Supporting employee wellbeing amongst increased business pressure
At the start of the pandemic, we saw many employers rise to the challenge of disruption, providing workers with everything they needed to operate remotely, helping settle the initial unease.
But with lots of businesses still struggling and furlough due to end in September, pressures are mounting, causing employee anxiety to intensify as the threat of redundancy and further disturbance looms.
So, how can employers support their people during these unstable times to help quash concerns?
Below we’ve identified four points that you need to consider regarding your peoples’ wellbeing, helping you ensure your workforce is feeling more comfortable and at ease during these uncertain times.
1) Determine whether remote working is here to stay
With the end of lockdown once again planned after an initial delay, the question on everyone’s mind is: will we be going back into the office?
Making the decision is crucial, but there are mixed views.
Some employees can’t wait to get back in the office, while others are filled with dread at the thought of returning.
To settle these concerns, HR must take the helm, proactively determining the best option and sharing that decision with the wider business.
2) Place added focus on supporting struggling employees
A recent survey by the employment platform Monster found that 69% of employees are experiencing burnout while working from home.
These findings bring new challenges, requiring added focus to identify those who are struggling, especially as with remote working, out of sight is all too easily out of mind.
To tackle the issue, line managers may need added guidance and training as most will never have dealt with supporting their team’s mental health under these circumstances.
3) Bring on mental health first-aiders
There are a variety of measures you can implement at a company-wide level that will support employee wellbeing, such as bringing on mental health first-aiders (MHFA).
A MHFA offers employees a place to turn to if they don’t feel comfortable talking about certain issues with their line managers.
“Some feedback we received was that people didn’t want to approach the HR team, but they were keen to speak with an independent Mental Health First Aider if they were struggling.” – Marie Walsh, Employment Lawyer, Consilia Legal
4) Keep a check on your business leaders
No matter how strong your senior leaders and line managers may appear on the outside, it’s vital that they’re not overlooked and left to their own devices.
Whether they’re operating remotely or starting to go into the office, their mental health is fundamental to creating a sense of stability and calm in the workplace.
As leaders and line managers focus so much energy on their teams and the wider business, they can often struggle with their own hardships and unique challenges.
So, be sure to check in with them to see how they’re coping with the current situation.