This week I had the privilege of delivering an online seminar to the members of RISKNZ (the member organisation for risk management professionals in NZ) about Employee Wellbeing, our Human Needs and how businesses (large and small) can help support their people’s mental wellbeing during this continuing period of uncertainty, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

wellbeing - on line seminar
Tony delivering his online seminar to RISKNZ

Maintaining our sense of wellbeing has become even more difficult and challenging

The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the fact that we live in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (‘VUCA’) world. It’s a world in which maintaining our sense of wellbeing has become even more difficult and challenging.

Recent surveys of the population’s wellbeing reveal that any one time up to 50% of us are experiencing some level of distress be that stress, anxiety, or depression. A major cause of this distress is the fact that people are finding it increasingly difficult to satisfy their basic emotional needs. Our emotional needs are the subconscious, (non-conscious) motivators that influence how we think, feel and act, moment to moment, as human beings. To learn more about emotional needs read this blog post.


Our emotional needs sit at the very core of our wellbeing.

The concept of Human Needs was first brought to the public’s attention by Abraham Maslow in the 1940s when he published his Hierarchy of Needs model. Our Human Needs can be split into our physical needs (Nourishment, movement, sleep) and our emotional needs. Klaus Grawe Professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the University of Berne, Switzerland believes that our emotional needs sit at the very core of our wellbeing.


Businesses have a key role to play in supporting our wellbeing

In my online seminar to RISKNZ, I spoke about the key role businesses play in supporting their people to maintain their wellbeing. Many of us spend at least one third of our week days at work, and for many people the workplace is where they get most of their emotional needs met. It’s also an environment that can easily frustrate our ability to get our emotional needs met. For example, workplace bullying negatively impacts on our need for security; unrealistic demands negatively impact on our need for control; a lack of quality, timely feedback negatively impacts on our need for a sense of achievement.


The return on investment in wellbeing

There is plenty of research that confirms there are huge benefits to be had for a business that invests in supporting its people meet their emotional needs and many businesses (large, medium and small) are now investing in workforce wellbeing programmes. The return on investment in wellbeing programmes is estimated to be $5 for every $1 spent. In addition to this financial return, businesses can expect to benefit from increased productivity, staff morale and the building of a reputation as a wonderful place to work. Then there’s the bonus of increased profits or outputs. It’s a win for the business and a win for the employee.


Ultimately we must each take personal responsibility for our wellbeing

It’s important that we recognised that although our employers can support and help us to maintain our wellbeing ultimately, we must each take personal responsibility for our wellbeing.


Emotional Needs Audit (ENA)

A good place to start is to gain an understanding of what your emotional needs are and how they affect the way you think, feel, and behave. The next step is to assess how well your emotional needs are currently being met. To do this you can simple complete this self-assessment survey called the Emotional Needs Audit (ENA) developed by the UK based Human Givens Institute. The survey can be completed online or offline and has one question per emotional need.

You answer each question with a score from 1 – 7 in terms of well you feel the need is currently being met. A score of 1 means that you feel that need isn’t currently being met and 7 means you feel it’s being fully met. A score of 3 or below is a signal that you may be experiencing distress because that emotional need is not being met to your satisfaction. To access the ENA survey click here: https://www.hgi.org.uk/resources/emotional-needs-audit-ena


Your stress level will fall, your wellbeing will increase, and you’ll become more resilient

The survey results will give you a holistic understanding of what’s working and not working in your life, why you’re struggling and why you feel stressed and/or anxious.

Once you know the source of your stress you are better placed to take action to address it by taking action to satisfy any unmet needs. When you start to meet your emotional needs in a healthy balanced way, your stress level will fall, your wellbeing will increase, and you’ll become more resilient. That resilience will help you get through this period of uncertainty and cope better in this VUCA world.


Schedule a free, no obligation Discovery Consultation

If you want some help meeting your emotional needs or managing your anxiety or stress level simply schedule a free, no obligation Discovery Consultation by clicking HERE. Alternatively, you can call/text me on 021 056 8389.

Stay safe and stay well.

~ Tony


I’m on a mission to help as many people as possible enjoy lives free of unnecessary stress and anxiety. If you’d like my help, or you know someone who would benefit, call/text me today on 021 056 8389 or email tony@tycoaching.nz