Creating a safe space and a healthy work environment during the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t end with implementing social distancing and face mask policies. It also involves recognizing and supporting the mental health of employees.
With the second wave of the novel virus expected to start any time soon, it’s critical for employers, managers, and anyone in a leadership position to help employees navigate the uncertainty that lies ahead. That is why we outlined five ways employers can support employee mental health during Covid-19
- Normalize Vulnerability
One of the main reasons why most people are often afraid to open up about their mental health is the fear of being judged. One way for employers to eradicate this stigma is by sharing their experiences. When a team leader talks of how Covid-19 has impacted them emotionally, financially, and mentally, their juniors will be open and more comfortable to open up and talk about their mental challenges.
- Showcase Healthy Behaviors
Talking about your experiences as an employer is a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. To promote and support the wellbeing of your employees, you also need to do things that motivate them to take self-care seriously. For instance, instead of always working weekends, take a weekend off, and go for a solo-staycation. Share the experience with them afterward, so they can know there’s more to life than work, and that’s it is okay to take breaks and be selfish by dedicating an entire weekend to some cozy me-time.
- Stagger the Work Schedule
If your business cannot be done remotely and you’ve already resumed regular working schedules with social distancing measures, then create staggering schedules. This way, your juniors will have the much-needed breaks in between without causing any inconveniences. Breaks enabled by staggered schedules go a long way in preventing burnouts.
- Create Connections through Regular Check-ins
Due to a lack of emotional connections in the workplace, it’s often difficult for employers to tell when their employees are going through a tough time. Now that most people are working from home, it’s even more difficult to tell when your employees are going through it. With that said, create a culture of regularly checking in on your employees.
Call them every once in a while, ask how their families are doing, how remote working is for them, and whether they would like to come back to the office. In other words, go beyond the typical “Hi, how are you.” As a result, even the employees who prefer not to share too much detail will know they have a safe space with you should they ever want to open up.
- Be Aware of the Signs and Symptoms
Checking in on your employees will help, but not each one of them will be willing to open up. So, be aware of the signs and symptoms of different mental illnesses, and be on the lookout for them. If you notice anyone on your team is acting differently, reach out to them. If you’re afraid they’ll not open up to you, ask a colleague you feel is closer to them to check in on them.
Uncertainty breeds anxiety, and with everything that’s going on currently, it’s safe to say we’re living in uncertain times. The least you can do as an employer and team manager is to support your employees’ mental health. Checkout how Safeter can help you on employee mental health or contact us to learn more.