August 5, 2021
Across the country, workers are dreading a return to in-person work. Nearly 60% of employees said they would “absolutely” look for a new job if they were forced to end their remote working arrangements and return to the workplace, per a recent FlexJobs survey.
On top of this, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, anxiety and depression have nearly tripled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Summarily, this data indicates that employers will have their work cut out for them as employees return to the workplace.
“Employers need to strategize ways to address employee concerns, ease stressors and effectively transition employees back to in-person roles,” said Tammy Spear, Director of Human Resources and Special Programs/Commercial Lines Operations Manager for Avery. “Having a clear plan which involves open dialogue, expectation setting and supporting and reassuring your employees will keep them focused and engaged in their work. Employee well-being is foundational to any organization’s success”.
Here are some ways employers can help support employee mental health as employees come back into the workplace:
Strategize with Managers
Managers should be trained on spotting signs of workplace stress or mental health deterioration. This can help initialize proactive conversations. Employers can also consider empowering managers with the authority to work with employees—as needed—on alternative schedules or other accommodations to ease their return to work.
Provide Mental Health Resources
Employees may be more likely to seek professional mental health assistance if their employer provides it. Employers can consider adding mental health resources as part of their employee assistance programs. Additionally, employers can consider more creative strategies that can help reduce stressors, such as allowing more time off, catering lunches or organizing extracurricular events.
Foster a Supportive Environment
Another way to support employee mental health is to simply address it. Talking about mental health can make employees more open to discussing it, which can help preempt workplace issues. Employees should be encouraged to bring up issues that are affecting their work. However, this can only be done in a supportive environment that has resources for employees to use.
Reach out today for more ways to support employees as they transition back into the workplace.