Lessons learned from the pandemic: Mental health top tips
The impact the pandemic has had on our mental health continues to make headline news. More than 12 months on from the first lockdown, we look at what employers can do to support the impact of the pandemic on their employees’ mental health at work.
Tip One: Acknowledge emotions
Our worlds have changed in many ways over the past year, and we have found ourselves with more time to reflect on our lives and what’s important to us. For many, it has been an extremely challenging time, bringing a range of emotions to the fore – at work as well as at home. Managers have found themselves increasingly spending time listening to and acknowledging the emotions their employees are feeling.
Continue to listen to your employees as they return to work, and encourage them to access resources that can support them. https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus/ is a great place to start.
Tip Two: Encourage flexible ways of working
The pandemic has proved to be a catalyst for changing the world of work. A recent survey has found that 75% of employers have invited staff to make changes to their working patterns since the first lockdown. A YouGov survey found that more than 60% of employees would like to continue working from home in some capacity, citing the benefits this would make to their mental health.
With the country slowly opening up, your employees may feel anxious about a potential return to the office. Take time to talk to your teams and find out what’s important to them; involving them in the decisions you make.
Tip Three: Think about employee engagement surveys
Many businesses conduct regulare employee engagement surveys – often carried out every couple of years – to find out what their employees think and capture their views and opinions on life at work. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past year, it is that how we are feeling changes much more frequently than that. If employees are regularly listened to, they become more engaged and productive at work.
Set up short, frequent surveys – known as ‘pulse’ surveys. These give you and your managers access to timely and relevant data about how your employees view their role and the business, allowing you to focus on what’s important for your employees, right now and into the future.
Author: Cath Crane, Senior HR Projects Advisor