The lockdowns are taking their toll. People are working from home and isolated or they’re going to work and still feeling isolated from their coworkers because they have to socially distance themselves and wear a mask. Add rising COVID-19 rates to this equation and you find that people are indeed suffering.
And it’s not just the United States where the lockdowns are hurting employees, it’s all over Europe too. In fact, many countries have extended their lockdowns, including Germany, France, Austria, and the U.K. The Netherlands and Australia are also reeling from extended lockdowns that seem like they won’t ever end.
People are tired of the isolation, the ambiguity, and the fear being instilled every time you turn on the television. In fact, anti-lockdown protests continue in countries in Europe as well as The Netherlands and Canada, but to no avail.
Governments aren’t listening and keep imposing draconian lockdowns on their citizens. When will they end? No one knows. It could be months or years and this leaves employees ready to pull their hair out. If an entrepreneur wants to be successful at this time with employees who are in a good state of mind, they must focus on mental health. Without it, you simply won’t get the productivity you expect or need.
According to the CEO of Adecco, they conducted a survey of their employee’s mental health and what they discovered is “that 28% of employees … say their mental health got worse during the pandemic, and that only 1 in 10 managers exceeded employees’ expectations in supporting them. This soft skill will be extremely important to make sure that in this new world, managers and leaders are taking care of their people in the right way.”
How can employers help take care of their employees’ mental health? First of all, employers need to understand how mental health impacts their employees. Managers need to know how to spot signs of declining mental health, like emotional distress. It would be wise for employers to hold meetings where managers can learn to spot signs of declining mental health and jump in to offer help and support.
Employers also need to establish an employee assistance program (EAP) that supports workplace mental health. However, some employees may feel a stigma or shame associated with mental health services. To get over this obstacle, employers need to talk more about mental health and the services that are offered. Employees need to understand that these services are confidential and encouraged.
Aside from providing mental health services to employees, employers need to be even more flexible than before the pandemic started. What they should be doing is promoting well-being for every employee on their payroll. To do this, employers need to give paid mental health days and create a room in the office or building where employees can go for quiet time, something like a mediation room. For employees working from home, employers should find ways for employees to connect more. This will help break the isolation people are feeling during this time.