It’s safe to say the past year has been a struggle for just about everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic hit businesses and employees hard, both professionally and personally. It’s no surprise then that a recent study found that 42% of global employees have experienced a decline in mental health since the pandemic began, not to mention seasonal winter blues. So, what can employers and managers do to check-in and support their teams during these trying times? Here are a few suggestions from our HR experts at Nova Staffing.
One silver lining to the pandemic is that everyone has been hit, and it has normalized mental health challenges. Almost everyone has experienced some level of discomfort. Business owners and managers should start the mental health conversation and decrease the stigma by opening up about their own struggles. You don’t have to tell more than you’re comfortable, but letting employees know that those higher up have been struggling as well will let them feel more comfortable coming to you with their challenges.
Model Healthy Habits
A lot of companies say they support mental health, but very few actually model it. It’s one thing to tell employees to prioritize self-care and set boundaries, and it’s another for businesses to do it themselves. Share that you’re taking a staycation or a mid-afternoon walk. This will help employees feel more comfortable taking much-needed breaks themselves.
Intentionally checking in with each of your employees is more important than ever. Now that many people are working from home, it can be harder to notice if someone is struggling. Make it a point to ask your employees if they’re doing OK. During these times, communicate more than you think you need to.
This pandemic has shown that businesses that are flexible are the ones to survive. Being adaptable and flexible is key to managing stressful situations that may pop up, like a global pandemic! Employers should be open to the fact that employees are facing unprecedented challenges. Virtual learning or closed schools mean many working parents don’t have childcare. Health concerns may limit certain employees from coming in. Not all employees may have a quiet, dedicated workspace to operate from. Being flexible and accommodating will help alleviate stress for your employees and allow you to come together to find solutions.
Modify Procedures and Policies
Now is the time to update practices and policies to be more flexible and reflect the realities of the workplace today. Look at things such as work hours, communication practices, sick leave policies, and performance reviews. The ‘normal’ work environment doesn’t exist right now, so traditional procedures no longer fit.
Need help finding qualified candidates or other staffing solutions? Contact Nova Staffing today! With over 200 years of industry experience, our team of HR experts is ready to help.