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.


Ensuring Employees’ Fears & Anxieties Are Addressed During Crisis

As we continue to deal with COVID-19, terms such as self-quarantine, safer at home, and social distancing are becoming common. While we stand at least six feet away from others, work remotely, and avoid face-to-face visits with loved ones, abnormal situations are becoming more normal. Because we don’t know how long this will go on, many employees are facing increased levels of stress and uncertainty. As a team leader, it’s your job to help them navigate through these unprecedented times.

Find out how you can help address your team members’ anxieties about COVID-19 through employee assistance programs.

Defining Employee Assistance Program

An employee assistance program (EAP) is a group of services created to improve and maintain productivity and healthy employee functioning by applying specialized knowledge and expertise about human behavior and mental health. Deploying an EAP begins with confidential, brief therapy or referrals for specific issues that are affecting job performance. Managers often are consulted to help troubled staff by enhancing the work environment, however possible. When services conclude, the impact on the team member is evaluated. Results are used to improve future assistance.

Relieving Employees’ Burdens

Putting EAPs to work means reducing the burdens employees may be facing. In the wake of COVID-19, many staff members are worried about financial security, childcare, providing basic necessities for their family, and what the future may hold. When team members are stressed about family issues, they’re typically unable to work to their full potential. By providing the tools and resources needed to reduce staff members’ anxiety about uncontrollable circumstances, they are better equipped to cope with their issues. Knowing they can count on employer-provided benefits to help navigate through difficulty helps employees return to typical performance levels.

Emphasizing EAP Benefits for Staff

Remind employees of the services your EAPs offer. During COVID-19, common mental health concerns impacting families include depression and anxiety, fear and isolation, health impairment, stress, and substance abuse. Other concerns may include sleeplessness, grief, child or elder care, virtual schooling, housing, or work challenges. Your EAP might provide mental health and substance abuse counselors, financial advisors, attorneys, family and child counselors, or other assistance. Educational and informational resources, including referrals to community services, may be available as well.

Use EAPs to Address Employees’ Anxieties

As we continue to deal with COVID-19, use the services provided by your EAP to increase staff members’ overall wellbeing. Find out what their biggest fears are, and which professionals can guide them through to a more productive way of thinking. Offer services in line with improving employees’ physical and mental health to continue productivity levels and business operations. Focus on coming out stronger when things have settled down.

If you need temporary accounting and finance professionals to cover for team members’ absences, reach out to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Our candidates have the necessary skills and training to quickly get up to speed and producing. Get started with us today.