The work world has been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. As an employer, you’re not only redoubling your efforts to attract new recruits, but also to retain your staff. Your concern for the mental health of your troops is front and centre.
According to an October 2021 survey of 1,500 Canadians by Sun Life Financial, more than half of workers have struggled with mental health issues since the start of the health crisis. And 11% of those surveyed have quit their jobs or are planning to because of their employer’s lack of mental health support.
Here are five ways to help you support your teams during this turbulent period.
- Communicate and listen
Uncertainty and unpredictability have marked the past two years. You can’t have all the answers, but by being transparent, you will avoid raising doubts and worries. Clarify what you can, and do the research to find answers if necessary.
Don’t hesitate to talk about mental health and make sure your teams are aware of the resources available. The human resources team can support you in this task.
Transparency also means honesty: don’t be overly optimistic if the situation isn’t good.
- Be flexible and respectful
Remote work, lockdown, quarantine: show understanding for your staff. The current situation is disrupting everyone’s daily lives and sometimes prevents certain people from being as diligent and efficient at work as they would like to be.
Working from home has many advantages, but it can blur the line between professional and personal life. Also, avoid making requests outside of working hours as much as possible.
- Equip your staff and say thank you
Empower your team members. Everyone needs to exercise a certain amount of control over their work. A feeling of helplessness is a great source of stress.
Participating in decisions, managing files independently, having control of your schedule: all this contributes to well-being at work. Review everyone’s tasks and responsibilities and make ongoing adjustments if necessary.
And be sure to highlight the successes! Appreciation is a strong motivating fuel for your troops.
- Promote healthy living habits
Active breaks, breathing or visualization exercises: there are several ways to reduce stress during the day. Remind your team members to take time out to clear their heads and get rid of the pressure. Insist that real breaks are taken at mealtimes. Consult the human resources team, who often have tips and advice on the subject.
- Lead by example
Don’t be a barefoot shoemaker. Lead by example by taking care of yourself: participate in active or informal breaks and set clear boundaries so that work does not encroach on your personal life.
If you walk the talk, you’ll help create an atmosphere of trust which will benefit you and your team.