy? 

Emotionally healthy people are not defined as people who are free of anger, anxiety, depression, fear, and shame. They are defined by how well they accept, make space for and navigate these difficult emotions. Sometimes referred to as “psychological capital,” emotional health is crucial to the success of our business operations.    

Why does this matter for my team? 

Emotional health and psychological capital are not just individual matters. The interpersonal patterns of your team have a crucial impact on your team’s functioning. Your team is also impacted by systemic practices at the institutional and cultural levels. Creating an emotionally healthy work team requires consideration, skill building and change in order to maximize the health of your employees and your work team culture.[2]

Do you want to ensure that your employees are supported and have the resources to deal with life issues on and off the job?

Consider these options:

Corporate Chaplain

A corporate chaplain is a trained professional who provides personal, voluntary and confidential support that is available to employees and their households and immediate families; sponsored by the company, he or she is available 24/7/365 and is neutral from company operations.[3]

 Life Coach

A life coach encourages and counsels on a range of professional and personal issues. The coaching process takes on specific professional concerns, personal goals and analyzes the life cycle of the client. The life coach identifies existing and potential challenges and obstacles and devises a plan of action designed to achieve specific outcomes.[4]

 Employee Assistance Program

This is a work-based intervention program designed to identify and assist employees in resolving personal problems (e.g., marital, financial or emotional problems; family issues; substance/alcohol abuse) that may be adversely affecting an employee’s performance.[5]

These resources can give your employees a way to cope with personal issues that can have a negative impact on their job performance, such as work-related stress or problems outside of the workplace.[6]

Janet Ward Black, principal at the Ward Black Law Firm, stated, “There are a lot of problems that my staff has, the people that work for me, that I am not equipped to handle. So having someone with training, someone with experience that can be dedicated to that problem for the person, and to keep it confidential, allows us to give a real meaningful asset to our staff.”[7]      

[1], [2][3][4][5][6] [7]