One lesson to be learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic is that employees’ mental health is just a as important as their physical wellbeing.
- According to Research done by Forbes This was done in partnership Harvard Business Review Since the COVID outbreak began, 62% of people reported feeling overwhelmed by work and feeling burnout.
- 42 percent stated that their mental state had declined. It is now more important to ensure mental health for employee morale, productivity, or the bottom line.
This is not an original revelation. Many employers and human resources professionals recognized the importance in including mental health coverage into their insurance plans.
The difference is that companies have found new and creative ways for their employees to cope with the stress of the pandemic. These measures are creative and “new,” as they go beyond standard mental health support, which many employers already provide.
There are many creative ways to promote mental health in staff members:
Here are five examples to show you how businesses are prioritizing employee psychological health in new ways.
1. Mental health must be considered. Literally.
Create a space dedicated solely to rest, relaxation or meditation. It is worth giving the space a name and setting an atmosphere that conveys a feeling of safety and security, as well as fun and enjoyment.
It is possible to have a small space, such as a few couches around a round coffee table, that allows you to recharge, decompress, or socialize with coworkers. Another option is to use an outside space.
Employers can allocate time to employees during their work week or day to share an encouraging quote or reflection or host a live meditation session. Even five to ten minutes can be enough to help you feel purposeful, grateful and/or centered.
2. Make psychological health a company asset and a key performance indicator (KPI).
This reinforces the message of mental health being a company value by letting employees know that self-care has become a performance indicator. A company’s commitment to mental health and its employees is more real when they say things like “we care about mental wellbeing” or “mental healthcare matters.”
It doesn’t matter if what is best for one’s mental wellbeing is the same for another. In order to be more supportive and helpful with KPIs it is better for employees to let them set their own goals. Instead of making a list of things to do, you can give some general examples of KPIs for employees that they can pick from and personalize.
For example, two people may desire clearer work-life boundaries. They may however need different strategies to achieve this. One employee may exercise after work to define the boundaries between work and home. The other may prefer to turn off notifications and email from work at a particular hour. Employees can choose which option is best for them. This helps them take control of their mental health and make it a priority.
3. Emphasize work outcomes first.
Your work results are important and should always be top of mind. It may not make sense to set rigid hours for clocking in and getting out of work. Research shows that flexibility and freedom can improve employee satisfaction, engagements, retention, productivity, and (in the cases of remote workers, their overall time spent at work).
Employees have greater freedom and flexibility, but also more accountability. This makes it easier for them to stick to their self-care goals that are good. It might be a weekly therapy appointment, lunch with someone you care about, or a morning run group. The rewards in productivity and mental health are well worth it.
4. Ask your staff for their wishes.
Ask your employees what apps for meditation and mental well-being they might use if they could receive them for free. Then make the subscriptions free.
It’s easy to find the best apps for mental health nowadays. For example, many people use the popular mindfulness application Headspace, which offers guided meditations as well as tips and tricks for dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. Employers and their employees have access to a wide range of mental-health apps. But it is worth researching what they actually offer.
Employees can also provide valuable information. Respondents could be asked more about the kind of mental health support and services they are looking for in an app. Perhaps they can suggest apps they would like to be subscribed to.
5. Design and organize fitness challenges.
This does not necessarily need to be at the same level as–for “The Office Michael Scott’s Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Knowledge Pro-Am Race for the Cure.” A fitness, outdoor, or other challenge does not require the same level or high-minded publicity that a Dunder Mifflin “Fun Run.”
Numerous studies have shown the many benefits of outdoor exercise to mental health. A team walk competition is a great way to get outdoors. A variety of wellness apps can be used to streamline the organization’s tracking of calories and distance. employees are able to be active and get outside, as well as build relationships in fun and positive ways.
This creative way that companies support staff mental health is likely to be around forever, whether it’s pandemic or not. They are also an important step towards understanding and caring for employees’ wellbeing.