According to a 2020 study from Qualtrics, SAP, and Mind Share Partners, approximately 42% of respondents reported their mental health had declined since the coronavirus pandemic began. Among the top reasons were social isolation, employment uncertainty, and the effects of the virus.
The winter months also have an impact on the mental health of employees in the Twin Cities. The cold, dreary weather and the significant snowfall negatively affect most employees’ mental health.
As a result, many of these employees struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. This can lead to decreased employee engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction. These issues lower employee morale and increase turnover.
Therefore, managers must do what they can to support their employees’ mental health during these challenging times. The following suggestions can help.
Implement these tips to best check in on your employees and their mental health.
Reach Out Daily
Check-in throughout the day to see how each of your employees is doing. This is especially important for employees working remotely.
Pay attention to whether an employee appears to be struggling. Ask questions to learn more about the cause and how you can provide support.
Actively listen to your employee. Express empathy throughout the discussion.
Discuss Your Own Mental Health Challenges
Most people experience mental health challenges at some point. Sharing your experiences with your employees helps reduce the stigma attached to these challenges.
Be honest with your employees about your mental health challenges. Talking about your experiences and how you handled them encourages your employees to open up about their own struggles.
Perhaps you meditate during the day, see a therapist after work, or engage in other behaviors to support your mental health. Modeling these behaviors sets an example for your employees to follow.
Discussing your mental health challenges shows you are human, relatable, and brave. These talks build trust among your team. They also promote employee engagement and performance.
Talk with each employee about how you can most effectively support their mental health. Keep in mind each employee’s needs will change over time. This is especially true during times of transition.
Provide each employee with as much flexibility as possible. This may include working hybrid or having a flexible schedule.
The ability to fulfill personal responsibilities during the workday helps relieve stress. This increases employee engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction.
Staying aware of each employee’s circumstances helps problem-solve when needed. This provides opportunities to follow the norms and best practices to support employees’ mental health.
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