EnglishHR / Occupational

Emotional Processing in the workplace: Why we need to focus on Employee Wellbeing.

Research shows that the healthier employees are in terms of wellbeing, the higher the levels of engagement they feel – and the higher the levels of engagement, the healthier the workforce.

Emotional Wellbeing

In a post-Covid world, wellbeing is now an integral part of the relationship between employer and employee. But it can be difficult to gauge and improve employee wellbeing – especially with more than 74% of U.S. companies either currently using or planning to implement a permanent hybrid work model – as it can be challenging to determine employees’ wellness from a distance. 

So what can organizations do to help employees feel more engaged and, in turn, help them with their wellbeing?

Emotional Processing at Work

One aspect of wellbeing is effective emotional processing, which is important to our health, quality of life, and sense of self. A healthy emotional processing style can protect us from the effects of stress, helping us to be more resilient. This can be particularly beneficial in occupational settings when trying to enhance resilience and wellbeing, improve working relationships, deal with change, and develop decision-making processes. The new Emotional Processing Scale – Wellbeing (EPS-W) test is a measure of an individual’s emotional resilience and ability to deal with stressful situations. Standardized last fall on hundreds of adults working in the U.S., the EPS-W is a useful predictor of those at risk. The test is easy to administer online and when used in a development or coaching context (or as part of a wellbeing intervention), can provide useful insights into how individuals and teams manage change, transitions, and challenges in roles.

EPS-W Reports

The EPS-W Technical Report and Personal Insight Reports have been created to help I/O psychologists explain to employees how to understand and enhance the way in which they handle emotions and specific situations (e.g., improving work interactions or dealing with decision-making stress). The reports were not designed to be used in the context of employee selection.

The EPS-W results can indicate a generally healthy approach to emotional processing (high scores) for employees, or with lower scores provide suggestions for enhancing their style. When lower scores are found, the report includes charts that can help individuals examine and identify the way they process their emotions. The goal of the assessment is to help individuals understand their own emotional processing style and provide guidelines for developing a more resilient style if appropriate.

Unique to the EPS-W Personal Insights Report is a section called Development Suggestions that was created based on more than five years of therapeutic work by the author with a range of clients, helping them to understand their emotional processing strengths and challenges. These insights have been shaped into a work-related context, as is the entire construction of the EPS-W dimensions and reports.

Using the EPS-W

The EPS-W is a versatile assessment, so organizations are using it in different ways. Some of the uses relate to the organization as a whole – for example coping with the emotional impact of organizational change, the emotional aspects of returning to work from remote practices, the leadership development or the formation of emotionally compatible teams and assessing emotional resilience for stressful or traumatic work.

Other uses are more individual, such as personal development of staff, career coaching, dealing with difficult relationships, dealing with difficult customers.

When explaining emotional processing, it is important to remember that this is a normal process that everyone experiences. Usually processing proceeds smoothly, but some emotional styles can render a person more vulnerable, especially when under stress or dealing with an extreme circumstance. It is important that the employee understands that any style is acceptable and that there is no judgement – so they can adapt their emotional processing style if they wish.

For more information or a free trial of the EPS-W click here.