In the third post of this series, I offered a checklist to help organizations support high levels of mental energy among their employees. This fourth post is focused on how organizations can help people protect, sustain, and build their emotional energy.
People use emotional energy to remain motivated, overcome negative thoughts and feelings, absorb emotional blows, and avoid becoming drained by setbacks. When people have low levels of emotional energy, they may spend a lot of time feeling fearful, defensive, or concerned, and may have a hard time experiencing pleasure. Because there are many potential sources of stress in the work environment, organizations have an important role in helping people protect, sustain, and build their emotional energy.
Here are some questions for leaders and change agents to consider regarding the organization’s support for emotional well-being:
[ ] Positivity Does the organization seek to foster a positive climate? Is the ratio of positive to negative interactions, feedback, etc. at least 3 to 1? Do organizational norms and policies encourage people to be polite and civil to one another? Does the organization take time to celebrate success and happy occasions?
[ ] Support Do people provide emotional support to one another? Does the organization provide access to counseling resources? If people are feeling threatened or distressed, do they have a place where they can safely share these feelings without fear of retaliation?
[ ] Emotional Intelligence Are emotions such as sadness, fear, and anger recognized as normal reactions to unpleasant or undesired situations? Are leaders and managers trained to recognize and deal appropriately with a range of human emotions? Are people encouraged to acknowledge and incorporate their own emotions into their thinking and problem-solving?
[ ] Clarity Does the organization ensure that people are clear about their roles and how their performance will be evaluated? Does the organization communicate clearly and accurately to reduce the emotional strain associated with ambiguity and confusion? Are people encouraged to ask questions and seek clarity in areas where they are unsure?
[ ] Safety Does the organization take steps to minimize threats to human safety and well-being to reduce the emotional drains associated with worry and stress? Do the organization’s norms and practices enable people to set and maintain appropriate physical and emotional boundaries?
[ ] Emotional Growth Do the organization’s norms and practices encourage people to increase their skill in working with their own and others’ emotions? Do leaders use tough situations as opportunities to help people become more effective at managing their own emotions?
I encourage you to take a few minutes to evaluate your organization and identify some simple changes that can help you, and those around you, create and sustain higher levels of emotional energy.
In the final entry in this series, we will look at the organization’s role in supporting spiritual energy.