20 Nov Mental Health in the Workplace During COVID-19: How Can Employers Help?
Mental Health in the Workplace During COVID-19: How Can Employers Help?
COVID-19 has caused mental health concerns to soar, but businesses can provide support to their employees. People’s lives and jobs across the world have been significantly affected by the pandemic.
As a business leader, you need to invest time and effort in creating a positive employee experience during the pandemic.
So, what can you do to help your people during this unprecedented time?
Discuss mental health
Like we all have physical health, we all have a mental one too. Encourage managers, supervisors and colleagues to check in with each other. It is essential to try and see the world and situation from other people’s perspective.
A job well done and a positive working environment is a key to mental wellness, but it might not always be there. Some people are at greater risk of poor mental health than others. Parents who have been forced into home-schooling their children, people from Asian backgrounds may be facing discrimination in ways they may not have seen previously and; those on furlough may be worried about their role in the business.
These people may not have been causing for concern in the past, but they might be now, and the only way you can find out is to encourage conversation about how everybody is coping.
Talk to your people
Employers should try to have daily contact with your people, managers and supervisors. During these conversations, you need to be open and honest. Try by acknowledging the uncertainty and the stress it causes.
There is no shame in not having all of the answers yourself. These regular conversations will help build meaningful transparency into your company culture and; your employees will thank you for it.
You may provide access to support services through your workplace – if you do, make sure these are advertised well and find out whether there are specific resources relating to the outbreak.
Make sure people also know where they go and who they talk to internally. If you have mental health champions, allies or mental health first aiders make sure they have the latest information, and that if you change working practices that this network of mental health support carries on if possible.
In a recent episode of the East Anglia Business Webinar, Jacqui Kemp, Director of Your People Potential, emphasised that whilst internal mental health champions are a strong starting point, businesses must not rely on them. She explains that “a two-day course is not a substitute for trained therapists”.
Working remotely is the top reason why employee experience and company culture is disrupted. In March, businesses were forced to change the way they usually work, communicate and manage their workforce.
Arguably remote working does not mean the fundamentals of a strong company culture change. They are solidified further. It is still essential to hire the best people for your company, create traditions so people feel included, give employees a sense of ownership over their role and allow people to have a voice and an influence.
Overhaul your approach to mental health in the workplace with these tips. For more helpful tips and advice watch the full episode here: