How to Better Support the Mental Health of Your Workforce
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprises have had to shift operations to accommodate their remote workforce. And while remote working environments have a plethora of benefits – better work-life balance, more flexibility, greater productivity – there has also been a massive uptick in feelings of isolation, anxiety and burnout.
Organizations across the globe are rightfully prioritizing the mental well-being of their workforce, implementing new initiatives to create a supportive, less stressful atmosphere. Here are several tactics your business can utilize to foster a culture that supports the mental health of your distributed workers.
Create Mental Health-Focused Training Sessions
Placing an emphasis on your remote employees’ mental well-being is just as important as their physical health. Perhaps the greatest undertaking for business leaders is removing the stigma surrounding mental health and normalizing discussions around the topic.
By developing virtual training sessions surrounding mental health, it’ll effectively communicate to distributed workers that the organization is taking the issue seriously. These sessions also open the doorway for business leaders to share vital resources that workers can leverage to reduce anxiety, combat common issues like being “always-on” and better manage stress.
Everything from podcasts and weekly emails to infographics and videos discussing the identification, prevention and support of mental health-related issues are invaluable when it comes to helping workers who may be struggling behind their screens. When employees feel supported, it naturally lends to a safer, more productive environment.
Regularly Collect Employee Feedback
According to Harvard Business Review, “Sixty-eight percent of Millennials (50% in 2019) and 81% of Gen Zers (75% in 2019) have left roles for mental health reasons, both voluntarily and involuntarily, compared with 50% of respondents overall (34% in 2019). Ninety-one percent of respondents believed that a company’s culture should support mental health, up from 86% in 2019.”
Oftentimes, workers may not feel comfortable sharing personal mental health concerns in virtual trainings or meetings. To ensure you’re truly addressing your staff’s well-being, you can utilize a survey-type system in which workers can express struggles and evaluate their mental state.
Creating an employee feedback loop, using prompts like, “How stressed do you feel today?” or “Indicate your stress level,” allows management and executive teams to provide stronger, more targeted support. There are also anonymous reporting options that can encourage employees to be open and honest.
Encourage Workers to Take Time Off
There are many instances in which remote workers feel uneasy about taking time off as they already have the flexibility and luxury of working from home. However, physical work location shouldn’t deter staff from stepping away from the “office” for a day or two. It’s pivotal for business leaders to create a culture that encourages employees to take PTO – or even unpaid leave – especially if they are struggling mentally or emotionally. Actively convey to your workforce that rest and relaxation are an essential part of success and well-being.
Don’t forget to regularly reward and praise workers for their hard work as well. Expressing gratitude is incredibly powerful and often helps boost morale. By working these initiatives into your organization’s mental health strategy, it’ll ensure your workforce feels supported and cared for.
To learn more about the Concannon team can help your organization better support the mental well-being of your distributed workers, contact us today.