The global pandemic affected not only physical health but mental health as well. When talking about working environments, mental health issues are commonly seen in almost every work type.
According to a study, nearly 42% of employees across the globe have experienced a decline in mental health since the coronavirus pandemic.
Another survey states that 1 in 6 employees are dealing with mental health problems like stress, anxiety, or depression at work. This is an alarming situation for most workplaces and their managers, as it affects the businesses badly in terms of damaged reputation or legal claims.
This piece of content, therefore, covers some simple yet effective ways employers can help their employees suffering from mental health issues.
Signs an Employee Needs Support at Work
People suffering from depression, anxiety, or other signs of general mental ill health can reveal themselves to others in unexpected and uncertain ways. The same is true for employees in any working environment if they face some mild to severe mental health issues.
Therefore, employers need to look out for signs that might support the ones suffering from it. Below are some of these:
- Difficulty focusing on one task at a time and jumping to a new task without completing it
- Lower energy, taking more than usual to perform a task
- Purposely avoiding other people
- Being easily triggered by even small unpleasant incidents that lead to aggression
- Loss of confidence and seeking reassurance for performance at work
- Changes in routine including sleep-wake cycle, poor nutrition, or not enough physical movement
Employers need to have a close eye on these small behavioral changes in their employees to help those suffering and manage this issue in their work environment.
Ways Managers Can Support the Mental Well-being of their Employees
Below are some easy yet effective ways employers can implement support and manage mental health issues among their employees:
- Build Strong Leadership
Building strong leadership within the workplace is one of the key things when it comes to creating positive mental health awareness among workers. Employers need to ensure that they have a good relationship with their staff members to talk easily on any issue and avoid uncertainty created by unpredicted situations.
- Effective Communication
Having open and non-judgmental communication with the employees is also an effective way to reduce mental health stigma within the workplace.
Encouraging employees to say simple terms that “I feel overwhelmed” or “I am having a rough day” is also one way that helps in managing the issue. Open-ended conversations or general discussions may also lead to finding the root cause of the problem.
- Mindful Practices in the Work Environment
A strong workplace health and safety policy provide stability and guidance to employers and their staff to create a safe and sound work environment for everyone.
The coronavirus post-pandemic has raised some serious concerns for employees while returning to offices or other workplaces that have put stress on some individuals. These issues affect the staff productivity and efficiency in one way or another other which directly impacts their mental health.
- Provide Mental Health Resources, Guidance & Information
Raising mental health awareness among staff members is also one of the important steps to control and manage such issues at work.
For this very reason, employers are required to arrange mental health training sessions that include mental health awareness training, mental health first aid training, sleep and fatigue training, workplace stress training, sickness absence training, and other relevant courses like these.
- Promote Well-being as Part of Company Culture
Company culture plays a significant role in determining the safety and health of its employees. A strong culture means having a positive and risk-free work environment. While focusing on other factors to reduce workplace hazards, employers need to work on creating a strong company culture as well that reaps positive benefits for everyone.
- Modify Workplace Layouts
Making arrangements in workplace settings is also an easy and effective step when it comes to managing stress, depression, or other mental health ailments.
Upper management must rearrange their layouts per the post covid precautionary measures. They are also required to provide their staff with proper workplace ergonomics and with well-ventilated work environment to mitigate health risks.
- Offer Work Flexibility
Another strategy to de-stress employees is by providing them with flexible work hours. Letting employees work on their time instead of setting arbitrary rules can be an effective way in offering this flexibility. This shows employees they are cared for and valued and so enhances their productivity.
- Motivate Employees to Stay Healthy & Productive
It is worth noting that employees need reassurance and motivation with a little acknowledgment to go through even the tough days. Believing in the work they are doing and motivating them is also an easy way to manage various workplace issues.
Be it or not, mental health is a serious health issue that most companies and employers don’t pay much attention to. These issues when remaining unattended for longer periods can create serious health and legal implications for employers. Therefore, it is the foremost duty of a business and its employers to provide the necessary first aid their employees need.