With the pandemic continuing and Covid-19 cases still on the rise with the latest variant, it may seem that January blues are underway. However, organisations must avoid letting this get employees down and instead use January as an opportunity to kick start and make way for a year of prioritising good mental health and wellbeing.
Here are five ways organisations can provide support to employees:
1 – Effective Management
Strong leadership skills and good line management is essential in supporting employee wellbeing. Don’t drop short deadlines on colleagues. Instead, work with them to solve problems so employees don’t feel completely stressed out but remain in control. While it’s clear the country is facing a significant skills shortage and employees across industries are making moves due to The Great Resignation, it’s vital organisations keep up with recruitment. Keep internal processes moving quickly, so teams aren’t severely understaffed and overstretched, putting additional pressure on employees. This process will help to mitigate stress and burnout.
2 – Build awareness for self-awareness
One of the prime issues leaders face is not recognising when an employee is struggling with mental health. Educating employees to spot tell-tale signs in their colleagues, but also when they need the help themselves, encourages them to communicate these worries with their manager or a colleague. Make it clear that it’s OK not to be OK. Organisations must build an openculture in the workplace where employees feel comfortable to voice their concerns to management and have an open-door policy. This allows employees to talk to someone not just about their work – but also their wellbeing.
3 – Provide support mechanisms
Creating a solid network of support mechanisms is critical to building a wellbeing culture in the organisation. Employees should have access to the support they need internally or externally to improve their mental health. This not only includes being able to speak to managers, HR or colleagues but also access to mental health apps or possibly private healthcare. This will enable employees to speak to professionals and get the appropriate support or guidance they require when they need it most.
4 – Promote wellbeing training
Training business leaders and employees on how to look after their own and their colleagues’ mental health, spotting the signs of stress, and learning how to manage stress are fundamental to improving overall wellbeing. Line managers can only help improve their employees’ mental health if they recognise the red flags. Having good wellbeing isn’t just confined to mental health – it also involves having an overall healthy lifestyle, including exercise, sleep and diet – and avoiding harmful substances such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. Educating employees on the importance of going to sleep at a good time and not staying up until 2 am binging Netflix shows – is also critical to supporting their health and wellbeing ready for their work the next day.
5 – Foster a wellbeing culture
Building an organisational culture around wellbeing is vital to ensuring staff feel supported and recognise that they can reach out to someone in their team if they are struggling. Building a wellbeing charter, where employees understand that they can work flexibly, have support to deal with stress, get professional help, or just a helpful ear can make a world of difference. Whilst it’s not easy for anyone to admit they need extra help, fostering a culture where managers and colleagues regularly check in on each other will make employees feel more comfortable to voice their concerns.
To find out more about improving mental health and wellbeing training in your organisation, try a free demo of our wellbeing collection of courses.