Mental health issues of American workers have been on the rise since the pandemic. The pandemic, undoubtedly, was one of the most traumatic events for the world. Especially for the workers, the pandemic caused several mental health challenges. However, in the post-pandemic world, the discussions around employee mental health are a positive approach. Employers and business leaders are giving due attention to mental health challenges employees have faced earlier and amidst the pandemic.
Pandemic and Return-to-Office Programs
Pandemic resulted in the mega work transition, which caused a widely accepted remote working standard. Remote work was reasonably new to employees around the world. While the remote workers in the United States had to deal with unique challenges such as working with a slow internet connection and not having a dedicated space for the home office, working from home has been ideal for the employees. Soon into the pandemic, workers could find internet service providers like Smithville Communications offering great internet plans. Remote working and hybrid work schedules have proven to be more healthy and flexible working standards, appreciated by the employees.
However, now as the pandemic-induced restrictions have been uplifted, employers are working towards bringing employees back to the office. Unfortunately, return to office programs are less appreciated by the employees. It caused the infamous Great Resignation trend resulting in millions of people leaving their jobs. A recent study by Mckinsey showed that one in three employees states that returning to the workplace hurts their mental health. However, fifty-nine percent of Americans felt isolated since the start of the pandemic. A more significant number is feeling depressed and anxious over returning to the workplace. Studies show that employees’ mental health is not associated with the pandemic or its challenges. Instead, employee mental health has raised a troubling question about workplace policies and strict in-house requirements.
Companies need to focus on the core issues to understand employee mental health better and work towards employee well-being.
Normalize Talking about Mental Health Issues
There is no getting around the fact that many people are reluctant to bring up mental health issues in the workplace. The pandemic raises concerns about the ever-deteriorating mental health of the employees and the less well being friendly office policies. Many employees fear judgment when talking about or addressing their mental health challenges. Before you try finding the solution to adverse employee mental health, it is essential to create a safe space where employees feel comfortable sharing their experiences and thoughts.
It is essential to normalize mental health issues and give workers opportunities to share their experiences of stress and negative feelings. One good way to normalize such matters is to have managers and leaders in the company who are willing to address their mental health challenges. Undoubtedly, it can be a daunting process, but it is exciting to come forward with their experience. Indeed employees will feel less reluctant to share their feelings.
Understand the Issues
As with other mental health issues can only come to a better solution once the problems are understood. Employee surveys are pretty helpful in the matter. An employee survey helps with gathering insights into what you need. A good survey will help you understand various mental health challenges and how employees deal with them. You can further offer appropriate benefits and resources to help employees with their mental health situation.
Make Mental Health a Priority
There is a good chance that your company is already offering mental health resources and wellness programs and benefits. However, it is important to highlight what your company is willing to do further to support employees’ mental well-being.
Your organization can offer mental health resources like Calm for Business and Lyra Health. Headspace and more technology-based mental health support will also be helpful for employees.
Keep in mind that COVID-19 has motivated many employees to focus more on their mental health and priorities, such as family and friends. Therefore, instead of just expecting employees to work hard for your business, you should offer wellness programs regardless of how they feel about work-life. Your support might encourage their loyalty and help you with better employee retention rates.