Updated: May 13
Being a flexible communicator is a wonderful skill that can help your employees' mental health. The good news is you can foster the skill over time.
The uncertainty in the world today leads to a great deal of anxiety. People are worried about their jobs, education, family members, their health, and more, and it is still unclear what is going to happen next. This takes a toll on the mental health of many people, and it is important to support employees in these struggles. Continue reading to learn eight ways that leaders can support employee mental health.
"If you plan to have some downtime on the weekend, share that you are turning your email off to prevent yourself from burning out."
1. Show Vulnerability
Leaders can show vulnerability because everyone, including leaders, has been affected by the pandemic. Share your mental health struggles if you are feeling uncertain, anxious, or more. This helps employees feel more comfortable sharing when they realise that it won’t be seen as a weakness.
2. Model Healthy Behaviour
Another way for leaders to show support is by modeling healthy behaviour. Show people that you are taking care of yourself. Let them know when you take a walk after lunch or if you have a therapy appointment. If you plan to have some downtime on the weekend, share that you are turning your email off to prevent yourself from burning out.
3. Stay Connected
It is important to check in with all of your employees on a regular basis. People need to feel connected, and it is hard to know how they are feeling if you don’t check in. Make sure that you ask them how they are doing and if they need anything. Find out if they have any specific needs.
4. Be Flexible
In the current climate, it is important to remain flexible. Things are changing, and they will continue to change. When you are flexible, your employees feel that they are able to get the mental health care that they need.
"Studies show that employees who think their managers don’t communicate are more likely to experience mental health decline."
5. Communicate More
You should communicate more than you think necessary to make sure that employees feel comfortable. Studies show that employees who think their managers don’t communicate are more likely to experience a decline in mental health.
6. Invest in Training
Leaders should invest in preventative workplace mental health training for all leaders and managers. This helps them learn how to foster a mentally healthy culture, and the end result is that there will be fewer employees who suffer mental health decline from their jobs.
7. Update Policies
With all of the changes that have occurred and the challenges of the pandemic, it is important to revisit your policies and update them to reflect the current times. You might have to change rules about work hours, time off, email, communication methods, and more.