How to support the mental health of your employees after covid
The mental health impact of the lockdown period on employee wellbeing cannot be ignored; employers must take account of the long-term impact of working through COVID-19 has had on their employees.
Whilst it is isn’t uncommon for people to have increased anxiety when returning to work following any period of absence, the last year has been everything but the norm. Therefore, you may witness an increase in the number of employees experiencing anxieties about returning to work over the coming months.
A range of both short-term and long-term measures should be reviewed to support employees who may be experiencing poor mental health as a result of COVID -19. Therefore, it is advisable to start engaging with your employees now to ensure you provide support with any mental health concerns employees may be experiencing.
So, what can you do to support:
- Make time to talk and have regular check ins with your employees – understand the concerns of your employees so you can support in the best way possible. You should encourage them to share any concerns they have and address any worries about their physical and mental wellbeing.
- When employees are ready to return to work, consider if a re-induction into the workplace is required – reassure them about any additional measures you may be putting in place. Consider gradual and phased returns to work where appropriate.
- Look for signs and ensure managers are trained to identify any early signs – support with early interventions, signpost to appropriate resources. Remember managers don’t need to be mental health experts but should be trained to identify the signs.
- Provide mental health awareness activities and share information – offer resources for employees to access in their own time.
- Continuously review workloads – there are many reasons why employees may not be as productive at the present time compared to pre-covid. Make time to talk to your employees and be open to having difficult conversations, make sure employees feel listened to.
- Create a culture where it is acceptable to talk about mental health.
Management style is the second main cause of work-related stress, how people are treated and managed on a day-to-day basis is central to mental wellbeing and the productivity of your teams.
Author: Katie Fletcher, Senior HR Projects Advisor at Howarths
Employers have a duty to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their employees. This includes mental health and wellbeing so if you do need any support in this area please contact the Howarths team on 01274 864 999.