Working from home was once thought to be an effective way to support employees’ mental health. It was once a popular method that lowered commute stress and improved work-life balance, assisting your organization in attracting and retaining talent. Now that it has become just another pandemic reality, the psychological health of remote workers has quickly become a top priority for companies looking to differentiate themselves and provide a positive employee experience. Amid the unprecedented stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic, your employees – many of whom are telecommuting full-time for the first time – are experiencing anxiety, exclusion, work-from-home burnout, and other mental health issues.
The repercussions are far too significant to ignore. According to a recent survey, well, almost 70% of workers say the pandemic has been the most stressful experience of their entire professional career, including 9/11 and the Great Recession. The good news is that this does not necessarily have to be the case. You can support employees wherever they are if your company makes a systemwide commitment to promoting mental health in the workplace. Here are some ways you can take care of your employee’s mental health.
1. Get leaders on board.
Leadership must reaffirm mental health as a top priority for the company. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, eight out of ten workers say shame and stereotyping prevent them from seeking treatment for a mental health condition. Hearing the boss say, “We talk about mental health here,” is a clear sign that it’s fine to ask for help for employees who are worried about their job stability. Top officials can also consider writing or documenting their own psychological health stories and share them through the organization’s intranet or communications app.
2. Employee Mental Health Benefits
As the stigma associated with mental health gradually diminishes, an increasing number of employers are treating their employees’ mental health as sincerely as their physical health.
If an employee broke their armor was down with a fever, you wouldn’t expect them to come to work. You might even deter them from coming in, not only so they can relax and recover, but also so they don’t spread their illness to their work colleagues.
The same should be said for mental health.
If an employee arrives at work dealing with anxiety or a manic episode, they will be unable to give you their optimum performance and will need time to recover. Physical health issues, such as lack of sleep, hypertension, and ulcers, can be aggravated by poor mental health. While mental illness is not communicable like the flu, other employees may lose focus if they are concerned about a coworker. More importantly, add mental health services as part of your employee benefits package. Include the following in your benefits package to demonstrate that you care about your staff as whole people:
- Employee aide program (including access to counselors and support groups)
- Coverage for mental health
- Coverage of substance abuse
- Workplace mental health information sessions
- Programs for stress management
3. Learning management systems
Loneliness is cited as the most difficult challenge for 21% of remote employees when working from home. They may not communicate with another person for days if they do not have to leave the house for work, resulting in feelings of isolation. Even if employees aren’t always alone, working remotely can make them feel isolated. Help remote employees maintain their mental health by keeping them connected.
Compliance training is required for healthcare professionals to grow and implement policies that protect patient physical and mental health data and avoid fraud and other ethical breaches. Your employees must receive compliance training. Learning management systems reviews, such as HealthStream Learning Center reviews say that it assists in cross-training your nurses and automating personalized competency plans on a large scale. It enables healthcare companies to design, arrange, and manage workforce regulatory compliance training. Course library, data import, reporting, class routines, and data encryption are among the features.
Motivate employees to communicate not only for work-related purposes but also for socializing. Remote workers miss out on cafeteria and water cooler conversations that help coworkers bond and unwind during the workday. While now that working has become remote, one cannot walk over to a coworker’s desk to ask a question or talk, technology can help them feel less secluded from their coworkers.
4. Encourage physical activity throughout the workday.
Exercise has been shown to improve mental health, and managers should motivate their teams to engage in physical activity. Here are some suggestions: Tell your employees it’s fine to schedule time for a workout, hold phone walking meetings, and reinstate stand-up meetings by enabling your team to skip the video and stretch their legs.
5. Appreciate your employees
Employee appreciation isn’t a replacement for mental health care, but genuine, truthful recognition from the boss definitely feels good. Employees are doing everything they can to adjust to new ways of working under extremely stressful conditions. A simple thank-you note or compliment during a meeting can go a long way.
Organizations that prioritize remote workers’ mental health will provide an improved staff experience. HealthStream Learning Center has reviews of employees saying how it helped during the pandemic. If you implement the same, your employees will remember how their organization supported and cared for them during the most stressful period in their careers.