Many organizations place a high priority on employee wellbeing, genuinely care for their teams, and, if possible, would help them navigate changing and stressful times.

Over and above the desire to do the right thing, there are also good business reasons to ensure you have a culture of support and help – higher performance, staff retention, and increased productivity.

Organizations must create psychologically safe environments for their employees to work and thrive in and establish ways to monitor and enhance their support systems.

But if you don't have a trained psychologist on the staff, how can you spot those signs, measure changes and perhaps predict where assistance is needed?

One tool we have found to be extremely useful in predicting behaviour and understanding our teams at a much deeper level has been the REACH Platform. This SaaS-based tool works on many levels and provides insights into the wellbeing of your team and the individuals in it. It is important to note that this is not a specialist ERP, but it nonetheless provides valuable insights.

It allows us to measure someone's ability to change and adapt with the times, if they can lead change or how easily they can follow, how they communicate and the best way to help them become resilient and the support they need from the team.

Strength-based analysis

The REACH ecosystem identifies the natural strengths of individuals. This means we know where they will be at their natural best, enjoy the challenge and role, and feel empowered by using these stronger abilities that we naturally excel at. REACH measures two distinct areas.

The first is how we take action. Are we thinking-orientated and methodical in our approach, or are we action-orientated with an urgent approach to making things happen. Action-orientated people are more likely to embrace change and enjoy the challenge. Methodical thinkers usually need time to consider options and examine facts, so fast change can cause stress and anxiety.

The other measure is how we interact with other people around us. Psychological safety is needed to achieve wellness in your business. This, in turn, relies largely on the team being heard and understood. They want their concerns and thoughts to be validated.

Some are very people-focused and find it easy to express their thoughts and feelings. By sharing them, they have a release for their emotions and concerns. Others are much more task-focused and guarded about what they share.

When we are pushed into being highly social when we are a private and reserved person, we find ourselves in this situation where we easily become uncomfortable. For them, you need to build an easy way for them to communicate in a way that is comfortable to them.

Being able to identify this allows us to see who will be most affected by the different actions and changes and who will need additional support.

For example, if someone who enjoys doing account work gets thrust into a sales role, they will likely find that much more stressful than their usual occupation. Likewise, someone who is naturally gentle and supportive may find the need to lead a team and enforce rules to be extremely stressful.

By recognising these strengths, leadership teams can ensure individuals work in areas that energise and motivate them.

The REACH Platform also measures individuals' ability to adapt to other styles and profiles. While we can temporarily adopt any profile type as needed, it's challenging to maintain in the long term. Those who are less flexible find it more stressful to be something they are not, and so this can, once again, be a source of anxiety.

These reactions can be measured over time to map how the individuals and teams are changing as situations change.

Underlying traits

No individual is as simple as a two by two matrix and the REACH ecosystem provides an additional five traits on how we achieve our desired outcomes and also how we need to relate to other people. Some of these are valuable when trying to determine how a person is coping.

The traits work on how you achieve and how you relate to others. Let us choose a few to see how they can be a predictor.

Three achievement traits that have an obvious impact are our risk tolerance, our adaptability and how we make decisions.

If you are inclined to be cautious (risk tolerance), consistent by nature (adaptability) and analytical in how you make your decisions, then it can be hard and take time and consideration to change, or that change will cause a greater amount of stress.

But suppose you are bold when it comes to risk tolerance. You are flexible, adaptable, and intuitive in how you make decisions. Then, it is more likely that you will change more readily with less stress.

The traits that apply to how we relate to others give strong indicators as to how individuals will cope.

If your need to be social is high, you have a nurturing nature and prefer to be open in your communication, it may be that you are not the one to work from home or in a small office shut off from others.

Or you might be independent and private by nature and consider your own needs more than others. This would allow you to get by on your own and be happy to keep your own company.

Evaluating these predictors over time provides valuable insights and can alert management and team members to individuals who need more support and help at certain times.

Early prevention contributes to a stable environment and a happier team.

Source: Attain, 09 October 2023