Benefits of having an emotionally healthy workforce

Owing to the recent pandemic, emotional health issues have arisen that for many, have impacted the ability to work or function as normal during daily life. Stress, anxiety, and turmoil have affected thousands of people that normally don’t suffer from any emotional issues. 

The workplace environment has undergone a dramatic shift with employees being furloughed or driven into temporary home offices to perform work remotely. At the same time, thousands of key workers are operating their workday as normal and running the risk of exposure to the Covid19 virus, creating a highly stressful situation.

Coping with emotional changes

As lockdown eases and people begin to drift back to the workplace the effects of the pandemic are yet to be revealed in full. We now know that the medical and emotional toll of this illness can be long-term and its effects can linger far beyond the initial infection. Residual stress and trauma may remain for those that have lost loved ones or found themselves victims of the virus. 

To combat this high level of stress HR departments and health professionals are looking at ways to help their employees regain motivation and enthusiasm. Having a healthy workforce can lead to improvements in productivity and reduce absenteeism. It also has the added bonus of building healthier relationships and enhancing communications across teams and departments. 

The impacts of emotional health can be far-reaching and during the Covid19 pandemic an additional set of challenges has been added to the normal stress of business operations. JBE Health, in conjunction with global organisations, identified several areas of need among leadership teams and developed training to help leaders cope with the recent business shifts. Maintaining an emotionally healthy outlook and being able to keep a positive mentality provides many benefits to individuals that may be struggling to cope with ‘the new normal’. 

Mental health vs emotional health

Mental health and emotional health are terms that are frequently used interchangeably, but there is a substantial difference between the two. 

Mental health is the ability of an individual to think, feel and act. It may be beyond the control of a person to manage the thoughts, feelings or behaviour that mental health issues can manifest. 

Emotional health is a state of mind or body that can be controlled. It includes positivity, resilience, and the ability to connect with other people and manage situations while feeling comfortable and secure. 

One of the key differences is that emotional health feels like it is something that people have agency over and that it can be controlled or at least influenced by the individual, whereas mental health issues tend to make people feel disempowered as the problems sometimes seem to be beyond the control of the person experiencing symptoms. 

Emotional health and stability can be managed by learning to spot or avoid triggers and how to cope with the onset of problems, but mental health may require a deeper level of help from a qualified specialist or prescription medications.

How emotions can affect health

While it is easy to ignore signs of poor emotional health it can affect many different areas of life including home, the workplace, and the physical self. It is easy to press on when under stress as a result of the ‘just get on with it’ culture that exists in many workplaces and professions. However, this may not be the best method for dealing with emotionally draining processes.

Being under an emotional strain for extended periods can lead to all kinds of problems, such as a weakened immune system. This can mean that the sufferer experiences more coughs, colds, and other conditions. There is also a higher risk of contracting infections, and the body will take longer to heal. 

Poor emotional health can also affect personal relationships negatively. As humans we seek out connections and community, this desire may be diminished if emotional health is low. It also reduces our ability to empathise or display compassion which can impact our ability to connect and relate to partners or colleagues effectively. In other words, good emotional health is good for our interpersonal or soft skills.

A person’s physical wellbeing can suffer from poor emotional health management. For those that are typically healthy and maintain an exercise regime or workout at the gym, it may be hard to maintain these activities when under excessive emotional strain. Neglecting physical health can be a by-product of having low emotional health, reducing strength and resilience.

Some benefits of having an emotionally healthy workforce

For those that manage their emotional health effectively, there are a host of benefits to be gained from maintaining positivity and a healthy outlook. The effects of maintaining an emotionally healthy workforce enhance’s performance and relationships in the business environment and beyond, positively impacting both work and personal relationships.

Practicing good emotional health management will bring about the following benefits.

More energy and focus

Improved emotional health can help to increase mental clarity and prevent physical exhaustion

Higher self-esteem

Feeling better leads to looking better and being able to meet challenges more effectively. 

Deeper relationships

Managing emotions better enables us to make better connections with others and display compassion and empathy.

Resilience to stress

Better emotional health can lead to physical health improvements, better immune systems, and resistance to infection.

Impacts of negative emotional health

During the recent Covid19 crises, stress levels have been at an all-time high with tensions rising due to the health risks and shifts in the working model. Many have moved to a home-based working system, adding additional strain to living circumstances and operating from locations that may not be ideally equipped. Adapting to the new situation has been arduous for some with many work and personal relationships suffering as a result. 

Negative behaviours can be the result of high-stress levels and other external factors. Learning coping mechanisms to help manage these symptoms can reduce anxiety and help to ward off harmful or damaging habits. If left unaddressed negative thoughts or actions may spiral out of control, impacting other members of the team or throwing off the organisational balance.

Examples of negative coping mechanisms:

  • Workaholism
  • Drug and Alcohol addictions
  • Aggression/Conflict/Disputes
  • Compulsive behaviour (gambling, excessive shopping, gaming)
  • Controlling behaviour which can lead to micro-managing
  • Becoming obsessive or perfectionistic
  • Eating Disorders
  • Self-harm
  • Emotional Detachment

Many leaders face high levels of stress in their jobs, therefore it is important to maintain good emotional health to avoid not only the negative factors listed, but also to reduce the risk of ‘burnout’; a real consideration for high achievers. Combined with heightened pressure this burnout can easily lead to physical health complications. 

What can you do for your team?

Jon Bockelmann-Evans of JBE Health provides inspirational virtual and live training for senior leaders, high-achievers, and managers. The benefits are immediate in both a personal and professional capacity so that the positive effects are good for the organisation as well as the individual. 

Jon has helped many well-known companies to support their employee’s emotional health with his range of Mastermind courses, conference keynotes, and virtual training sessions seminars. Global industries have adopted this training as part of their culture with the knowledge that stressed leaders do not make good leaders. Jon’s unique and highly-memorable content and presentation style are designed to restore and renew energy levels, provide multiple coping strategies and techniques, and help your team to succeed and thrive in the face of challenges. 

Enabling top-talent to be happy, healthy, and resilient not only impacts the bottom line but also helps address the human cost that stress can have. By building energy among teams and adopting simple coping methods, your organisation can benefit from a renewed sense of purpose and motivation among its leaders. 

Visit JBEHealth today and learn how emotional health training can bring out the very best in your organisation’s leadership teams.

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About the Author

Jon is a highly experienced wellbeing specialist, trainer and clinician who helps busy, overwhelmed people to boost joy, bounce-back-ability and performance in and outside of work.