Mental Health in the Workplace
With a focus on reducing leading causes of injury and death at home, work and on the road, the National Safety Council has once again declared June as National Safety Month. To help you reduce the risk of injury this summer, Security Specialists will be providing some handy tips throughout the month that you can put into practice to keep your family and employees safe. This week’s theme focuses on MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE. Many of your employees may experience a feeling of stress, anxiety and concern related to the coronavirus outbreak. As employees continue to physically isolate or return to their workplace facility, supporting them during this difficult time can be key to building a level of trust.
- First and foremost, take care of your own mental health. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. Remember, being supportive for your employees’ means being kind to yourself.
- For those employees still working from home, try to maintain a healthy balance by allocating specific hours for work and a consistent schedule. If possible, creating a designated work area will make “work” feel more like non-remote work.
- Maintain perspective. Remind employees that this is a temporary period of isolation and their efforts are helping the company, their neighbors and the greater community.
- For those employees who have returned to the business facility and face a larger than normal workload, encourage them to take regular breaks and eat healthy snacks.
- Remind all your employees to stay connected with friends, family and coworkers through e-mail, social media, video conferencing and telephone. At times of stress, employees work better when we they feel they are not alone.
- Be kind and exercise patience. Everyone is adjusting to this new normal and each person operates differently. Make time to talk and be supportive of your employees’ current needs and concerns.
- If you have employees who normally struggle with their mental health, be sure to reach out with any additional support they might require.
- Make all your employees aware of any resources at their disposal to help them through this difficult period. If your organization has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in place, remind staff that the EAP is there if they need support. If your organization does not, make sure to familiarize yourself and take advantage of local crisis and mental health centers which are readily available in many communities.
Remember, these are unprecedented times and you may need to adapt your leadership style. You have a crucial role in creating the best possible work environment and helping employees feel psychologically safe so they can perform to the best of their abilities.