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Stress Awareness Month: Cultivating a Resilient, Less Stressed and Thriving Workforce Through the Lens of Emotional Intelligence




April is designated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as National Stress Awareness Month to raise awareness of the negative impact of stress. While we all experience stress, knowing how to manage it effectively is crucial. Managing stress can significantly improve mental and physical well-being while minimizing health-related issues. Improving emotional intelligence can play a key role in this process.

 

What is Emotional Intelligence (EIQ)?

Emotional Intelligence (EIQ) encompasses a set of skills that can be learned and practiced to recognize, understand and choose how we think, feel and act, shaping our understanding of ourselves and our interactions with others. Research by Dr. Moira Mikolajczak, whose work focuses on emotional competence, has shown that individuals with high emotional intelligence report better moods, reduced anxiety, and less worry during times of tension and stress compared to those with lower emotional intelligence.

 

We spend over 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime

When you think about it, a sizable portion of our day is spent at work. In fact, research indicates that the average person will spend over 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. Furthermore, it is reported by the American Institute of Stress that approximately one million Americans miss work daily due to stress. Yes...one million a day! These statistics highlight the substantial impact of workplace stress. Factors like long hours, tight deadlines, interpersonal conflicts, managing in-person and remote or hybrid workplace dynamics, and job insecurity can all contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression among employees.

 

What can employers do?

Recognizing these challenges, employers can prioritize employee mental health and wellness, leading to enhanced productivity, a positive work culture, attraction of top talent, and reduced turnover rates.


4 ways organizations can cultivate a resilient, less stressed and thriving workforce through the lens of emotional intelligence:

 

  1. Promote Work-Life Balance: Implement policies such as flexible working hours, remote work options, and ample vacation time. Lead by example by taking breaks, respecting boundaries, and minimizing after-hours communication unless urgent. Demonstrating a commitment to employees' well-being fosters higher job satisfaction and retention.

  2. Provide Mental Health Resources: Offer access to resources like employee assistance programs (EAPs), counseling services, and workshops on stress management and resilience. Normalize discussions about mental health to create a supportive and valued environment for employees.

  3. Foster a Positive Work Environment: Cultivate positivity by nurturing interpersonal relationships and acknowledging employee achievements. Emphasize inclusivity, diversity, and mutual respect to boost job satisfaction and morale.

  4. Offer Emotional Intelligence Education: Utilize Emotional Intelligence (EIQ) assessments and organize workshops, training sessions, or coaching programs aimed at developing emotional intelligence skills. These programs can cover topics such as self-regulation, empathy, social skills, and effective communication. By equipping employees with these skills, you enhance their resilience, emotional self-control, and ability to navigate challenges effectively.

 

If you're a business leader who wants to cultivate an emotionally resilient workforce, let's connect and discuss further. I'll even show you how to integrate EIQ into annual performance plans, so that you can track and measure progress. You can reach me at carolyn@leadersconnectandinspire.com.


Prioritizing employee mental well-being isn't just a kind gesture; it's also a strategic business decision. By providing the tools to manage stress and workplace dynamics, employers can build a more engaged, productive, and resilient workforce.


What can employees do?

If you want to get improvement in your emotional intelligence, start by taking an emotional intelligence assessment, click HERE to learn more.


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