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Social support is the first line of defence against psychological distress at work. In these times of teleworking, a manager’s primary role is not to monitor performance but to maintain the quality of connection. It is by taking care of what unites us today (despite the distance) that we may re-discover the path to performance tomorrow.

Teleworking has brought about an opportunity to manage differently. Psychology teaches us that management based on trust increases productivity, engagement, and quality of life. How do we do it? By setting objectives to be achieved rather than by controlling the amount of time employees are online. It means allowing everyone to be autonomous, to allow colleagues to get to know each other well enough to organise themselves optimally. Those

Right now we all need support—and would also like to give it to those who are far away from us. However, we are not all created equal when it comes to the kinds of support we offer. Men are more oriented towards task-oriented support (I’ll do it for you); but at a distance during lockdown it becomes more complicated. This is where we can activate esteem support. It’s about

Are you familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect, also known as the “overconfidence bias”? It explains how those who are less qualified on a subject tend to overestimate their skills. Indeed, to know that they are incompetent, they must know at least a little bit about the task, even if they underestimate its difficulty. If you have a colleague without children who tells you that “it’s not that difficult to

“I’ve been feeling a lot of negative emotions since the beginning of the lockdown”. As an organizational psychologist, this is what I’ve heard the most over the past 10 days. The good news is that there are no negative emotions–there are only unpleasant emotions. If we have gone through millennia of evolution with our emotions intact, it is because even the most unpleasant of them have a use and

In these times of forced cohabitation, it’s important to be aware of how psychology explains aggression. There is no such thing as “gratuitous violence”. Violence is only gratuitous in the eyes of the spectator. The perpetrator always has a motivation, even if it escapes or repulses us. The source of aggression is almost always frustration, being deprived of what we feel we are legitimately entitled to: respect, freedom to

Living in close confines with others is complicated. For this reason, today I would like to cover the three stages of a conflict: If I forget to wash my cup and leave it on the table, my wife might say: “It annoys me when you leave your dirty dishes lying around”. I understand her legitimate thinking, I apologize, and we move on. It’s a conflict centred on behaviour. You

In social psychology, ‘proxemics’ is the study of the distance that separates us from others according to our culture and degree of affinity. I accept my partner entering my personal space (less than 40cm) but when I give a lecture I need at least 3.70m (the measure of social distance) to be respected. During lockdown, it is very likely that living in close quarters with others violates traditional proxemics.

Today’s exercise is around nurturing the ties that connect you with others. In positive psychology we often talk about the benefits of gratitude, so here is a ‘gratitude letter’ exercise to try today. Find a quiet place where you feel comfortable. Select one person from your past who has made a positive impact in your life to whom you have never fully expressed your gratitude. Write a heartfelt testimonial

Today I’m helping you understand what happens when you’re anxious. The coronavirus causes fear of respiratory problems and stress. The brain then creates “selective hyper-vigilance”, which means that it “scans” us very or even too regularly in search of the slightest problem and focuses only on the things that are wrong: that strange sensation in our chest, the muscle tension in our back, our itchy eyes. Then the second

For today, here’s a positive psychology exercise that will increase your level of well-being in the short, medium, and long term. It’s about identifying your character strengths and using one per day in a specific activity. Here’s an example: one strength of mine is my love of study and learning. So from now on, I’m devoting every Monday afternoon to writing a chapter of my book, reading a scientific

According to a statement published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in June 2020, the unemployment rate increased by an unprecedented 2.9 percentage points in April 2020 to 8.4%, compared to 5.5% in March, reflecting the impact of Covid-19 containment measures. The number of unemployed people in the OECD area increased by 18.4 million to 55 million in April. The United States accounted for the main

If physical health is to remain a top priority during this pandemic, then mental health is our best ally along the way. The psychological impacts of pandemics and confinement—stress, anxiety, PTSD, anger and for some, emotional exhaustion—are now well documented (see meta-analysis: https://lnkd.in/einFiqi). Once you’ve taken care of the basic precautionary measures, I invite you to: Up the attention you give your spouse and children by putting your smartphone

For some people, the days feel a little long, and boredom is a great friend of anxiety. So for the duration of lockdown, I would like to offer a daily “shrink’s tip” that I find useful and that will help you to cultivate “salutogenesis.” Have you ever heard of that concept? It’s basically about promoting things that improve health rather than mitigating things that damage it. For today, here’s

Although it has now been some time since COVID-19 swept the planet, most countries are still reporting a significant number of new cases each day. Despite the gradual easing of restrictions, businesses must still manage the effects of the virus on the wellbeing of their people and find new ways of functioning throughout this difficult period. To do our part in this collective effort, over the coming weeks we’ll

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s Composite Leading Indicators (CLI) in April 2020 went into negative territory as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The CLI was on the path to recovery after a low point in September 2019 when the trajectory abruptly changed for the worse. In March 2020, the CLI level is at 98.77 vs the Feb 2020 level of 99.57, up from Jan

Employee Benefits Propositions (EVP) are gaining in importance now that employers are more focused on offering a bespoke employee experience, and the Aon UK Benefits and Trends 2020 Survey shows that although the number of employers who have or are working towards an Employee Value Proposition remain similar (76%), there has been a significant increase in the number of employers who now communicate that EVP to staff. The survey shows

In the interest of fostering a more stable work environment for trans and non-binary workers, Lloyd’s of London in December 2019 published a guide for the insurance sector that helps managers understand how to make trans and non-binary employees feel included in the workplace. The proportion of colleagues who identify as trans or non-binary could rise from about 4% to as high as 20%, as younger people, many of

The size of the global international private medical insurance (iPMI) market will reach an estimated US$17bn (£12.7bn) by the end of 2020, according to iPMI advisers from the McGrigor Group. McGrigor’s research reveals that Cigna in particular is number one in global iPMI, ever since its acquisition of Vanbreda in 2012, and advisers see the big regional winners as Sub Saharan Africa and South-East Asia. They noted that countries

Since the beginning of the 2019-2020 COVID-19 pandemic, a great wealth of information has been made available to the general public as well as to human resources professionals. GBV has no particular expertise in epidemiology, the treatment of people affected by COVID-19, or the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, and therefore refrains from adding to the noise component of what is now on offer. Nevertheless, the editorial team here

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in February 2020 released its list of the top five risks to the global economy in 2020: The likelihood of at least one of these five possible events occurring in 2020 is … 69%.   The EIU report can be downloaded from this page (contact information required). The company is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The

OECD’s new report, Pension Markets in Focus 2019, shows that despite a decline of pension assets in the OECD area and internationally in 2017/18, over the last decade, however, pension assets have increased in nominal terms in almost all reporting countries. This can be attributed to an increase in the proportion of working-age coverage, which was strong in countries such as Israel, Latvia, Bulgaria, Colombia, North Macedonia, and New

Aetna’s new report, The Business of health 2020 – Tackling polarised perceptions of corporate health and wellness, looks at how technology can positively impact employee mental ill health and lifestyle-related health conditions in an increasingly blurred work-life balance in the workplace. The report was published in January 2020. With wellbeing now being broader in scope than previously understood, it has come to include physical and emotional health, financial security, social

Airmic’s report, Managing Risk−The Human Factor, sheds light on the “unprecedented volatility with regards to people risk” and stresses the importance of HR, benefits, and risk professionals working together more closely. The report published in December 2019 in association with Arthur D. Little, Willis Towers Watson and Zurich, positions people risk around the people themselves instead of creating newer categories. This allows a view where risks which may have

The OECD in December 2019 published updated versions of the 2019 series of its E.U. Country Health Profiles. The profiles provide a concise overview of health and health systems in the EU/European Economic area, emphasizing the particular characteristics and challenges in each country against a backdrop of cross-country comparisons. Each Country Health Profile provides a short summary of: Health status Risk factors The organization of the health system Its

Published in December 2019, Neyber’s report, the DNA of Financial Wellbeing, which has surveyed over 42,000 people since 2016 suggests that absence, productivity and turnover of staff costs UK employers over £15.2 billion per annum. The report shows that employees’ financial woes are indeed a burden on employers as their spending habits (and results thereof) are a direct contributor to lost revenue at firms. With this report looking at

Randstad’s WorkMonitor report for Q4 2019 was released in December 2019 with a look into work-life balance and the economic and financial outlook for 2020 and shows some interesting results. The survey covers trends across the globe in the mobility, job satisfaction, and motivation in 34 countries around the globe. Work-Life Balance Highlights of the report include the inevitability of technology creeping into our lives more and more: Workers