8 Ways Managers Can Support Employees’ Mental Health
Uncertainty breeds anxiety, and we are living in uncertain times. Between rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, questions about whether or not to reopen economies and businesses, the ongoing protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and the economic fallout of the pandemic, we don’t know what will come next. And that’s taking a toll on our mental health, including at work.
We saw an impact early in the pandemic. At the end of March and in early April, our nonprofit organization, Mind Share Partners, conducted a study of global employees in partnership with Qualtrics and SAP. We found that the mental health of almost 42% of respondents had declined since the outbreak began. Given all that’s happened between then and now, we can only imagine that the figure has increased. Much has been said about this short-term mental health impact, and the long-term effects are likely to be even more far-reaching.
Prior to the pandemic, many companies had increased their focus on workplace mental health (often in response to pressure from employees). Those efforts are even more imperative today.
As we navigate various transitions over the coming months and years, leaders are likely to see employees struggle with anxiety, depression, burnout, trauma, and PTSD. Those mental health experiences will differ according to race, economic opportunity, citizenship status, job type, parenting and caregiving responsibilities, and many other variables. So, what can managers and leaders do to support people as they face new stressors, safety concerns, and economic upheaval? Here’s our advice.