We need a workforce revolution, and it starts with all of us demanding trauma-free leadership and a psychologically safe workplace.
More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, public and private sector organizations are still responding to this prolonged crisis, which has impacted—and sometimes traumatized—each member of the workforce in unique ways. Did you know almost 70% of adults in the US have experienced some kind of a traumatic event in their lifetime? In other words, in an organization of 100 employees, up to 70 team members may be managing personal trauma. The CDC reported that between April and June 2020, 40.9% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, a significant increase from the same period in 2019. The National Alliance on Mental Health's HelpLine service reported a 65% jump between March and April compared to 2019, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline saw an 890% spike in call volume in April compared to 2019. While deaths by suicide decreased slightly in 2020, feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety are still very high, especially for young people. The workplace is not immune from the impacts of anxiety and depression. According to The Achievers’ Employee Engagement and Retention Report, a stunning 52% of workers plan on looking for new jobs in 2021. Other surveys have suggested that a Turnover Tsunami may be imminent due to workers willing to sacrifice income security for happier and trauma-informed work environments, pandemic uncertainty, working longer hours, lack of HR advocacy, and working from home all contributed (and still do) to workers feeling undervalued and burned out. READ MORE