Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur the contributors are theirs.
If you watch or read the news, it’s easy to start worrying about the state of the world today. It is normal to feel grief, guilt, and despair for not doing more to facilitate change. As a business owner, you are used to being responsible and in control, but you feel powerless to do anything about war, pandemics or hate. Everything seems too overwhelming.
But you can’t give in to all that negativity. Being a business owner is like being a parent – not only do insurmountable world events affect you, they also impact your staff, so you need to be concerned about the mental health of your employees.
Try the following six strategies for dealing with and tackling the proverbial elephants in the room within your own business and prove you’re all in this together.
Related: 8 Ways to Stay Positive No Matter What’s Going On Around You
1. Lead by example
Employees take inspiration from the top, so if your modus operandi is to ignore current events, they’ll assume that specific discussions are off-limits in the workplace. Maybe it’s on purpose, and you want a work culture where people keep their worries to themselves. However, if you want a culture where workers feel free to speak up, it has to start with you.
I’m not saying you want a workplace where your employees are constantly debating the news, but your staff are probably just as stressed as you are and want to voice their fears and concerns.
Whether you’re bringing up a social topic or joining a conversation already in progress, it’s essential to listen, ask questions, and contribute, so your team knows it’s okay to discuss these issues at work. Finally, the best way to encourage communication is to make it clear that people are free to express their opinions without being judged by their boss or their peers.
2. Publish a statement
When something big happens, many companies take the initiative to issue a company-wide statement to employees (and sometimes the media). Obviously, the type of statement you make on a critical issue depends on the culture you have developed. But chances are your staff will want you to speak up. A recent Gartner HR Research A study found that 68% of employees would consider leaving their employer for a company that takes a more assertive stance on societal and cultural issues.
Whether you’re expressing your support for survivors of a natural disaster, the brutality in Ukraine, or something more personal like an event in your own community, it’s essential to show employees that you are aware and empathetic of the circumstances around you. . If you decide to contribute to a cause as a business, involve your team in the process by asking for their ideas on how you can make a difference.
Related: 4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Keep Their Businesses Positive During Difficult Times
3. Provide resources
Of course, employees can choose not to talk about how a particular event is affecting their stress level and mental health. People often prefer to keep their feelings and opinions to themselves, or at least outside of the workplace.
You can still help these employees by offering resources like recommending wellness apps that your team can download and use independently. Post information on your intranet or send a memo about helpful mental health and wellness apps or services.
For specific ways employees can get involved, list websites such as the American Red Cross, local food banks, or relief organizations that support a particular cause.
4. Get outside help
There may also be times when a current event directly affects your employees and therefore puts your business at risk. In these cases, offering outside help is crucial to help employees deal with the mental and physical aftereffects.
For example, your business may be shaken after losing a loved co-worker, an incident of workplace violence, a natural disaster in your community, or simply feeling the brunt of crises in our world today. The American Counseling Association (ACA) has many helpful resources on its website. Traumatology and mental health section. You can also ask your company’s insurer to provide you with local therapists that employees can meet for advice.
5. Get involved
Do not neglect the healing effect of the action. You can make it a company-wide project or something you do yourself and ask interested employees to volunteer with you. Creating a culture of volunteerism in your company boosts employee morale, according to a study by Deloitte. Not only did the study find that volunteering improved employee well-being, but 89% of employees believe that companies that sponsor volunteer activities provide a healthier overall work environment.
Whether you brainstorm with employees on how to take action and support a cause or encourage participation by giving workers the leverage to donate their time, facing current events head on can do wonders for your state. mind and the health of your business.
Related: Harnessing the Power of Positive Thinking to Grow Your Business
6. Banish negativity
As bad as things may get, strive daily to practice gratitude and banish negativity, a mindset that people often choose to adopt due to underlying issues. This can quickly turn into fear.
Don’t fight it. Instead, surrender and let things happen on their own. Try to accept your current situation, be grateful for what you have, and trust that something great will emerge.
Trying to control things is often what fuels negativity. To maintain productivity and boost company morale, move forward without regretting your past and without worrying about the future.