Four Ways Businesses Can Support Employees' Mental Health Amid COVID-19
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As the COVID-19 crisis continues to disrupt lives, people are more prone to experiencing feelings of fear, anxiety, and stress in these times. As employers, companies have a responsibility to create an environment that supports the mental health of their employees--here are a few ways they can do just that:
1. Create avenues to access help If you’re a medium to larger size corporation with the financial means, you can tie up with a clinic or a therapist to provide access to therapy for your team. This includes free one-on-one therapy sessions or offering subsidized or group rates to your team members. This will not only provide them with a tangible resource, but also dispel the stigma around mental health and normalize conversations about well-being. If you’re a smaller size organization, you can collate a list of free support groups hosted by clinics in the region for your team. Ensure you provide them with time to avail these services, especially if the appointments are during work hours.
2. Practice regular check-ins Ensure weekly one-on-one check-ins with your team members. This should be their chance to tell you about the challenges they’re facing, what additional support or resources they need, and how you can better support them. Regular check-ins will ensure there’s constant and open communication and any challenges can be tackled early on, and you’ll also know where additional resources and support are required.
3. Be compassionate Be flexible with deadlines. We’re all going through a hard time, and working from home can be particularly tough with productivity levels fluctuating. It’s important to be cognizant of that and be open to pushing deadlines when required. You have to trust your team to know that they’re doing their best. Celebrate the small milestones and make sure your team feels appreciated.
4. Understand your team’s perspective Put yourself in the shoes of your team: what would you want your manager and organization to do to better support your mental well-being? Start from there, and come up with steps you can take to implement wellness strategies in your organization. It’s also crucial your team knows that there is nothing wrong in having a tough mental health day, and that it won’t be held against them. Boosting morale begins with company culture, where it’s important to foster a culture of honesty and transparency. Communication is key.