By Emily Beeckmans, B.A., B.S.W., M.S.W., RSW, CHRP

We are all feeling done with Covid. Just when we thought the Pandemic was over, another wave is upon us. It just seems to go on and on with no clear direction or end. Not surprisingly, this has surfaced many emotional and psychological reactions among most employees and has stretched our coping abilities to the max.

Losing your job, having to shut down your business or drastically changing your trajectory in life because of Covid is similar to experiencing a major trauma. This traumatic impact of the pandemic is real and we are all adapting in various ways that often collide with feelings of anger and conflict. Maybe it is the busy hospitality professional who has had to completely halt all business, with mandates that force them to continually adjust to new regulations. Couple that with job insecurity and the related stress is elevated to exceptionally high levels. 

Perhaps it is the parent who is forced to work from home while caring for and / or home schooling their kids because of the latest school closure. Those experiencing it know that working from home with small children is a never-ending battle. Finding the right balance between being a good employee and good parent seems to be an elusive goal, with many breaking down and questioning their capacity and worth.  

Working from home has been touted as the elixir to fix all the ails us. Yet we know that social isolation can lead to extreme loneliness and may times, depression and/or anxiety. And there is only so much that on-line interactions can offer with its two-dimensional world – “Zoom fatigue” is real. 

While almost cliché to say but this “new normal” or new reality which at one time seemed temporary appears to be more permanent with every passing wave of the pandemic. Our work habits, lives and businesses seem to have changed forever. And we know change is never easy!

Indeed, recent statistics show that 1 in 5 of are struggling with the impact of Covid on their daily lives and many more are hiding the impact the pandemic has on their emotional state.*  Leaders, who are also struggling, are trying to juggle being supportive and ensuring productivity remotely adopting a “never let them see you sweat persona” as they grapple with their own challenges. 

Bottom line? We need to help ALL of our employees. Our leaders need coaching as well as education about psychological first aid.  Organizations have to work to create a safe psychological space for employees to talk about the impacts all of these change shave had on them.

Research has proven that for every $2 a company invests in training their leaders and staff about emotional acceptance and resilience results in a $4 return.* That’s right, the investment is doubled!

Ongoing training, check ins, coaching and support allows leaders to set an example through their actions and to develop a resilient workforce. It is imperative that both leaders and employees have access to support in various forms to normalize the impact of the pandemic on work, lifestyle, family and mental health.  

Ahria is here to help your leaders and workforce to adapt and prosper in the Covid World. Our leadership training, coaching and consultation can guide you with solutions for the impact Covid has on your organization.

*Source: Provided from an episode of CBC’s The Current; Jan 10, 2022.