The world is a scary place right now. This global pandemic has left no one unaffected. Businesses may have concerns about the welfare of their employees but are unsure of how to help.
There was a poll done by the Kaiser Family Foundation on the health of America back in April. It shows that 45% of Americans report that the Coronavirus has negatively affected their mental health. It’s safe to assume that those numbers have increased since.
As the need for help increases, companies worldwide are taking part in protecting the mental health of their workers.
Here are a few ways businesses can support their employees’ mental health during a crisis:
Keep the Line of Communication Open
Communication is critical in this scary time. Employees need to know that they, and their health, are priorities. Managers or HR needs to check in on employees regularly.
When they do, they should show compassion and understanding and be reassuring about their role in the company. Let them know that this period of adjustment is just that. No one expects them to function at the same level as they did before.
Whenever possible, use video chat instead of phone calls for a more personable contact. Seeing another face, when working remotely, can really boost your employees’ mood.
It’s important to make them aware of any changes within the company or job positions as soon as possible. That way they can have the time to adjust there as well.
Provide Help with the Transition
Change can be hard, and there are a lot of changes that are hitting employees recently. Many of them include how they live their day-to-day lives. Some of them include the way they complete their work remotely.
Provide training for any new tools your employees will be using for work-from-home situations. Set up a source for them to go to for any ongoing technical difficulties or questions they might have.
Be understanding when facing glitches or technological blunders. You also need to make allowances for the challenges of working with children or spouses at home. Things can get overwhelming — it happens to all of us.
New programs take time to figure out. The functionality of these programs is dependent on many uncontrollable factors. Things like internet connection, software, etc. Don’t put too much pressure on employees to get things right the first time.
Create a support group that will allow employees to share tips and tricks they found to make things work optimally. This way they can guarantee that stuff is in on the dot.
Invite a professional counselor from time to time into these support groups. They can help your employees learn coping strategies for stress and anxiety.
In no way is this transition smooth for any of us, but with a helping hand and a little compassion, your employees can maintain a healthy mental state.
Find Ways to Keep the Camaraderie
Working remotely alone in our homes can make us feel isolated. The same is true for your employees. To keep the office camaraderie alive even through this pandemic, find ways to help your employees connect with each other.
One way to encourage this is to instill a daily morning coffee video chat as part of your weekly schedule.
Find ways to bring out some positive thoughts in these chats. Perhaps invite coworkers to share some funny stories or good points of their day before.
Make a rule not to talk about what they saw on the news unless it is uplifting. For example, you can get the ball rolling by bringing up topics that you read on the Good News Network.
Your employees need to remember that there are still many things to smile about even in these uncertain times.
Organize collaboration projects to spread out the workload and share the pride of a project well done. When workers collaborate together, they can connect on a deeper level and form a more profound friendship.
As executives, take the lead by hosting a weekly happy hour. Stay away from work-related topics of conversation. This time will serve to replace the after-work unwinding they may have done before the quarantine.
Speak Up About Mental Health
These new challenges might present new feelings, and some might not know how to react. While some of your employees might be well versed in taking care of their mental health, others might not.
As an employer, you can help your workers to learn the importance of mental health. Regularly emphasize the importance of self-care and explain what that entails and what is not helpful. If you need help defining that, this article sums it up nicely.
Unfortunately, there is still a stigma surrounding these topics. Open up the channels of communication and take away the shame or confusion that some might feel. List a few symptoms that some might feel that are signs of mental distress.
Share mental health resources for your employees. And even go so far as to offer a good program that includes mental health benefits.
Provide apps and programs that address mental health for free. This list of sixty digital resources for mental health is a great place to start.
A company’s ability to survive this crisis depends largely on the productivity of their employees.
Businesses can keep their employees’ performance levels high and their mental health in good standing by:
- Keeping constant communication
- Providing resources
- Implementing new training
- Facilitating friendships
Together we can all get through this challenging time in history.
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at 8181 Med Center with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making 8181 Med Center the place to call home.