Five Ways to Support Employee Mental Health Virtually
May is here and the days are continuing to get longer! With spring in the air, many are taking this time to do some much needed spring cleaning or enjoying the warmer weather by taking some time to be outdoors.
While the idea of warmer weather is exciting, the COVID-19 pandemic still continues and in some areas, lockdowns and restrictions are still present which is still affecting the sense of normalcy that people are used to. However, there is a slight glimmer of hope with COVID-19 vaccinations continuing to accelerate throughout Canada and the United States.
Both countries anticipate that this summer will slowly begin the transition back to normal life, but in the present time, it is still a waiting game that is challenging the patience and the mental health for many individuals.
As a matter of fact, this week is actually Mental Health Week in Canada. This month’s theme is titled #GetReal, and according to the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, the purpose of this theme is to encourage individuals to be more vocal about what they are going through. The incentive behind being real is to not conceal your emotions and to seek out the help of others if you are feeling overwhelmed.
The third wave of the pandemic has been detrimental to the mental health of Canadians, but there are many resources available for those who need help during this time, with Wellness Together Canada being one primary example that is being highlighted during Mental Health Week.
For those who are working from home, it may seem like the norm now after more than a full year of remote working. Some have enjoyed this change of pace as they are no longer spending time commuting to and from work, while others have had a tougher time adapting to this with the lack of social interaction that employees are now facing.
With employees doing their communications with one another through online platforms, this may still not be the same for those who thrive on having physical interactions with others. Whether it’s running a meeting in-person or socializing with a colleague face-to-face, these interactions are more valuable to some as there are some facets of communicating that cannot be replicated through an online screen.
Supporting Your Employees’s Mental Health
Many companies have been proactive in supporting the needs of their employees during these times, and while the third wave is still very much present, companies should continue to support the mental well-being of their employees as best as they can. Below are five ways that companies can follow to ensure that their employees are performing well.
1) Conduct Routine Check-ins
Communication is key with employees. Any thriving organization needs a steady and organized flow of communication in order to run properly. But for employees, communicating with one another is important in the context of supporting mental health. For managers and supervisors, checking in on the wellness of their employees should be done in a genuine way that sincerely asks how an employee is holding up and if they need assistance. Whether it’s done one-on-one or conducted as a group check-in, these interactions, even if virtual, can be meaningful.
2) Show Appreciation to Employees
With the absence of social interactions in the workplace, a virtual meeting or an email may not have the same meaning due to the lack of intonations that can only be expressed in-person. Showing appreciation to employees is important is not only acknowledging the importance of the work that they contribute, but to also assure them that their presence in the company is valuable. For some employees who take pride in their work, reminding them of the value they add to the company can be helpful in boosting their mental health.
3) Organize Events that Encourage Engagement
Because of the current restrictions, events cannot be done in-person, but this does not mean that companies cannot organize them virtually. Whether it’s leisurely to get employees to just chat with one another, or with a given purpose that aims to educate, these events can be beneficial in supporting the mental health of employees. Especially if these events are designated to provide wellness tips during this time when employees likely need it most.
4) Give Employees a Break
Last year, our previous blog noted some of the initiatives that companies have taken to support their employees. One of them was to give their employees a break, whether it is through a day off, or some time off during the workday to help employees cope with the stress of the pandemic. Many companies have used these breaks to allow their employees to either recharge or do other personal commitments.
5) Promote Work-Life Balance
One of the biggest challenges that the pandemic has brought forward to employees is striking the balance between being at home and being at work. But since working from home has merged the two together, some employees have struggled to tune out from work while being in their homes, and many are feeling the stress from work linger into their life outside office hours. Companies should strive to remind employees to draw the line with where work ends by promoting the importance of having a work-life balance.
Programs and Seminars by Well Street to Support Employee Mental Health
As previously mentioned, engaging events such as programs and seminars that promote wellness and healthy practices can be beneficial for employees. With these insightful lessons, employees can take into practice these tips and advice and incorporate it into their lifestyles in and out of work. Well Street’s comprehensive list of programs and seminars that can be conducted virtually provide businesses and employees effective methods in supporting mental health.
At Well Street, we are founded on the principles of introducing healthy practices to the workplace, which encompasses both mental and physical health. Comprised of medical professionals who have a background in naturopathy, we aim to help organizations foster a healthy corporate environment in order to boost productivity and morale.
If you would like to learn more about how our team can help you or your company, consider contacting us to find out more. We are happy to provide you with guidelines and approaches to support the wellbeing of your team members through virtual seminars and programs.