3 Tools for Balancing Employee Mental Health and Productivity

In today’s fast-paced and demanding work environment, employee mental health has become a pressing concern. According to a recent report, 83% of U.S. workers suffer from work-related stress, and more than half of U.S. employees state they are experiencing burnout. If gone unaddressed, burnout can lead to a drop in productivity and increased absenteeism and turnover, which all directly impact an organization’s bottom line.  

Managers play a crucial role in fostering a supportive work culture that prioritizes employee well-being, while also driving business results. Recently, LaSalle Network Chief Human Resources Officer, Sirmara Campbell, hosted a Q&A with licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Jacob Goldsmith, who has published work and spoken across the country extensively on topics related to stress management, work-life balance and workplace issues. Following this Q&A, Sirmara and Dr. Goldsmith were joined by Chrissy Tarpey Stamm, US People PMO & Alignment Manager at McDonald’s, and J’ai Brown, Vice President of Human Resources at HUB International, to share unique ways their companies drive employee wellness initiatives and address today’s workplace exhaustion. Below are a few key tools these leaders shared to help support employee wellness.  

You can download the recording of the event, eligible for one SHRM PDC hour, here.  

 

Empathy Bullseye 

Empathy is an essential component to effective communication, which is the cornerstone of any successful team. In order to communicate empathetically and effectively, Dr. Goldsmith recommends thinking of communication like a bullseye. The outer ring is what is actually said, and the core is the emotion behind it. Getting to the core is what will make the employee feel truly understood. 

Managers should work to create a safe and non-judgmental space where employees feel comfortable discussing their concerns and asking for help when needed. Dr. Goldsmith suggests using the bullseye concept as a reminder to listen to the concerns of employees and repeat back to them not what was said verbatim, but the emotion behind it to create a stronger sense of emotional security and understanding. 

Engagement Surveys 

Encouraging regular check-ins and providing opportunities for anonymous feedback can help employees feel heard and valued, fostering a culture of openness. One way to do this is via employee surveys. J’ai Brown shared common survey questions Hub asks employees and suggests following up with employees on action taken or changes made because of the feedback they received. Questions include:  

  • In one word, what do you do to recharge each day? 
  • What’s gotten better in the past few months? 
  • What’s still hard or getting harder? 
  • According to the American Psychological Association, psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of significant stress. Rate your current state of resilience (5 being most resilient) 

 

Listening Tours 

As a follow up to engagement surveys, getting one-on-one with employees is essential. Doing ‘listening tours’ can be a great way of soliciting feedback live and gauging the perspective and satisfaction levels of teams. These listening tours should include a wide range of employees based on tenure, team/role and demographics in order to get a wide range of perspectives, including both staff-level employees and management. Depending on the information desired, these meetings could be conducted by either human resources professionals or managers. Some questions to ask include:  

  • What do you like most about your job? 
  • What do you dislike most about your job? What are suggestions for improvement? 
  • As we focus on training and development needs, what areas or topics are you interested in learning about? 
  • How do you like to receive recognition or feedback? 
  • What can we do or implement to continue to be an employer of choice? 

 

These tools and many more are explained in further detail throughout the webinar, available on-demand here. Download today for tips on supporting a mentally healthy and productive workforce. 

 

  

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