How to improve the mental well-being of your employees

There has been a raised awareness of our mental health within the last year. When all humanity was locked down in their own apartments and homes, we suddenly had plenty of time to think about ourselves. It has become mainstream to take better care of yourself, for instance: morning yoga, good food, journaling, slower lifestyle. People finally recognize the importance of their family and homes as all the world becomes crazy, we see that our loved ones are what matters. Already one year has passed since the first lockdowns and we are now used to working from home. Some countries are slowly opening up and have fewer restrictions, meaning employers are expecting workers to come back to the office or are at least encouraging them to use the hybrid work mode. However, the traditional workflow has drastically changed over the past 12 months, and so has the approach towards our staff members. What are the modern practices to support the mental well-being of your workers? Let’s dive into it together!

Financial difficulties, job instability, housing conditions, social distancing, and health problems are only a few of the issues that are negatively threatening to impact people’s well-being.

Despite the fact that we are far away from our previous, usual office routine our mental health is still under big pressure. The endless attempts of combining parenting and job tasks, worries about future and global economic crises – these are a few of the effects of living one year with Covid-19. The previous traditional practices that executives were implementing to support their team members are now no longer successful. However, there are many different approaches still available to help improve the mental well-being of workers.

  1. Communication is a must

Set a time once a week for an online coffee break to discuss ongoing life events and just to enjoy an informal atmosphere. Quarantine gave us an opportunity to spend more time with our families, but the overall level of loneliness has increased drastically, as it is not that easy (or even allowed some places) to meet with your friends or colleagues.

Obviously, you are not required to be a medical professional to help someone with mental health issues but showing interest and support as an employer is crucial. Feeling safe, respected, and heard makes your workers feel appreciated and valuable to the company. It is true that if we are happy and satisfied we are more productive. So, the investment of your time to communicate value and interest to your staff members will be of benefit to you both.

  1. Pay attention to signs

Sometimes people are not willing to (or are simply scared) talk about their troubles or feelings. Learn how to notice the signs to identify a person who needs support. Awareness of mental health information can make it possible for employees to recognize symptoms of mental illness, particularly early signs, and seek help.

Typical signs of stress and poor mental well-being can be someone who is working more without taking time for rest, mood changes, being late, loss of focus, uncharacteristic over-reaction, or even decrease in performance. Keep in mind that the presence of these signs doesn’t mean that worker has mental issues, so be careful making assumptions. However, be proactive if you feel like a staff member is dealing with something, just simply by asking how they are. Remind workers of support programs that may be accessible. Provide workers with as much information as possible to make them feel more optimistic about the future.

  1. Be a role model

The most effective way to encourage employees to take care of their mental well-being and not be afraid to discuss it is to show by personal example. Share with your team how you feel and what ways you are coping with stress. Create a safe and respectful environment within your company.

  1. Analyze current workflow and adjust work tasks

If you experience performance loss, be careful not to judge your employees too harshly. Our usual life routine has changed a lot and the world around us is constantly moving. Supervisors should be mindful of this and recognize that priorities can need to be changed short-term if specific circumstances arise (such as the temporary closure of school). Existing goals, work overload, and deadlines should be updated to account for the changing environment.

  1. Implement flexible working hours

If your team is working from home or in a hybrid mode but you still haven’t arranged the opportunity of flexible work time you should definitely consider it. Working remotely has a number of advantages, including the ability to avoid spending long periods of time stuck commuting. However, with many schools closed, parents around the country will also be attempting to work while caring for their children. Try to be flexible with the workers and trust them to complete their assignments at times that are more convenient for them. The opportunity to plan the work and create a personalized time schedule can decrease the amount of stress and anxiety that employees may experience.

To conclude, it is important to be open and honest with your employees and teammates. Encourage them to ask for support when they feel they need it. Frequently ask how they are feeling. Showing empathy is crucial in these modern work-at-home circumstances. While no one knows exactly what future work will look like, this unique season does provide a chance for us to improve when it comes to prioritizing the well-being of all and seek to correct work-life balance. All businesses should have a wellness plan. It’s important that workers know who to contact if they have any mental health problems, as well as what services are available to help them to help develop resilience and general mental well-being. A good place to start might simply be a company-wide email with information on your awareness and prioritization of the mental well-being of all employees.

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