As the pressures of the pandemic drag on and winter brings shorter, colder days, the mental health of your employees is even more important than usual. Worry, stress, and anxiety have negative effects on productivity and effectiveness—not to mention overall health and personal relationships. As a leader, you’re responsible for supporting your employees’ mental health. Here are some basic areas where you can begin:
Create a safe space. Mental health issues are often a source of fear and stigma, and many leaders avoid them entirely. Instead, work to bring it out into the light. One way to start is by asking your top leadership team how they are and how their people are. Create a safe space for people to speak freely when they need help and support.
Keep communication flowing. When people are well informed they are less stressed and less anxious, so make sure you’re communicating clearly and fully and that your people feel fully informed. Keep communication flowing well at all levels and across functional areas—don’t just communicate at the top and leave the rest of the organization in the dark. Be honest and forthcoming, communicate often, and don’t avoid difficult conversations.
Reduce overload. If people are working from home, there’s a good chance that they’re putting in longer hours than they would if they were coming into the office. Remind people that they should stop for lunch, take breaks, and log out at the end of the work day—and make sure that you lead through example by doing those things yourself.
Provide resources. One of the best ways to support employees’ mental health is to provide access to mental health services such as counseling, therapy, and addiction treatment. If your health care plan doesn’t include these services, work to set up discounted programs with counselors and experts. Be proactive; don’t allow the mental health of your employees to become an issue.
Incorporate balance. You’d think that working remotely would make work-life balance easier to maintain, but that’s often not the case. Let your people know that it’s normal to have a life and that they’re free to incorporate a midday workout, take time to deal with family and household issues, and just disconnect for a while. In return, they’ll have more energy and focus when they’re working.
Maintain regular check-ins. Meeting regularly with your employees—in person or online—can help build a culture of acceptance and transparency. It also gives you a chance to stay connected to the culture and informed about what’s going on.
Mental health affects how your people think, feel and act. It’s an important issue, both in the personal realm and in the workplace. Take care of your people, stay connected and give them your best.
Lead from within: Addressing mental health in the workplace may seem like an insurmountable task, but it starts with small, intentional and thoughtful steps to let your people know you care about them.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.