It’s no surprise 2020 was the most stressful year in recent memory. Americans have reported 53% higher emotional exhaustion, 57% higher anxiety, and 67% higher stress. And it’s not just COVID. 2020 was one of the most violent years in U.S. history. Firearm events, homicides, and rampage events are all up more than 40% and civil unrest is up more than 300%.
That’s a lot to worry about.
Before COVID-19 and all the other stressors of 2020, emotional wellness wasn’t high on an employer’s priority list. Now, ignoring your employee’s mental health isn’t an option. Issues involving social/emotional well-being can cost employers more than $500 billion per year.
One survey found that 86 percent of employers surveyed rated emotional health as one of the top three drivers of overall employee wellbeing, while 85 percent believe the employer plays a key role in supporting their employees’ emotional health. They also found that 91% of companies thought emotional health was essential for the all-important employee engagement.
Individuals with good emotional health can also adapt more effectively to stressful situations, which is pretty important considering 55% of employees say they were less productive at work as a result of stress.
So what is your organization doing to nurture social and emotional wellness in your employees?
Here are 5 things you can do to support employee emotional well-being.
1. Check in often.
Check-ins aren’t a check-the-box thing. They need to be an ongoing part of your routine. Weekly check-ins, either in person or online, show employees that you care about their well-being. And simply having an outlet can be an easy way for employees to relieve stress.
2. Let your team know it’s ok to feel overwhelmed.
Make your check-ins a two-way conversation. Whether conducting a survey or holding in-person one-on-ones, open the check-in by validating employee feelings and close it by directing them to helpful resources.
3. Listen to what your team is saying and adapt.
Make sure your employees feel heard by acting on their concerns and doing what you can to alleviate stress and support emotional well-being. Are there processes or redundancies that are doing more harm than good? Can you enable work from home options if employees are worried about commutes? Can you welcome small groups back to the workplace if working from home is causing stress? Review the check-ins and do what you can to help.
4. Look for trends.
Keep track of check-in responses and aggregate them to look for trends across the company. Is there one thing that is significantly impacting social/emotional well-being? Are the changes you’ve implementing working? Compiling your data into one dashboard can make trend-spotting simpler.
5. Make use of technology.
Technology can be incredibly isolating, but when used right, it can also bring people together and provide a support framework. If you’re overwhelmed with reaching out to employees one by one, consider a survey tool that can be customized to ask relevant questions and that easily compiles data to highlight potential solutions.
Looking for a tool that supports employee social/emotional well-being while providing the information to make data-driven decisions to drive your company forward? Look no further than Safety CheckIn from CrisisGo. Whether you’re communicating out or looking for feedback to support employee morale, culture, and safety, Safety iPass puts the answers at your fingertips with customizable surveys and an easy-to-use dashboard to track responses.
Employee health, safety, and well-being is everyone’s business. It’s an ongoing process, but frequent check-ins lead to gradual, but critical improvements and data-driven decisions in the moment.
Here’s the good news: The changes we implement now can make a lasting impact and can better connect us with employees for years to come.
See what Safety CheckIn Could look like in your organization. Download the guide now.