The COVID-19 pandemic has played havoc with the normal workflow of organizations in almost every industry. Furthermore, the pandemic has impacted on the physical and mental health of many people. We are all living a life of uncertainty, and just about everyone has been affected by the pandemic in one way or another. According to recent research, 42% of employees have experienced a deterioration in their mental health since the pandemic started.
With many employees suddenly working from home, people are feeling more stressed. If you feel anxious, burnt out, and are struggling with your work-life balance, you are not alone. People are now having to juggle managing their work from the dinner table with taking care of their family. It is especially complicated when staff also have to act as teachers to their children who are studying online.
So how do you deal with these new challenges and stressors? As a manager or team leader, what steps can you take to help your employees overcome mental or physical health challenges? Here are a few ways you can offer resources and support for your employee’s wellbeing.
Create a Safe Space
Leaders and managers must create a dedicated and open space for their employees to discuss their mental health issues. For example, as a leader, you can talk openly about the issues you face at home or how pandemic has affected your work-life balance or any episodes of anxiety you have experienced.
Such acts of vulnerability will create a safe space for your staff members to be upfront and discuss their inhibitions with you. A leader who is transparent with their experiences builds a relationship of trust with their employees.
Have Regular Conversations
Communication and regular check-ins with your employees are extremely crucial during a time of crisis and uncertainty. Keep a close eye on your employees and colleagues who might be facing anxiety or depression.
Make sure you are a good listener and let them know that you are there to support them. It is also important to inform your staff members about the mental health resources that are available to them. It is important to be compassionate and make time to discuss the challenges they face.
Create Healthy Work Culture
As the world struggles with the pandemic, it is important to cultivate a wholesome work culture as a business leader. Provide flexible work arrangements for your employees to give them enough time to look after their physical and mental health.
Avoid overburdening and overstressing your employees that can ultimately lead to burnouts. Instead, lead by example and share your side of the story of how you are making time for your family or yoga sessions or therapy. Through companies like phs Besafe, you can offer your employees specialist workwear laundry solutions to keep hygiene standards high while removing the burden of frequent laundering.
Use Technology to Stay Connected
Many people around the world have felt isolated since the onset of the pandemic. As a manager, you need to ensure that you stay connected with your employees virtually.
Many businesses have made it a practice to stay connected with their staff through video meetings. You can also use these virtual tools to offer counselling and virtual mental awareness programs.
Organize Fitness Sessions
Apart from monitoring mental health, you should also keep an eye on your staff members’ physical fitness. Poor physical health will lead to low productivity at work, not to mention exercise is important for emotional wellbeing.
As a leader, you can organize online fitness sessions such as meditation, yoga, Zumba classes, and more. You can even invite health and fitness experts to assist your employees with tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Review your Policies and Procedures
In today’s ever-changing workplace landscape, it is vital to tweak your company’s policies and procedures. It’s important to incorporate more flexible processes to accommodate your employee’s well-being. As a leader, be sure to offer flexible work arrangements and provide your staff with leave when required.
Keep your Employees Informed
Organizations today should conduct health drives to assist employees facing challenges, whether at work or in their personal lives. As a manager, you should encourage your staff to participate in these activities. It is also important to keep employees well informed about the medical benefits, stress management assistance, and mental health services that are available to them.
Yes, it all comes down to being compassionate and understanding. During a time of such change and uncertainty, you as a leader should be extra cautious about your employee’s well-being.
Remind them to take breaks, check in with them regularly, and have candid discussions with them about their physical and mental health. These mindful measures will considerably reshape your employee’s morale and boost their productivity.
Prioritizing mental and physical well-being is more important than ever. Today, companies and business leaders can take the necessary steps to promote employee wellness and healthy work culture. Empathetic and healthy work culture is the need of the hour.
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