Mental Health Awareness Week: Recognizing COVID-19 challenges for employees

Although Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) was last week, employers are encouraged to focus on ‘kindness’ at a time where workers throughout the world are beset by feelings of uncertainty. Here’s some advice for employers to support employee’s mental well-being and provide a more certain future for themselves.

  1. Put mind at ease: The increasing risk of being laid off can cause anxiety and low productivity among employees. Transparent communication is the key to alleviate stress and engage them to feel safe and informed.
  2. Provide certainty where possible: answer the common questions that employees are concerned the most: What is the current state of your business? What kind of activities and meetings will happen and how often? How can employees access the support they need? The answers can be communicated through internal website, emails or town hall calls.
  3. Remove any ambiguity over mental health safeguarding: every business needs to establish what mental safeguard measures are in place, and who is ultimately responsible in coordinating them. Be sure to communicate the availability of support for your employees, and reinforce the importance of both mental and physical health.  
  4. Help employees to help themselves: educate and encourage your employees to invest time and energy in their own well-being. Most people are not aware of the importance of mental health, and it’s critical for employers to raise awareness.
  5. Keep talking: communicating with employees to find out what they need to support their own well-being will go a long way in maintaining a happy and healthy workforce.
  6. Investing on training to deepen their skills: offering learning and training opportunities is a great way to keep your employees engaged and feeling positive. It can help people feel more prepared to return to work and get ready for the new “normal” society.

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

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