September 13, 2021
It made national news recently when that big sneaker company gave everyone at their corporate office a week off to destress and recover from pandemic-related stress and pressure. Now more than ever, with things still feeling so uncertain, supporting your employees’ mental health is vital to maintaining a productive workplace. While you might not be able to give your employees that kind of a break, there are still things that you can do to support them and their mental health.
First, you yourself can be vulnerable. Sharing your own experiences helps to destigmatize mental health problems and makes your employees feel more comfortable sharing. On top of that, this type of authentic leadership builds trust, which in turn improves performance and engagement. You can also model healthy behaviors such as taking a walk over your lunch hour or making a conscious effort to unplug.
Check in with your employees, and really listen to their answers. This also helps to build trust and connection, which leads to less employee turnover and increased productivity.
While you are checking in, communicate with them as much as you can about what is going on with your business. Many people are concerned about their jobs, and knowing where the company stands and is headed can help alleviate some of that stress.
If you are able to, offer your employees the flexibility that they need. While things are not as crazy as they were in the beginning of the pandemic, your employees might still be struggling with childcare or need to focus on schoolwork with kids home in quarantine. If you can, let them work when they are able rather than the traditional hours so they can balance all that life is throwing at them.
Finally, train yourself and your managers to recognize signs of stress and depression in your employees. And be sure to monitor yourself as well!
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