In a post-COVID-19 world, it’s more important than ever to nurture our staff’s mental health and create a positive workplace for them. Using a range of preventative measures and reactive solutions, your business can ensure your staff’s mental wellbeing is prioritised.
Whether you have no real organisational plan regarding mental health or are just looking for ways to improve your workplace, read on to discover the preventative and reactive actions we recommend for supporting your staff’s mental health in a post-COVID world.
The best solution to a problem is stopping it before it happens and that’s where preventative measures come in. Just as we put up a sign when the floor in wet to make sure no one slips, highlighting areas in our workplace that may be more likely to contribute to mental health issues and addressing them early can stop those issues arising at all.
Introduce mental health days
We are all familiar with sick days when we simply feel too unwell to go into the office but, when it comes to mental health, it can be harder for an employee to take the time they need.
Because of this, offering a mental health day scheme within your business can be a great initiative. Whether you offer a set amount of days per year, or simply make it well known that they are available, it will give employees peace of mind that when they just aren’t up to it they don’t need to put on a brave face or try and justify themselves.
Especially during an on-going issue, such as a global pandemic, these days can be a useful tool allowing employees to take time to focus on the issue that is overwhelming them.
Offer mental health education
Providing all employees with good mental health education can not only help individuals recognise their own struggles but it can also mean co-workers will better understand the proper way to behave around them.
By offering mental health education, whether in the form of seminars, reading material or even access to a professional, employees can make sure they are prepared and also make sure that if they need more information they know where to go.
Have regular staff check-ins
Having regular staff check-ins can make it easy to keep real tabs on how your staff are coping with current workloads, the current climate and to find out how they are doing in themselves. A simple one-to-one meeting every month may seem like a lot, but it only needs to take 10 minutes of your time and the more they happen the more comfortable everyone will be with them.
If this isn’t something your business has done before, why not try structuring your meetings to begin with? You could ask questions like:
• How is your current workload working for you?
• Is there anything going on outside of work that is affecting you that you’d like to discuss?
• Is there anything I can do to help you?
By asking these simple questions, you’ll be able to highlight issues and prevent them before they can become overwhelming.
Even with all the goodwill in the world, as a business owner and employer, there is only so much you can control and oftentimes it’s the circumstances outside of work that can affect a person’s mental health. Making sure that when this happens you are able to support your staff through reactive actions can make a world of difference and turn a potentially large-scale issue into a small and solvable problem.
Be flexible and understanding
If and when an employee comes to you citing mental health concerns, being flexible and understanding is key. We’ve already discussed mental health days which go a long way to achieving this but making sure you can decipher what it is an employee needs to improve their situation can make a big difference. They will also be more likely to come to you in the future and open up which can help you to nip issues in the bud early.
This can also mean the willingness to adapt. Sometimes a company policy might become outdated or no longer be useful; recognising this and being flexible will help you and your business constantly evolve.
Be vigilant with issues in the workplace
As well as being flexible and understanding, you need to ensure you can be vigilant with issues in the workplace. If a staff member is feeling upset about something that’s happened in the workplace, making sure you address that is essential.
This is where a well-trained HR team can come in. HR staff are experts in being able to take an impartial stance and can become mediators for any inter-employee issues. By arming an HR team with all the tools they need to succeed, such as systems like Sage People, iTrent, Core HR or the many tools we work with, you can ensure they are at hand to help solve any workplace problems.
Ways to support your staff’s mental health in a post-COVID world:
• Introduce mental health days
• Offer mental health education
• Have regular staff check-ins
• Be flexible and understanding
• Be vigilant with issues in the workplace
With these people management tips, your workplace should be able to create a more robust mental health plan which should lead to a more content, happier and open workforce. If you are looking for support with your business, feel free to contact us to see how we can help.