Throughout 2020 and for most of 2021, everyone had to adapt to monumental changes – working from home, home schooling, distancing from elderly parents and more. The impact on people’s personal and professional lives took quite a toll. Supporting employees’ mental wellbeing is crucial in retaining talent and nurturing healthy work environments.
The impact of the last two years on employee mental health can’t be overstated, as it has had a ripple effect on organizations. It not only impacts individuals’ wellbeing, their co-workers, the business’s bottom line, and even society as a whole.
5/5 of your employees have mental health — and all of them could benefit from a mentally healthy work environment.
Of course, your employees don’t check their mental health at the door when they show up for work. It makes or breaks their ability to perform. Mental health awareness is critical to boosting mental health in the workplace.
Managers have a big role to play when it comes to supporting employees’ mental health. What can Managers do?
1. Be Vulnerable: one silver lightning of the pandemic is that we have normalized talking and experiencing mental health challenges. We can now see more people speaking about their situation and experiencing levels of discomfort. However, this will only be normalized and looked into if leaders in power share their own experiences and are honest about their own mental health struggles as a leader. This will open the door to employees feeling comfortable and being able to express their own struggles with mental health. It is always important that people in this situation realize that they are not the only ones, allowing them to share this experience and find a supportive system to feel whole again.
2. Model healthy behaviors. This is crucial when gaining your employees trust and vulnerability, you don’t just say you support mental health you model it. That way your employees can feel that they prioritize self-care practice and have the option to set boundaries. One thing many managers overlook is knowing what the wellbeing of their employees is, they focus on getting the work done that they either overwork their team or will not be flexible with their own personal practice for self-care. Leaders need to be not only mindful be actively aware if their employees experience and workload, making sure that they don’t burn out.
3. Build a culture of connection through check-ins. How many times have you been asked by a leader or colleague “how are you” and the moment they respond they’ve already left your sight. This was very common pre-pandemic, and you could still spot it in the workplace. Leaders and employees must mean it, and learn not only how to be better listeners but to be fully present to the answer. Now, doing check-ins with your team on a regular basis is more critical than ever. Now with so many people working from home it can be even harder to notice if someone is experiencing mental health or is struggling. With our team we have an exercise where we share at the beginning of every meeting what our life force is, meaning how we are feeling, and you could find out by closing your eyes, asking this question and seeing what number comes up from 0-100%. This exercise helps us understand where we all are. Another great check-in question is what do you need to receive today or this week? this is a very powerful way of knowing how you can support your team.
There are many ways that leaders and corporations can support their employees wellbeing, the most important is that you normalize the conversation around mental health and that you equip your managers as well as your policies to ensure that you have the resources to support them. For more ways to elevate your people, train your leaders or to find ways of creating a culture of belonging make sure you visit our website notainclusion.com or email us at email@example.com