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Managing Stress: Promoting Health and Supporting One Another

Written by: Vera Connolly, Senior Director, Talent Management

April is National Stress Awareness month.

Stress. It’s something we are all familiar with and it comes in many shapes and forms. Sometimes it comes from our personal lives. Sometimes it’s related to our work. Sometimes it has to do with events around us, in the world, that consume our hearts and minds.

No matter the source, stress is hard to handle, and if not managed, it can negatively affect our physical health, mental health, well-being, and work performance.

The Zulu proverb called Ubuntu reminds us that we are all tied together, and at EnCompass we have always believed that we rise or fall as one. This is why we do our best to stay connected and to focus on the health and safety of our staff.

As we grow, we are continuously looking at new opportunities to support our staff in building their resilience and navigating life’s challenges. Some of the current support we have in place includes:

  •  Providing Employee Assistance Program services to connect staff with mental health professionals and help with marriage and relationship concerns, lack of sleep, finances, legal issues, trauma and loss, and life transitions
  •  Offering a Flexible Savings Account benefit for both health care and dependent care (childcare and elder care)
  • Contracting with a specialist group, experienced in working in the high-stress environment of international development and humanitarian assistance, to provide counseling support, management consultations, and webinars on topics such as developing self-resilience and how managers can help prevent burnout
  • Encouraging supervisors to approach work challenges from a place of empathy and encouragement, providing support and actively helping to solve problems
  • Allowing for flexibility in work schedules and locations when we can
  • Continuing to allow staff to work remotely when possible
  • Actively encouraging staff to take paid time off and vacations
  • Offering yoga and other health and wellness benefits
  • Providing numerous, optional outlets for staff to connect on a more personal basis, getting to know one another (beyond just work) and building the ties that help create the supportive fabric that makes our culture strong

At EnCompass, our team members are being called to address major global challenges, and we know this isn’t easy to do. Our team members are passionate and dedicated and they feel the urgency to do it all, and do it now. But we know that this work and this pace can take a toll on some, and that we MUST take the time to care for ourselves and for one another in order to do the good work that means so much to us all!

So, wherever you are, and whatever stressors you are managing today, we hope you will take a moment to nurture yourself, to ask for help if you need some, or to do whatever is needed to recharge. Sometimes even a little support can make a world of difference!

Vera Connolly

Written by

Senior Director, Talent Management

Vera Connolly is a skilled curriculum designer, facilitator, and program manager with over 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors. At EnCompass, she has been instrumental in managing and designing capacity-building programs, management development courses, and technical training workshops. She specializes in creating highly-interactive blended learning programs that include virtual sessions, on-the-job learning activities, videos, and eLearning modules. She has designed and delivered innovative large group collaborative workshops, and created professional development and new employee orientation programs for both domestic and international organizations. Ms. Connolly is certified in the design of virtual instructor-led training and human performance improvement. She holds an MBA and an MS in Not-for-Profit Management from the University of Maryland University College.

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