Helping Employees Become Mentally Healthy amid the Pandemic

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The pandemic presented challenges daunting at least and exhausting at most. It proved that, no matter how strong people think they are, they couldn’t surpass certain difficult circumstances. This vulnerable feeling is exacerbated by having to spend most of their time in isolation.

Over a year into the pandemic, vaccines are here. Yet, the trauma they sustained would not be so easy to recover from. People are hardwired to go on survival mode as they face a huge-scale crisis that endangers their safety and livelihood. Suppose you’re a manager who struggles with keeping the team intact but have members succumbing to stress and fatigue. Not to mention, you have your battles, too. Learn how you can help alleviate the situation and gently usher them back to their tip-top shape at work:

Check for Signs of Stress

Your team might have felt an overwhelming concern in them. They might have been concerned about contracting the virus besides performing their job in a transformed setup with all the new technology implemented. Those in the non-essential side of businesses may have felt inadequate for not helping as much as their frontline counterparts.

Or they might have felt that their livelihood source would be taken from them at any time. That can make them unable to provide for their family’s needs aside from their own. These feelings are all but natural for anyone. But a manager’s role in detecting any of these signs among their employees, especially those who aren’t expressive, is the first crucial step in helping them.

Implement an Employee Care Plan

The pandemic necessitated a more holistic approach in ensuring employee welfare. With anxiety disorders at an all-time high in the general population, it has stressed the importance of aiding employees in distinguishing things within and out of their control. Among the changes that had to happen is introducing more self-care courses in the employee’s training plan. Companies are also revisiting the benefit packages they offer their employees. These can include mental health programs such as free psychiatric consultations, aside from the conventional physical and financial ones.

The role of human resource (HR) managers can only be more emphasized during this mentally challenging time. They are, therefore, urged more than ever to increase their availability for counseling, launching online platforms as much as possible. There is also an increasing call to gauge how well the employee is mentally coping at work. These can be done through regular employee engagement tests.

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Show Sincere Concern

Presently, there is a pressing need for managers to communicate with their people. Initiating conversations by asking them how they feel has become standard practice. This is besides imparting morale-boosting words for the seemingly weary employees. Online meetings have also become commonplace for team members to give each other pep talks before hopping onto the official agenda.

Employees who have developed anxiety issues may need a helping hand in recovery. At some point, they have lost a sense of control in their lives. So it is essential to advise them to start regaining this by something as small as sticking to a routine before working. Most often, overthinking makes them neglect rest. So remind them to take a break, meditate before going to sleep, get at least seven hours of sleep, and spend time with their loved ones. These are some things managers have to remind them to do.

Normalize Mental Struggles

Recent events revealed how common mental health problems are, and the workplace is not exempt. Managers and workers alike are urged to empathize with anyone experiencing struggles. They must be given time and space to overcome these problems; let them know that they are not alone. It is crucial to nurture a culture that fights any stigma against mental health issues and getting help for these. Likewise, managers should instill among employees non-discrimination against anyone who is having these issues.

Mental health is always a concern in the workplace, but it was put under the spotlight during the pandemic. Apart from maintaining a body that’s fit to work, the importance of a sound mind is a major consideration for how managers care for their employees. After all, they dedicate most of their waking hours to the company’s development.

But most importantly, everyone is a human who can be vulnerable amid diversities and can offer a hand to anyone who is having a difficult time. Take the necessary steps to ensure that everyone in your team or company is in their peak condition to work. Otherwise, provide the aid they need to become better.

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