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Sara Tarca Featured in Connecticut Banker's Association Newsletter Discussing Resiliency

The overnight course correction due to the global pandemic has triggered an unprecedented tidal wave of personal and professional stress. One positive aspect? This is a collective experience, which allows us to learn from this experience.

OneDigital Connecticut's Sara Tarca, Wellbeing Strategy Consultant, was featured in the latest Quarterly Newsletter from the Connecticut Bankers Association discussing the mental health impacts the pandemic has had on the workforce, specifically in the banking industry.

This is truly a “glass half full or empty” situation- with over six million Americans employed in the finance and insurance industry, banking leaders now face organizational opportunities to provide resources that can empower their employees to perform at their best, in fresh and innovative ways. With an unknown end-date to the pandemic, forward-thinking leadership teams learn from this challenge, offer resources and a plan to develop resiliency skills, stabilize their culture, while promoting positivity and growth amidst the uncertainty.

In this article, Sara discusses steps employers can take to support their employees and their organization to "re-fuel," build resilience and stay positive:

1. Provide Resiliency Tools

Skills that promote resiliency can help employees to thrive in this environment, which will improve morale, promote cultural positivity and organizational empowerment.

    • Provide managers and employees alike with opportunities to build skills, understand and identify support systems, re-introduce and communicate EAP benefits (still a highly underutilized resource, often showing less than 10% engagement), introduce virtual tools.
    • Offer manager training to recognize behaviors that display signs of trouble. With remote workers out of sight, many managers struggle with how to gauge employee mental health or other concerns. Changes in performance, verbal cues, reduced offers to take on tasks or projects are a few examples that an employee may be struggling.
    • Provide simple awareness building opportunities via online quizzes or departmental challenges. Try a short Resiliency Quiz; employees can learn how to use resiliency as a solution and feel in control.

2. Communicate Shared Leadership Vision

In this changing working environment, financial leaders must communicate their vision with empathy, compassion and transparency.

    • Leadership teams can create a rotation for conducting quick check-ins via phone or web, demonstrating care and support while not burning out any one team member, sharing a personal story shows that everyone is dealing with stresses of the pandemic.
    • Create a leadership video check-in, a tool that can be implemented for the long-term. Employees feel culturally connected, reinforcing that physical distancing doesn’t have to mean social distancing (cue the Zoom trivia contests and happy hours).
    • Communicate with authenticity and transparency. Leaders can reduce employee stress and anxiety by using simple, honest and frequent communications. Studies show that employees would like more feedback and “straight talk,” helping to reduce stress.

To read the entire article, access the Connecticut Banker's Association Quarterly Newsletter here.

To learn more about supporting your employee's wellbeing, read our blog post on "Four Tips for Encouraging Mental Health and Fostering Opportunities for Connection."