Enough ink has been spilled in writing about the drastic economic downfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is another aspect that was left unaddressed since the beginning of the pandemic.
It's the negative impact of the pandemic on the mental health of the employees. COVID-19 has put the bustling life of nations to a halt. People are forced to lock themselves up in their homes. This has taken a toll on people's health, both physical and mental.
Forced to work unconventional hours in the professional environment and home, the pandemic has drastically reduced employee productivity and instilled a feeling of fear and uncertainty.
More and more employees are reporting depression, anxieties, and other mental health issues. It has forced organizations to restructure health policies and take necessary steps to address employees’ mental health issues. There are several ways to support employee well-being amid the COVID-19 era.
1. Create a Company Work Channel to Communicate with Employees
Effective communication is the first step towards ensuring the well-being of employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID restrictions in no way mean social isolation.
Effective communication can prove to be a great stress buster. It can help to tackle the feeling of loneliness and improve mental health. Therefore it's crucial to facilitate effective communication amongst staff, colleagues, and their family members.
Encourage them to talk. To vent out their frustration. Companies can arrange regular video call sessions where staff can have a chat with others on the team. Encourage them to share their worries. Ask them about their well-being and make them understand that the company is standing with them during these troubled times.
2. Accept the Severity of the Situation and Help Your Employees Cope with it
Another crucial step to combat the fear and uncertainty of COVID-19 is to identify and accept it. Only by recognizing that the situation worries us and identifying the causes of that feeling can we improve the psychological state.
From the organisation's point of view, it is advisable to create spaces for reflection and conversation regarding the individual experiences of the staff. Sharing concerns within the work environment can ease the level of tension.
Moreover, it also results in more helpful responses that emerge from the discussion with the rest of the team. It is not enough, though. From management's point of view, it is essential to be available to the team as work support and emotional support. The company can also partner with health providers and doctors to arrange regular health sessions.
Encourage employees to take part in these sessions for helpful tips to combat this bad situation effectively. Above all, company management should show empathy, flexibility, and encouragement toward employees.
3. Encourage a Good Work Routine
Another great way to address employees' well-being is to create an environment of normality. One way is to create a daily work routine and encourage the staff to adhere to it strictly.
Ask employees to attend daily morning meetings. It will help them get ready for the day and stick to the workday routine. Likewise, setting specific break times and lunchtime means staff takes regular breaks.
The objective is to create a sense of regularity in the professional life of the employees. Many companies have adapted to the work from the home model with flexible hours. However, this has disrupted the daily routine. Encouraging employees to follow the work routine will help the employees break out from the unstructured work schedule.
You can still apply the flexible work hour rule. However, it will be a good idea to let coworkers know when they have to start the work when they can take a break, and by what time they have to finish the job.
4. Encourage Disconnection
We live in an age where information is available on the tip of our fingers. We are constantly bombarded with all kinds of information every minute. Consuming such a vast quantity of information, both genuine and fake, can overwhelm our minds and create a sense of panic, especially amid the pandemic.
Therefore an excellent strategy to improve mental health is to disconnect from work and other digital channels like social media platforms. Instead, devote this time to other productive and mind-calming activities like meditation and yoga.
Employees can even invite colleagues to share the sessions to enhance the sense of inclusiveness further. This will not only help to relieve pandemic-related worries but also boost productivity.
5. Listen to Your Employees
The way to react to this crisis can vary significantly from one individual to another. Some will hardly be affected by the situation, while others will be disturbed or frustrated. Accordingly, make sure that the company and managers devote sufficient time listening to the needs of their employees.
Too often, we only communicate when we are in need. At present, however, we also have to address uncertain elements. Therefore, it will significantly help to communicate with the employees. Explain to them honestly why the company is taking specific actions. How the decisions will benefit the employees, and how the company is trying to support colleagues during this challenging time.
6. Financial Aid to the Employees
At this time, when work-life balance is severely hit and people are struggling to manage monthly expenses, financial aid could be a significant relief.
Companies can offer monetary aid to their employees, covering the cost of COVID treatment if required. Financial assistance can come as a real help for employees struggling with financial problems but are too shy to share it with anyone.
Companies can even set a relief fund for the staff facing the brunt of COVID-19. It can cover the cost of testing, treatment, and hospital stay for the employees and their families.
One of the best ways to support employee well-being amid COVID-19 is to get them a comprehensive health insurance policy like Plum.
Plum offers the best health insurance plans that suit every pocket and provides broader coverage with several benefits. So buy now and bid farewell to your health concerns post-COVID-19. Say hello to Plum!
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