How Can Companies Support Employee Mental Health Post-Pandemic?
Prior to the pandemic, “invisible disabilities,” like mental health struggles, were already prevalent and now they are even more. A silver lining of the pandemic is that mental health is receiving much-needed attention and more people are recognizing its importance.
As a result, companies must amp up their mental health support and learn how to properly respond to employees in need. If you’re looking for resources for your company, keep reading! This is bound to have a positive impact on your office dynamics and bottom line.
How Can Management Help?
1. Recognize the value of vulnerability
It wasn’t too long ago that mental health was a taboo topic everywhere. Slowly but surely the stigma around it is decreasing. The barriers are being broken, and people are discussing how their mental health impacts the overall quality of their life. If anything, the pandemic has increased this effort and has continued to normalize mental health challenges. If leadership is able to genuinely share their own mental health struggles, then it can often pave the way for employees to do the same.
2. Model healthy behaviors
Too many businesses say that they “support mental health,” but their actions indicate the opposite. And when this happens, your employees can see through the act. They know whether or not you believe what you say and whether you stand by your values. Model those healthy mental health behaviors yourself, so that everyone in your office can do the same. Whether you’re taking a mental health day, heading to a therapy appointment, or turning off email during a vacation, let everyone in your office know that it’s acceptable and celebrated to do those things for mental health purposes.
3. Build a culture with check-ins
Do you actually know how your direct reports are doing? Or do you use “How are you?” as an opening phrase to get down to business in all your conversations? Create a culture in your office where you spend time checking in one-on-one with each individual member of your staff. This can be a time to listen, ask questions, encourage, and get to know the individual. This way, if any mental health issues come up, you’ll know and be there to provide support in whatever way possible.
4. Offer flexibility
As a manager, part of your job is anticipating change and problem-solving to accommodate all of your employees. To do this, check in regularly, understand issues, and don’t make assumptions about what’s needed in a situation. Let your direct reports come to you and tell you what can help them. For example, if they’re having a childcare issue one week, perhaps offering flexible hours will allow them to reduce stress in their personal life.
Now more than ever is the time to create a healthy workplace — mentally, emotionally, and physically. If you’re not sure where to start, consider investing in workplace mental health training for leaders, managers, and staff. These workshops can make such a difference in the daily lives of your employees.
For more information about wellness workshops, visit the Quarterlife Center.