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How to help employees manage their emotions at work

Emotions dictate our actions, thoughts, and intentions, whether that’s in our personal lives or at the office. Think about a day at work. Do you laugh and smile with your colleagues? Do clients make you upset or irritated? Do you get excited when you reach a milestone? Are some meetings boring? These are just a few examples of the emotions that can come up on any given workday.

With emotions playing an essential role in the direction of our daily lives, it only makes sense for employers and employees to learn how to control them. This Pacific Prime Dubai article dives deeper into ways employers can help their employees manage their emotions at work.

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Why is it important to manage emotions at work?

Employee emotions at work that are left unchecked can significantly impact the workplace, which is why employers need to find a way to both support positive emotions and prevent negative ones. Having a company culture that values trust and practices emotional intelligence (EQ) skills can help employees recognize, feel, and communicate emotions that are more positive, such as enthusiasm, excitement, joy, and satisfaction. The following tips can help regulate emotions in the workplace.

Use coping mechanisms

Tools and strategies that we use to combat stress are known as coping mechanisms. The different ways that we deal with stress end up creating a coping strategy. People can either cope with stress in a positive or negative way. Positive coping strategies make it possible to handle stress in healthier ways, such as by taking a break or going for a walk. Negative coping strategies, on the other hand, often involve ignoring the problems and feelings, which can be harmful to your health.

Control your own emotions

When it comes to combating negative emotions and their repercussions, one of the best things you can do is learn how to control them. One effective way to do this at work is to apply the Recognize, Understand, and Manage approach.

  • Recognize – Don’t panic or judge yourself when emotions start to come up. Instead of reacting right away, practice deep breathing and label your emotion and what you’re feeling. Get to the root of when the feeling was first noticeable and what caused it to come up. 
  • Understand – Once you’ve labeled your emotions, think deeply about why the feeling came up. Start by looking at the cause, and whether it was internal or external. If it’s an emotion you’re familiar with, contemplate the other occasions that you’ve felt the same way and how you handled it then. Then decide if you want to handle it differently this time.
  • Manage – Once you feel like you’ve had enough time to cool down and contemplate, the last thing you need to do is manage the situation. Decide how you’re going to handle it – if you’re even still going to. Consider whether you still feel like you need to do something, if you overreacted, or if a resolution is needed to move forward. It’s also a good time to reflect on what you learned from the situation and how you can apply that to situations in the future.

Ways leaders can deal with employee emotions

Your ability to handle your own emotions does not have any effect on how others handle theirs. However, learning how to recognize and respond to them appropriately can still be beneficial. Issues that are left unresolved can lower productivity, decrease engagement, and damage relationships. Here are some ways employers can deal with employees’ emotions and work towards a stronger company culture.

Let some mistakes go

We all make mistakes. There is no way around it. So instead of telling an employee off or punishing them for making one, try to go about it in a different way. Excusing a one-off mistake or calmly communicating with and correcting them builds trust, making it a better solution than scolding them, which will leave them feeling humiliated or attacked. Of course, numerous mistakes can be problematic and may require coming up with a performance improvement plan or something similar so both parties know what is expected and how to achieve it.

Build trust at work

Expressing emotions requires a person to be vulnerable, especially the more uncomfortable those emotions are. With that said, most of us don’t show vulnerability and share our true feelings with people we do not trust. Every person in a company should feel like they can be themselves and express their true feelings. Simply telling employees that they can share their emotions is not enough though. Employees will only be able to see that the company truly has an honest and compassionate culture when you lead by example.

Show them you care

There’s no point saying you’re available to employees if they never see you around or can’t reach out to you. Managers, team leaders, and bosses who are unavailable make employees feel unappreciated and even anxious. Take some time to touch base with your team to give them a confidence boost and build positive relationships.

It’s also a good idea to have meetings every so often, such as weekly or monthly, so employees can share their updates, ask questions, discuss concerns, offer feedback, and more. These meetings are also an ideal time to give any praise or shout-outs, thereby increasing positive emotions at work.

Prioritize listening

If an employee is experiencing a negative emotion, they usually want to be able to express how they’re feeling and vent. Don’t make the mistake of offering solutions when they are not asking for them, and listen to your employees instead. This not only allows them to release all of their pent-up emotions, but also helps them feel cared for. You’ll also be seen as someone they can trust and depend on. When someone comes to you with heightened emotions, try to find out what they are feeling and what caused it. Similarly, if they don’t want to discuss it then don’t pressure them to.

Remember that employees are human beings with emotions. Being able to address emotions in a healthy way is vital to seeing your employees as the people they are and enhancing your emotional culture at work.

Show your employees you care with comprehensive employee benefits solutions

Aside from helping employees manage their emotions, it’s crucial to support mental health in the workplace as an employer. If you’re wondering how to support the mental health of employees, look no further than Pacific Prime Dubai. As a leading employee benefits specialist and insurance broker, we can help you find the right employee benefits solution for your company, group health insurance, and more. Contact us for impartial advice or a free plan comparison and quote today!

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