Nov. 24, 2015

HR Executive

Building Stress Resistance

With the holiday season upon us, experts suggest mindfulness and “resiliency” training can help employees better manage the attendant stress.

Fifty-six percent of employees say they are experiencing high levels of stress, accompanied by feelings of fatigue and loss of control, according to the 2015 StressPulse report from Chicago-based ComPsych. About 36 percent of employees report “constant but manageable” stress levels, according to the report.

So how can HR help employees manage workplace stress, especially during the busy holiday season? Experts suggest taking a holistic approach that includes mindfulness training.

“We get a lot of calls from companies asking ‘How do I help my employees deal with stressful customer situations?’“ says Ken Zuckerberg, ComPsych’s vice president of training. “Our typical response is that the difficulty is probably stemming from a wide variety of things happening outside those customer interactions.”

Things could be going on in employees’ lives that may be aggravated by the holidays, such as financial worries or the anniversary of a loved one’s death. One potential solution is to help employees feel more in control by providing them with resiliency training, he says. Resiliency is somewhat similar to mindfulness in terms of “being in the moment,” but is more “proactive,” he says.

“Resiliency is not about ‘How am I going to help my people deal with what’s happening to them right now, but ‘How am I going to prepare them for future challenges?’” says Zuckerberg.

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