Our lives have been flipped upside down as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Some people are predisposed to having depression or other mental health issues and quarantine has exacerbated this trait. While employers are unable to explicitly ask about the mental health of their employees, they are allowed to support their peers. Here are some tips and suggestions to help your employees cope with the isolation they may feel.
Have Routine Check-Ins
When we worked at this office, we got to chat with our peers and catch up with new events in their lives. Now, that aspect is almost completely taken away. Not every conversation has to be about work, so make it a priority to check in with you employees every once in a while. Let employees know that you are empathetic to their struggles and that you are always available. Be proactive in communicating with your employees to show that you truly care and are a resource for help. You don’t have to dive into deep issues, just simply ask how they are doing.
Learn Warning Signs For Mental Health Issues
People may have a mental illness that they are coping with healthily and are stable in condition. Others may be struggling and need help but aren’t able to communicate that. Learn the warning signs of debilitating depression, suicidal idealization, and others. Hopefully, you will never have to intervene but being aware of the warning signs could save a life.
Do Not Punish Changes In Productivity
If an employee is struggling with a mental health issue, punishing them for not performing well will do more harm than good. If an employee is slacking, immediately check up on them. There is a reason that their quality of work is dwindling and may not be a result of laziness. Ask them how are they doing, how can you support them? Maybe they aren’t doing as well because they do not work the best when they are home. Be open and empathetic to your employees.
Section Off Some Time To Have Fun During Work
Our lives have become blurred and I think we are all in need of fun time. If you can write some play time in, take an hour every so often to have fun with your employees. Whether you play online pictionary, have a discussion about a book, movie, or show, or play humorous games, blowing off steam will increase your productivity and reduce stress. We are all human beings who are affected by the crisis. Take a break to bond with your employees and you will see happier employees.
Take care of your employees, but also take care of yourself. Encourage you and your employees to cope with stress in a healthy way. We spend the majority of our time at work so make your workplace a happy, safe environment where your employees know that it is okay to feel off and that you are there to support them in any way possible. If you are interested in more HR and career advice, consider following Agency 8 on our social media.