5 Ways to Improve Employee Mental Wellness During the Pandemic
The pandemic has changed our daily lives in a number of ways and many employees are experiencing more anxiety and fear than usual. According to a recent survey by mental health provider Ginger, 69 percent of employees said the pandemic has been the most stressful time of their career. What can employers do now to support their employees’ during the pandemic?
Take advantage of technology
The pandemic has put a new focus on technology in the workplace. Employees are utilizing technology more than ever to collaborate with colleagues and stay connected while working remotely. Employers should take this opportunity to use technology to provide mental health programs remotely. These programs can include video conferences or phone calls with a licensed counselor, meditation apps or websites that provide guided meditation, or virtual classes focusing on coping mechanisms and tips for managing stress.
Encourage employees to ask for help
It can be difficult to ask for help. Some individuals feel there is a stigma around mental health, which can prevent them from asking and receiving the help they need. Employers should use their employee wellness program to educate employees about mental health and the resources available to them. Virtual programs can be just as impactful as in-person meetings. For example, educational sessions with a therapist can help employees recognize symptoms, ways to improve and options for seeking outside help.
Employees are more stressed out and anxious these days and everyone is dealing with a different set of circumstances. It is more important than ever that managers show empathy and put the well-being of their employees first. Take the time to check-in with your employees about topics other than work. Remind employees to take mental and physical breaks and to prioritize their personal health. Employers who understand the value of putting their employees’ well-being first will ultimately end up with a healthier, more productive workforce.
It is not enough to just check-in with your employees. Make sure you take the time to ask questions about how they are feeling and listen to what they have to say. While you may not be able to solve their problems, employees will feel validated by feeling heard and knowing they are not alone.
Be in tune with your employees’ individual situations
Every employee is dealing with a different set of circumstances. Some may be sharing office space with other family members or dealing with young children in addition to working. Be flexible and seek input from your employees when possible. A weekly 8 am staff call might not be the ideal time for employees with young children and the line between work and home may be difficult for those who have never worked remotely.