Part of our Mental health and well-being series

Photo of women sitting in an office, thinking about world events.

4 ways to ease employee stress over world events

World events can make us feel like life is spinning out of control. Relaying solid facts, staying calm, and putting major issues in context for your business can help employees better handle stress in the workplace.

Effective crisis communication can reassure employees who are barraged daily by a dizzying array of international news, public health emergencies, and political debate.

1. Amplify valid sources of news and information.

Be a reliable source for employees by relaying information on external news only from authoritative sources. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for instance, helps calm and consolidate information on public health compared to minute-by-minute updates and fluctuating statistics from the tangled streams of social media. Pew Research Center is an example of a credible researcher of public behavior and trends grounded in scientific surveys and analysis. Even a source as fundamental as the National Weather Service may provide tools and maps that are useful to keep employees safe and informed.

2. Overcommunicate with employees.

Provide reassuring facts and updates on a consistent schedule, whether weekly or monthly. Simple staff emails, one-on-one conversations, and live Q&A sessions with specific teams all play a role. It’s better to overcommunicate with employees in times of uncertainty. In the words of the Society for Human Resource Management, “When employees don’t know, they speculate”—and that speculation can be worse than any difficult news you may need to share.



3. Stop the spread of misinformation.

Sift through misinformation and bias that may add unnecessary stress in the workplace. This starts with listening closely to employee concerns—including through anonymous feedback—to help pinpoint what may be stoking fear and gossip. Simple online tools such as SurveyMonkey may offer a convenient channel to allow for direct and honest employee input, or you could pursue more formal vendors to help manage employee engagement and sentiment.

4. Encourage remote and hybrid employees to socialize.

In some ways, the social setting of the office has been permanently transformed by the pandemic. Realize and live up to the responsibility of your business to provide additional emotional support in how you communicate with employees—including encouraging both personal and virtual interaction among teams. You’re not the only business figuring this out; there’s a growing list of ideas to help your remote workforce feel a sense of togetherness, from virtual coffee breaks to more elaborate online video games.

What's next

Want to talk more in depth about employee mental health, employee benefits, and your business? Consult your financial professional, or we can help you find one in your area.

Survey Monkey and SHRM are not affiliates of any company of the Principal Financial Group®. Links are provided for a courtesy only. Principal does not endorse or recommend any specific vendors. 

This information is intended to be educational in nature and is not intended to be taken as a recommendation.