3 Ways Managers Can Support Employees' Mental Health
According to Glassdoor, in recent years, mental health has become a growing workplace concern. Now, with the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more important than ever before for you to support your employees’ mental wellbeing. Here’s what you need to know.
Mental health issues in numbers
Before COVID-19, the indirect impact of mental health issues on businesses was already estimated at $79 billion due to poor productivity and absenteeism.
While the exact dollar amounts associated with COVID-related mental health issues aren’t yet known, it’s clear that the pandemic has exacerbated all of this. A survey cited in Forbes revealed that 45 percent of adults agree the pandemic has had an impact on their mental health, and 19 percent agree that it has had a major impact.
Another survey found that almost 90 percent of employees had experienced moderate to extreme stress over the past month to six weeks, while 69 percent agreed the pandemic is the most stressful time of their careers.
Why you should support your employees’ mental health
Few people function well when they’re anxious, depressed, or overly stressed. In contrast, when employees are happy, healthy, and engaged, they’re more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and productive at work.
This results in decreased absenteeism and turnover, increased retention, and lower recruitment and hiring costs. It’s easier to maintain relationships with customers and partners—plus, it’s easier to preserve institutional knowledge.
Ways to support your team members’ mental health
Now you know the importance of supporting your team members’ mental wellbeing, how do you go about it? Keep these three pointers in mind.
- Be open about mental health and wellbeing. Despite the fact that according to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five U.S. adults lives with a mental health condition, there’s still a stigma associated with it. By talking about mental health issues and reiterating that it’s okay to take care of mental health needs, you can help reduce the stigma and give your employees the support they need.
- Communicate clearly and frequently about any mental health benefits your company offers. Find out what mental health resources your organization’s health plan offers—such as meditation classes, counseling, and stress management services—and regularly remind your employees about them. It’s also a good idea to find out whether any of these resources are online, since that could make it easier for your employees to take advantage of them.
- Lead by example. If you talk about mental health, take advantage of some of the resources your company offers, and really unplug outside of work hours, it will go a long way to providing your employees with the support they need to take action for themselves.
Especially with all of the stress of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever before to show your team members that their mental wellbeing is your and your company’s priority. By keeping these three pointers in mind, you can help your workforce stay healthy, satisfied, and productive.
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