The coronavirus pandemic has forever changed the way employers view employee mental health and wellness. As the pandemic continues, the increasingly negative effects on mental health, lower physical activity levels, sleep disturbances, and reliance on unhealthy habits are adversely affecting employee well-being. This increases absenteeism and lowers engagement and productivity.
As a company leader, you’re invested in the mental health and wellness of your workforce. Because your employees spend the majority of their time at work, the environment often is their primary means of social and emotional support. As a result, you should be providing support for your employees’ well-being. This increases employee engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction. It also lowers job-related stress, absenteeism, and turnover.
Implement these methods to improve mental health and wellness among your workforce.
Train Managers to Promote Well-Being
Educate your managers and supervisors on the importance of physical and emotional wellness for employees. Leadership needs to promote a psychologically healthy company culture where employees at all levels feel supported.
- Encourage your managers and supervisors to implement and sustain company policies and procedures that promote physical and mental health.
- Train your managers and supervisors to recognize signs of stress and mental health concerns and provide employee support.
- Educate your managers and supervisors about methods to sustain positive relationships.
- Share with your managers and supervisors the value of respecting work-life harmony.
- Emphasize the importance of your managers and supervisors engaging in healthy practices and leading by example.
- Train your managers and supervisors on equity, diversity, and inclusion (DEI). Show why they need to understand and carry out your company’s inclusive policies and practices, welcome diverse employees, and promote a psychologically safe work environment. Include the health benefits and programs offered to promote DEI throughout your organization. These actions build trust among your workforce, increase job satisfaction, and reduce stress.
Let Employees Control Their Work Environment
Provide your workforce options for where, when, and how they work. This helps them more effectively handle their personal and professional responsibilities and stressors. Having autonomy also provides the motivation to improve performance.
- Offer remote or hybrid work.
- Provide a flexible schedule.
- Emphasize to your managers and supervisors the importance of flexibility for themselves and their direct reports.
Ask Employees About Their Needs
Request employee feedback about what their physical and mental health needs are and how you can support them. The more involved your employees are in decision-making, the less stressed they feel.
- Ask for employee input on company-wide policies. Consider using anonymous surveys, town hall suggestion boxes, and focus groups to gather feedback. Then, transparently share the results with your workforce. Next, create a plan to address one or more of the issues mentioned. After that, take action to more effectively support your employees’ mental health and wellness.
- Encourage senior leadership to provide employees with optimistic, supportive messages. This may take the form of company-wide emails, video messages, meetings, or social media posts that demonstrate empathy and support. These actions promote employee engagement and commitment to the company.
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