08 Dec Supporting mental health and wellbeing for employees during COVID-19
The transition to and from the workplace and, in some instances, the ongoing requirement to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many varied mental health and wellbeing challenges. Australian workers have reported:
- Feeling isolated, lonely, or disconnected from other people
- Being unable to ‘switch off work’
- Reduced boundaries between work and personal life
- Having difficulty staying motivated
- Having difficulty prioritising workloads
- Feeling uncertain about your productivity and performance
- Feelings of guilt around not performing work or family duties as well as usual
- Insomnia and sleep problems
As an employer, even in the most uncertain of times, there are many ways you can support the health and wellbeing of your employees. Not only is this an obligation under work health and safety legislation it is also a key ingredient in building a workplace culture for your employees to thrive. Businesses that care about good mental health and wellbeing attract and keep top talent because they are genuinely great places to work.
Hold an open and honest conversation with your employees as a starting point. Ask “how are you going”, “what are you finding to be your greatest challenge” and “what can we do differently”? The answers to these three simple questions will present you with some insightful data from which you can introduce a range of relevant initiatives to enhance mental health and wellbeing and improve your business productivity.
Consider holding this conversation as part of a broader WHS toolbox talk on Mental Health and Wellbeing to demonstrate your commitment to work health and safety. (Don’t forget to record attendance and keep a copy of the agenda in your WHS system!) The Department of Health has created a publication called Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Mental health and wellbeing support for employees. This handy guide containing tips for employees is available here. You might like to base your toolbox talk around the points included in the guide and print and provide a copy to your employees during the talk.
For further suggestions and ideas on how you can respond to employee feedback along with the actions your business can take to improve mental health and wellbeing, head to “Heads Up”. Created by Beyond Blue, Heads Up provides employers with free resources and a range of tools you can use to support the mental health and wellbeing of your employees during this period of ongoing uncertainty. Visit headsup.org.au for more information.
Business 360 is here to support you to plan and implement your mental health and wellbeing action plan. Reach out to us at email@example.com or talk to one of our consultants today on 1300 287 360.