Employee Wellness – If Not Now, When?

Employee Wellness 5

According to an April 2020 poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 45% of adults are reporting that anxiety and stress related to COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their mental health. Mental health problems have an impact on employers and businesses; increased absenteeism, low productivity, and decreased employee morale are just a few ways mental health can impact businesses. With this in mind, there are things employers can do to help employees through this time.

It is critical to find ways to maintain balance amidst what feels like chaos and the fear of the unknown. Encourage workers to take care of themselves both physically and mentally, as it can go a long way in helping alleviate anxiety and stress. Small things like going outside for a walk or taking lunch in another room to get a mental break during the day can help. Urging employees to give themselves the time to do something restorative: whether yoga, a guided meditation, coloring, or simply resting, can be beneficial.

We are all exhausted from taking on additional duties such as caring for our families while adjusting to remote work. Be open and compassionate with flexible scheduling. It can help your team thrive amid the continued uncertainty.

Remind employees of the following helpful resources to battle mental health concerns:

  • Mindfulness and mediation apps
  • Leverage technology with video capability instead of phone calls
  • Encourage “water cooler” chat before or after meetings to facilitate social connections to avoid feelings of isolation
  • Set up zoom team building events to help employees stay connected
  • Utilize online resources: https://www.betterhelp.com/ or https://www.talkspace.com/
  • If available, encourage employees to utilize your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Some benefit carriers have this option available to employees where there are voluntary, work-based programs that offer free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems.

Letting your employees know that these are unprecedented times, and as a team, you will get through this. Make sure to communicate with your employees often, allowing them to ask questions through town halls or open-ended surveys. Use this time as an opportunity to grow your culture as a compassionate organization. It will have a meaningful impact now and well into the future.