With the recent changes to Health and Safety (H&S) legislation, New Zealand employers need to ensure that they are taking all practicable steps to ensure both the mental and physical well-being of their employees is being protected within the workplace. This includes adopting proactive and developmental approaches that foster wellbeing and resilience; which is not only an obligation under law, but is also instrumental in facilitating higher levels of performance.
One way of achieving this is to develop the Emotional Intelligence of employees. In the workplace, Emotional Intelligence underlies our self-awareness, empathy, and resilience. In our modern workplace environments catagorised by volatility, uncertainty and complexity, these skills are fundamental for our success and wellbeing. Enhancing Emotional Intelligence is one of OPRA’s core development programmes and includes modules specifically designed to equip participants with the skills to manage strong emotions in self and others. During our Emotional Self-Management module participants learn and explore:
- Four categories of proactive emotional management techniques (Cognitive, Relational, Physiological and Environmental) and identify ones they can use to build their personal resilience.
- A reactive technique called ‘creating the space’ to help manage strong emotions and reactions to them.
- A cognitive reframing technique for positively influencing the thoughts and feelings of others.
As an outcome of completing our Emotional Intelligence modules and programmes, participants report feeling more engaged at work, are better able to influence and facilitate productive work environments, and typically feel less stressed, anxious and worried on a day to day basis. In fact, research conducted by Genos International indicates that Emotional Intelligence has positive correlations with job satisfaction and reduced occupational stress.
Another one of OPRA’s core development programmes, Healthy Thinking, equips participants with proven tools needed to reframe and rewire unproductive thinking patterns. Based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Healthy Thinking encourages participants to explore their default thinking patterns and habitual attitudes. Whilst Healthy Thinking is not a cure for everything, it has been found to reduce stress three-fold in some New Zealand workplaces, and create sustainable individual resilience overtime. Specific learning outcomes include:
- Increased self-awareness about the way you think, feel, and act
- The ability to recognise and manage unhealthy thinking in yourself and others
- The skills to maintain resilience and bounce back in times of adversity
- An ability to create healthier relationships and more productive workplace environments.
Research shows that unhealthy thinking and emotions can cause poor sleep, poor attention, stress, anxiety, and breakdown of relationships; all which ultimately result in poorer performance.