The ABCs of Reducing Sensory Overload: A is for assessment


Employees are an organization’s greatest resource, and the success of a company’s business objectives is directly related to its employee morale and productivity. Taking care of employee well-being continues to be a main business priority in 2021. After a difficult 2020, employers are concerned about burnout and disengagement in their teams, and many organizations are focusing on efforts that set up their employees for success. Understanding the risk of burnout and overload on your team starts with assessing the current situation. 

If you want to identify a potential overload issue – or want to prevent one down the line – it’s important to accurately assess the current situation between your learners and your development and training initiatives. A successful assessment has two parts: 

Survey Learners: Use a combination of closed-ended, scaled, and open-ended questions to gauge your learners and their environments. Consider the following questions to ask your learners:

  • On average, how many hours do you spend in front of a screen each day?
  • On average, how many hours do you spend on solitary tasks each day?
  • Do you take scheduled breaks throughout your day?
  • On a scale from 1-5 (1 = strongly agree and 5 = strongly disagree), respond to the following statements:
    • I often get tired very quickly.
    • I often have problems thinking clearly.
    • I often have trouble sleeping.
    • I often find myself fidgeting.
  • If you could change anything in your current environment, what would it be?
  • How can we make training more accessible for you?

Recognize Sensory Overload: Sometimes you’re unable to assess risk for sensory overload before it begins. Knowing the common symptoms will help identify existing cases of sensory overload and provide a solution more quickly. Common symptoms of sensory overload include:

  • Restlessness and discomfort
  • Difficulty in maintaining mental focus
  • Memory loss
  • Sensitivity to light or difficulty focusing your eyes
  • Urge to cover your ears or shield your eyes from sensory input
  • Higher levels than usual of sensitivity to textures, fabrics, clothing tags, or other  things that may rub against skin
  • Feeling overly excited or “wound up” and/or difficulty sleeping
  • Stress, fear, or anxiety about your surroundings

Ardent teams regularly partner with learning and development teams to find the best ways to empower employees with knowledge and solutions. If you’re interested in better understanding how to assess teams and build appropriate solutions that can help inspire your learners while reducing stress, get in touch with us today for a complimentary consultation.


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