As countries in the world have started easing some of the Coronavirus-related restrictions, the government of various countries has allowed the organization and the companies to start their work and began asking many people to return to work. Many of the employees will be experiencing mixed emotions of joy and fear as they return back to the office from working at home. There will be joy on face from a partial return to normalcy and the opportunity to see colleagues again in person, while fear likely will arise from the stress and anxiety of coming from home to office and working in an environment where COVID-19 may stay for a longer time. According to the experts, at the initial stage, the employee’s productivity will suffer and it isn’t going to be high as workers deal with a range of concerns, including the safety of their children and family. So, the entrepreneurs and founders of the startups have to lead the charge themselves in the initial stage. The article will help you in providing how to support the employees’ mental health for everyone by providing good self-care practices and exhibiting true leadership to make employees feel comfortable.
Understand the Cost of Doing Nothing in this Situation
Unlike Physical wounds, Mental Illness may not be as visible. So, it doesn’t mean that mental illness is employees’ personal fear and they have to bear it individually. Certainly, business leader or the executive of a company who is struggling to cope up with mental health issues, go for counseling and other therapeutic methods. When not treated on due time, it may result in various health issues such as chronic pain, sleeplessness, damage to personal relationships, anxiety, or interest in self-care. According to research conducted by the World Health Organisation last year, the workers who are having depression and anxiety cost the world economy $1 trillion loss of productivity.
Every organization in the world according to the above stats, is likely or willing to struggle with mental health problems. And at this present COVID-19 infection spread all over the world, which created anxiety and fear in the minds of billions of people, the mental health issue got worse. If no one in your company is addressing and understanding the issue seriously, imagine how alone the employees must be feeling and what their state of mind would be. So, at this point of time, imagine what good you can do when you greet them on their return to work not with silence, but with acceptance, compassion, and valuable resources that actually help them to come out of the state of anxiety and stress.
To keep Adequate Inventory
You must note what challenges your company is facing when it comes to achieving and maintaining the good mental health of the workforce? Inadequate safety policies, micromanagement, management abuse of subordinates, lack of respect for employee autonomy, poor leadership, and communication, inflexible working conditions and hours, can cause real damage to the mental health of the employees.
You can put sincere efforts into observing your employees at all levels to pinpoint areas where your workplace needs to improve. Take surveys of the employees to know their honest feedback. You should remove the company’s leadership from the process conducted, as it may also help reassure workers that their responses in the survey will be kept confidential in the near future.
After receiving the responses from each employee, you can begin to address and reduce the risk factors with the contemplative strategy. You should focus on people of the organization first, rather than the cost involved in resolving the issue. In return, the employee of the organization will help your company grow its profits and revenue.
Implement the mental health policies for Employees
The important step you can take to help the returning employees regain and maintain good mental health following the crisis is to give them the support they need without imposing the penalty on them. The organization must help the employee by providing them counseling and other mental health benefits. They must ensure that employees are following each and every step to resolve mental health issues. If the employee is to get penalized for missing the work by the organization in order to attend the weekly or monthly counseling sessions, which is getting held in business hours only, then the employee will not attend these counseling sessions which are important for their mental health. Make sure that the benefits must be provided on the floor and don’t simply look good “on paper.”
Your company must train the Senior Management and Executives of the company to spot the mental health problems and help employees get the help they need without any hesitation. Let the other companies know that your company’s policies are framed now to treat the employees’ mental health as a vital asset, which must be treated with respect.
Develop an Emotional Connection with Employees
Due to the stressful situation, some employees of the organization could be less productive, which top management of the organization must realize. They have to modify the parameters to measure the performance of the employees now. This is a state where the emotional bonding with the returning employees and senior staff of the organization becomes crucial. You have to proactively communicate with the employees. They have to encourage them to share how they are feeling about what’s going on in their lives, health, their spouse, fear about safety, job loss, etc. Supervisors need to be empathetic, open, understanding, and flexible.
The HR of the organization must take steps to ensure that whispers and false rumors don’t take over the office dialogue. Employees should not be allowed to have political discussions among themselves in the office premises related to COVID pandemic, and try to maintain peace and harmony in the office environment.
I hope the article was able to provide you insight as to how you can support employees’ mental health as and when you return back to work in the office.