It’s been a month since the presidential election and people are still experiencing a range of reactions. Some are excited and feeling hopeful about the changes President-elect Trump has presented in some of his thoughts for his first 100 days and the duration of his term – nationwide emotions are flaring. Many employees are experiencing intense negative emotions – fear, sadness, anger and depression – that have, and may continue to have, an impact on productivity. The diversity that is displayed throughout America is also demonstrated across many employee populations. It’s important, now more than ever, to support employees’ emotional wellbeing.
Some employees may fear that the repeal of the ACA means their post-college-aged children may lose coverage. Or that as a part-time worker, access to affordable medical care will be lost. Some companies which rely on public funding may feel that Trump policies can prevent their businesses from staying afloat. We’ve had clients contact us with these concerns, with a call coming in as early as the day after the election to request a series of events for their employees to cope with the emotional rollercoaster of the election and the results.
While this is a notable period of transition, employers shouldn’t lose sight that employee mental health should be of concern even when there is no immediate issue. Here are a few suggestions to address emotional wellness:
- Offer an Employee Assistance Program. Many EAPs provide crisis support counseling and referrals to services for caretakers, legal guidance, childcare, etc. Check to see how many no-cost hours are available to your organization and options for using them. Often, EAPs will offer free onsite programming as well.
- Consider ‘feel-good’ wellness initiatives such as providing a healthy lunch for the office or chair massage days.
- Host stress-reduction programming such as seminars, onsite health coaching, or meditation sessions.
While the President-elect’s rhetoric is explicit, it remains to be seen how, or if, his policies will actually be implemented and what the impact will be on American workers. For now, we’re advising our clients to take care of their diverse workforces in the wake of this election and the uncertainty that comes with any change.