Many people still are dealing with the psychological and emotional effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Add to this discouraging news about the economy and other world issues, employees are experiencing instability in significant areas of their professional and personal lives like never before.
The Conference Board conducted a 2022 mental health survey of over 1,100 workers. Fifty percent of the respondents reported deteriorating mental health since the coronavirus pandemic began. Only 38% of the workers felt their manager adequately addressed their mental health concerns. Merely 29% of respondents whose companies offered mental health support found the resources helpful.
In response to what employers can do to help, 82% of the workers mentioned offering managers training on how to address mental health concerns. Sixty-one percent of respondents said increased manager trust would improve their mental health.
As a result, managers must actively listen to and provide support for their employees for their teams to succeed. This involves managers advocating for their employees’ needs to create caring, empathetic work cultures.
Follow these guidelines to prioritize mental health throughout your organization.
Being comfortable with change positively impacts employee engagement, morale, and leadership styles. This includes modeling behavior that is open to and accepting of the transforming work world.
- Regularly talk with your employees about what they need to feel safe at work and excel in their roles.
- Determine how your team members feel about their workloads.
- Talk about potential feelings of disengagement or burnout.
- Find out how you can more effectively support your employees.
- Ask for constructive feedback on how you handle situations.
- Encourage your employees to ask for what they need.
Update Work Practices
Assess the policies, processes, and systems that no longer serve your employees. Examples include set work hours, limited leave policies, and not feeling comfortable providing or receiving feedback.
- Educate your team on the resources available for mental health support.
- Advocate for flexible work hours, more comprehensive leave policies, and psychological safety for employees to give and receive constructive feedback.
- Actively seek new information on employee-first work cultures.
- Use data to support your decisions.
Advocate for Mental Health Support
Talk with your employees about your own mental health issues. Include how you seek and receive support both inside and outside the organization.
- Share your methods for coping with workplace stress.
- Discuss your feelings of safety when sharing your thoughts with your team or manager.
- Be honest about how you are feeling and when you are having a bad day.
- Encourage your employees to take time for self-care throughout the day and at night.
- Emphasize why building a culture of mental health support matters.
- Demonstrate how everyone needs to be invested in building a culture of mental health support.
Need More Ideas?
Embracing change, updating your work practices, and advocating for mental health support are ways to prioritize mental wellness in your workplace. Modeling these behaviors helps reduce the risk of burnout. This increases employee engagement, productivity, and retention.
If you’d like other ideas, check out our previous blog from Mental Health Awareness Month in April.
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