THE UNCERTAIN WORLD OF WORK

In recent years, most companies, through their employee assistant programs (EAPs), have noticed an upswing in the number of employee mental health claims. Unfortunately, with the changing and increasingly uncertain world of work, these numbers are expected to grow. However, good self-care, emotional intelligence and peer support can go a long way towards mitigating workplace related stress and its sometimes health related complications.

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THE VALUE OF FOSTERING EFFECTIVE WORK RELATIONSHIPS

Fostering at least one good work relationship can be good for your health and career! The recent State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for US Business Leaders report notes that workers are happier in their jobs when they have friends at work. Yet, the workplace can be a very competitive and stressful environment. As such, we don’t normally think of work as a place to develop and to foster friendships. However, the friends that we make at work can help us to move up the career ladder, and also support us through turbulent periods (work and personal).

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND PEER SUPPORT AT WORK

The following two tips can be used to foster effective relationships at work:

  1. When developing friendships (or fostering existing ones) it is important for employees to remember that appropriate boundaries support good friendships — especially in the workplace. Further, while friendships are important at work, they must also be strategically made and managed.
  2. In addition to good boundaries, emotional intelligence is a very important skill. According to Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Melinda Smith, M.A. “if you have high emotional intelligence you are able to recognize your own emotional state and the emotional states of others, and engage with people in a way that draws them to you. You can use this understanding of emotions to relate better to other people, form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life”.

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