Looking to the Future

In a recent survey of 2,843 professionals by LinkedIn, almost half (49%) of the workers reported feeling stressed in their jobs. The top two stressors were:
· confidence in their future career
· work-life balance and workload

Now, more than ever, employees need easy access to evidence-based mental health tools and resources to help them deal with todays’ demands. While more companies recognize the importance of employee well-being, there can be a disconnect between existing policies and employee support. Yes, worker concerns about finances, health, and personal relationships have always existed however since COVID-19 continues to linger, employees are now struggling with major shifts in their emotions and their health creating increased anxiety between the home and the workplace.

With well-being affecting performance, turnover, and the overall health of an organization, here are two simple steps that employers can use to address the two top stressors listed above, whether employees are working from home or are physically in the workplace:

1. Look to the future

Be specific and positive when discussing each employee’s future at the company. Provide monthly opportunities for employees to brainstorm future projects and actions. These can demonstrate that the contributions that an employee is making are of value to your company and that their specific role is significant. Surveys also show that employees consider opportunities to use their skills and abilities at work as a very important factor in their job satisfaction.

Provide educational opportunities for growth. Not only does this demonstrate that you value an employee’s goals and are invested in their future at the company, it has been shown to boost morale, increase safety, and reduce turnover.

2. Work-life balance and workload

Employees may not recognize that they are, or are becoming, stressed and therefore not know what they need to do to alleviate or mitigate their stressors. What causes stress in one person, may not cause stress in another. Likewise, some people are more resilient than others and can cope better under duress.
Provide virtual and online trainings to help employees learn in teams, as well as individually, a variety of tools that they can use whenever they identify that they need a break from a stressor or are actually experiencing signs and symptoms of stress.

Arrange access to or provide a benefit of services such as financial assistance, childcare, and elder support.

Ensure that the company is adequately staffed during all shifts and that all workers are clear on the number of hours that are to be worked. Team leaders can lead by example, making sure that adequate breaks are taken and that employees understand what is expected of them and how their current work or project aligns with their goals.

As we all look to the future:

Communication remains key, whether this is in person or via remote working options. Shared words and encouraging actions can continue to support each one of us, providing much-needed compassion where appropriate, while guiding all of us to look to the future with an optimistic perspective.

Margaret Stockley is the CEO of the online wellness training company www.POWCERT.com and can be reached at margaret.stockley@powcert.com

She is also the author of multiple books including Transforming Workplace Wellness, (also used as part of the MSc Sustainable Management degree, University of Wisconsin curriculum) and No More Stinkin’ Thinkin’

For further information on workplace wellness certification or wellness programs contact Margaret.Stockley@aspire2group.com.