Wednesday, July 14, 2021
By Deanne Abrams, Director, Employee Development
In June, we invited supervisors to attend a special session on “Managing Employees’ Fear and Anxiety” surrounding our Roadmap for Reopening Phase 4 plans. The two sessions offered were facilitated by Gregory Alch, a licensed psychologist and organization consultant from the Optum Employee Assistance (EAP) Program.
During the session, Alch offered the following take-a-ways to support our team members:
• Consider where your team members are with this next phase of change.
• Ask team members in one-one-ones, specific questions to receive specific answers:
• For example, if you ask “how are you doing?” it allows for a response of “I’m fine.” But if you ask “I know you’ve been working hard and balancing family priorities, how are you managing your stress?” you are more likely to get a deeper response.
• Other questions to ask:
• When feeling stressed, what coping mechanisms are working for you?
• Where are you struggling?
• What are you worried about in terms of us moving into Phase 4 of Reopening?
Additionally, Alch shared the following strategies to support ourselves during these changes:
• When you’re experiencing fears, ask yourself “what would be most helpful for me right now?” and move toward your fears.
• Experiencing lots of anxiety? Move as quickly to “acceptance” of change to be able to move on and not stay in the fear and anxiety phases.
• Don’t forget about self-care. Do what works for you (deep breathing, yoga, walking, journaling, etc.), even if it is for five minutes or 30 minutes — and do it frequently.
Toward the end of the session, Alch left us with this sentiment:
“If you have good intentions and are authentic, you really can’t screw up when offering support. Remember, it is better to speak less and listen more. Observe your employees, notice how they are and ask questions.”
We hope you found value in attending these sessions and if you weren’t able to attend, here is a copy of the session powerpoint. Additionally, if you want to discuss ways you or your teams may need support in transitioning to Roadmap for Reopening Phase 4,, please reach out to me at email@example.com or call 407-299-5000, extension 5151.