Prioritizing Mental Health in the Workplace

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.

Embrace Change

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.

We’re here to offer more support to your team. Make Casey Accounting & Finance Resources part of your talent acquisition process. Find out more today.


Recognize and Repair Employee Burnout with These Management Tips

With the sudden transition to working from home during the pandemic, many employees were caught off guard. When offices, schools, and day cares closed due to social distancing requirements, staff quickly had to adapt. Parents had to handle homeschooling, childcare, and elder care on their own. Maintaining work productivity became a greater challenge. All these factors can lead to burnout. As part of your managerial role, how are you helping your employees navigate through these changes while maintaining work output?

Here are some tips to implement to recognize and protect against employee burnout.

Look for Signs of Burnout

Burnout often occurs when staff blur the boundaries between work and life. They may believe that working nights and weekends shows dedication to their company. However, employees who work more than 40 hours per week are less productive than those who limit their work week. Overworking is directly related to stress, anger, anxiety, and depression. A weakened immune system, trouble sleeping, low energy, cardiovascular issues, heart disease, and other health concerns can develop.

Promote Flexibility

To combat burnout, provide employees as much flexibility as possible. With social distancing enforcement and Safer at Home initiatives, there is limited control over everyday life. Letting staff decide where and when to work, including from home, lets them have a say in how they spend their day. Being able to control their schedule, workload, and types of work assignments is empowering. Regular check-ins and communication about managing workloads helps team members feel valued and supported.

Implement Traditional Office Activities

Remind employees that although work looks different right now, many office activities can take place remotely. Water cooler chats can be done through a Slack channel. Individual and team meetings, group discussions about COVID-19, virtual coffee, and happy hour can take place through Zoom. Employees can share stories, ask questions, and give and receive support as needed.

Establish Boundaries

Encourage employees to maintain physical and social boundaries, especially when working from home. Initially, being able to spend the day in pajamas may be welcoming. However, changing from the “home you” to the “work you” is an important way to tell the mind when to focus on work and when to relax. To promote this idea, encourage staff to get ready each morning as though they are going to the office. Suggest they replace commute time with a walk to a local park or around their home.

Get Help Managing Your Remote Accounting and Finance Team

The effects of COVID-19 can have a significant impact on employee burnout. Potentially having to work from home while balancing childcare and elder-care responsibilities is challenging. As a leader, guide your team through setting personal and professional boundaries, managing workloads, and reducing stress to avoid burnout.

If you need assistance managing your accounting and finance team from a distance, reach out to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We provide superior value to our business partners through innovation, creativity, and initiative. Find out more today.