How to Deal with Emotional Tsunamis in the Workplace
Emotional tsunamis are intense feelings that affect individuals. These feelings are extreme and usually lead to a person being overwhelmed. Such emotional tsunamis affect people not only at home but also at the workplace. Experiencing emotion at workplace is common. Employees are humans, and it is natural to experience a range of emotions.
When these emotions become extreme, it is an emotional tsunami that affects the employee and the organization. Managing emotional turmoil in the office is a key function for managers in today’s world. If left unaddressed, emotional tsunamis can lead to serious mental health issues, causing burnout.
Emotional Tsunamis in the Workplace and their Effect
Workplace stress is commonplace. In today’s competitive world, there is hardly any workplace where there is no stress. Dealing with stress at work is something most employees have learned. The problem occurs when people cannot handle stress. Emotional crises at the workplace can occur, and it can lead to an emotional tsunami.
An emotional tsunami is where a person is overwhelmed with a range of emotions that could include:
Individuals and managers need to be adept at managing emotions at work. They must be well-versed in dealing with emotional challenges at work. In the absence of these skills, handling emotional tsunamis is going to be tough.
The following facts from different studies give an overview of the serious effects of emotional tsunamis in the workplace:
One in five people surveyed in a study felt that they were not psychologically safe at their workplace.
When employees are suffering from mental health problems, it leads to a loss of productivity. It is estimated that every year $105 billion is loss in productivity.
Society faces a loss of $200 billion in earnings annually due to mental illnesses and their effects.
A study estimated that 35 million workdays are lost due to mental health illnesses.
44% of employees surveyed said that they experienced a mental health issues like stress, depression, burnout, or addictions.
50% of managers in organizations did not have any training on handling workplace emotional crises.
The above facts very clearly illustrate the serious effects emotional tsunamis have at the workplace. Employees can suffer from serious mental health issues and this can lead to their burnout. Organizations would suffer due to loss of productivity. Emotional problems are an unfortunate reality in today’s workplaces. What is important is that organizations ensure there is a mechanism to handle such emotional crises and prevent them from being a tsunami.
Dealing with Emotional Tsunamis
The first step is for organizations to acknowledge that stress in the workplace is a serious problem. They must acknowledge that employees can suffer from mental health issues due to work related problems. They must then ensure that they have a system in place to deal with this critical issue. It is important that managers are trained on coping with emotional upheaval at work. The management of organizations needs to involve themselves in this key issue to prevent serious problems.
The following are some ways in which organizations can deal with emotional tsunamis and help mitigate their effects:
1) Creating a conducive work environment
The work environment and working conditions at the workplace are key contributors to stress. Organizations must put in extra effort to create a health work environment. They need to take measures to try and create an environment that is employee-friendly and supportive. The organization must ensure employees get adequate compensation and opportunities for growth.
2) Ensure work life balance
A key reason for stress and emotional tsunamis is the inability of employees to cope up with pressures at both home and the workplace. When employees are forced to take work home or are forced to work for long hours, it affects their family life. Organizations must create a policy to ensure proper work-life balance. It is a key measure to ensure they get to enjoy their personal life without being burdened with pressures of work.
3) Create emotional resilience
It is important to create emotional resilience in the workplace. Employees need to be equipped with all that is needed for them to be resilient. It would help them cope up with stress and manage emotional issues arising at the workplace. Managers play a key role in making this happen. Training employees on handling stress is one way to build emotional resilience. This training can include one-to-one coaching and mentoring. Organizations that implemented individual coaching have found reduction in stress and burnout among employees.
4) Handling affected employees
Whenever any employee is seriously impacted by stress, it is important they be handled the right way. This is possible only if the manager is trained on dealing with such situations. Such employees must be handled with compassion. They must be given medical help if needed. Such employees must be individually counseled and made to understand that the manager is there to support them. Granting them leave or reducing their work load temporarily will help them cope up with stress effectively.
5) Mental health services
Large organizations offer mental health services to employees. It can be in the form of regular counseling sessions. A mental health practitioner’s services can be used and employees must be encouraged to meet the counselor/doctor when needed. It is important to let employees know that help is available and there is no stigma attached in seeking help. Workshops on mental health by medical practitioners or counselors will help employees cope with stress and other such situations better.
6) Offering benefits
Offering various monetary and non-monetary benefits is a good way of preventing emotional tsunamis. When employees receive good benefits, it improves their morale. They are motivated to work better since they know the work will help them earn rewards. Such benefits help in creating a better work environment.
Emotional health issues are a major problem in today’s workplace. If not dealt with effectively, they can turn into emotional tsunamis that can cause serious problems. Organizations need to create a supportive system to help employees deal with stress and other such problems.