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Importance of Emotional Health in the workplace

I was reflecting recently on the first proper job I had. During this period, I remember regularly trying to stay awake for as long as I could at night, because I knew that my next waking moment meant that I had to get ready to go to work. Put simply, I absolutely dreaded it.  

 

At the time, I didn’t really know why I dreaded it so much – I can just remember all the feelings around it. The one good thing to come out of this experience was that I vowed never to put myself in that situation again.     

 

At The Centre for Emotional Health, our vision is for everyone to live an emotionally healthy life. This includes creating and developing emotionally healthy workplaces. During Emotional Health Week, we are inviting people to think about their own workplaces and the people within them.  

 

For us, an emotionally healthy workplace is one where there is a culture of people feeling safe, supported and valued. Where there is a clear sense of purpose, people feel empowered and where there are clear expectations and boundaries. There will also be key features such as respect, kindness and an understanding of the value that differences can bring. Probably most importantly, the environment will be one where relationships really matter.  

 

Looking back on the experience of my first job, very little of this was in place and the impact was that I struggled, and the workplace got the worst of me! 

 

Nowadays it is not uncommon, for example, for staff to have free yoga sessions or wellbeing hours. However, it is often the more foundational habits and structures that create a genuine emotionally healthy environment: do team members hold each other in mind regularly? (How was that meeting yesterday? Good luck with your training tomorrow! How’s the house-buying going?… etc). Noticing and responding to how colleagues seem to be, interacting with each other in an adult and meaningful way is helpful to both individuals and the organisation.  

 

The challenge for us all is that it is far easier and less time-consuming to book in a pizza for staff meetings than it is to spend the time required to foster healthy relationships and to be tuned in to people’s needs and emotions – even when we know that it’s this that makes the difference. 

 

An approach based on good emotional health can ensure that both organisational and individual needs are recognised and valued, and crucially that workplaces and employees can be good for each other. We don’t want staff to do as I did and intentionally avoid trying to sleep at night! 

 

For more information about how our workplace trainings courses may be able to help, do get in touch: hello@emotionalhealth.org.uk  


Rowen Smith, Director of Training at The Centre for Emotional Health

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