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Stress & Wellbeing

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. We are continually asked by leaders some variant of the question below: “We provide all the PPE and safety policies for our employees and they still get hurt. What else can we do?” One way to address this issue to use the HAT principle which involves Hearing your people, Addressing their concerns, and Telling everyone improvements you’ve made based on their feedback. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, many leaders have not fostered a learning environment within their organizations. Getting and using employee feedback is simply not a cultural norm. As a result, important organizational decisions are often made in a

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD It is common to assume that executives, CEOs, and highly successful entrepreneurs just ‘have it all’, but many of these individuals are silently suffering. Executives can have a lot on their plate. They might feel responsible for the ups and downs of employees. They might work long hours and feel pressure to make the company more successful. They also can feel very isolated, like they can’t be vulnerable without looking weak. Despite having a great deal of weight on their shoulders, it is important that leaders are doing well both psychologically and physically. When executives are doing well,

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Researchers collected data from over a thousand adults in the U.S. to get a sense of what factors were associated with an individual having greater psychological resilience during the first few weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown (Kilgore, Taylor, Cloonan, & Dailey, 2020). They defined resilience as the ability to withstand setbacks, adapt positively, and bounce back from adversity. There are a great deal of factors related to resiliency. The researchers found the following factors to be significantly associated with greater resilience during the COVID-19 lockdown: • More days a week spent outside in the sunshine (at least 10 mins)•

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Burnout is deep and pervasive. It is marked by emotional exhaustion, physical fatigue, cynicism towards others, and depleted mental resources (1). The bad news: Burnout has negative effects on everyone. It is related to turnover, lessened productivity, counterproductive work behavior, lower motivation, and negative health outcomes (3). The side effects of burnout can last a long time. Burnout in time is associated with diseases in the long term (e.g., musculoskeletal, cardiovascular) and mental health consequences such as depression, insomnia, and anxiety (4). Helping a workforce suffering from burnout is not an easy task. The good news: Burnout does not appear overnight.

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Remember that not all stressors have the same impact, and not all stress interventions work similarly. There are different types of stressors. Some stress can actually be a great thing. It can be energizing, create engagement, or promote personal growth. A job without stress of any kind would be boring, and we certainly would not grow professionally! If you think back to some of your greatest achievements, there were likely stressful moments along the way. This is normal and healthy. Less stressful workplace When stress becomes unmanageable, it can become detrimental. When we don’t have the resources to deal with

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Take care of your own stress and work with employees to build a “stress management toolbox”. As I mentioned in Part 1 of this blog series, the right solutions are going to depend on the source of stress, and the best solutions are primary solutions that address the root of the problem. As a leader, you often have more power than employees to make changes that reduce stressors, so consider what you can do first to create a healthier work environment (see the second blog in this series). Sometimes we have to use secondary solutions for things we cannot change. This is

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