By Yogita Tulsiani
The year 2021 has begun with new enthusiasm at the workplace, welcoming the employees after a long period of remote work. Considering the time to re-strategize businesses, corporates have recognized the need for building mental resilience in their employees. Working from home for almost nine months created an environment of uncertainty in employees. To push the business in the present market setting, corporates have realized the need to promote the mental health of their employees.
The onset of COVID-19 has taken a massive toll on the employees’ mental health. According to a recent report – almost 62% of employees globally believe mental health issues have been one of the biggest challenges at work during last year. Additionally, 96% of global companies provided resources for mental health. However, only one in six employees felt supported with the additional resources provided.
The employees’ mental health was an uncommon topic discussed in the corporate world. After the pandemic hit the world, it has become crucial for employers to encourage their employees to voice their concerns and personal struggles to be at peace. Many employees prefer to remain silent and they are more likely to face challenges at work. This impacts their mental health which further results in lower motivation levels and anxiousness related to uncertainties.
Many forward-moving organizations have started realizing the need for an engaged and satisfied employee. The mental health of employees has a direct influence on the workplace and it requires an immediate need to set a clear link of communication to make sure the employees are heard. Given the need for open communication, the HR teams and leaders of many organizations are working on preventing issues that could lead to poor employee health rather than being reactive to addressing the concerns at later stages. They understand that employees who feel burnout at work are more likely to take sick leaves at work.
Creating a strong and open of communication demonstrates the commitment of HR leaders and leadership team towards the health of their employees. This could start with regular checks on employees’ challenges in their work-life or physical or emotional wellbeing. This further establishes a sense of trust that prevents employees from disrupting their peace of mind.
Become More Empathetic
Balancing the emotions at work place is required always. Emotionally intelligent people are good understanding other’s emotions. Employers have to be more empathetic towards their employees and handling their various circumstances. In the workplace, empathy helps to develop an understanding level at the different dynamics between subordinates and supervisors.
Concerned for employees needs and challenges
We all know that HR leaders cannot play the role of therapist for employees. But making the employees’ mental health a priority has become imperative for them. The high-performing organizations embrace programs that are highly beneficial for the overall wellbeing of employees including their nutrition and physical strength. It promotes a psychologically safe work environment that is free from anxiety and stress.
The best way that organizations are adopting to address employees’ needs and challenges is to focus on making a positive difference in their mindset. Furthermore, they are implementing programs and methods that promote work-life balance for employees. This includes employee surveys, reports, and productivity reports that can provide relevant data and metrics to HR leaders and make it easy to meet their needs.
Programs for employee’s well being
Any negative impact on employees’ mental health can significantly lead to a drop in employee engagement. Cases related to depression, stress and anxiety have become increasingly common and they further result in growing number of other ailments such as hypertension, obesity, hormonal imbalance in women, and cardiac disorders. To meet the needs of the employees, organizations are implementing Employee Assistance Programs that are the first step to support their psychological wellbeing.
In India, the implementation rate of such programs was at a nascent stage before 2020. However, the remote working models have pushed the need for mitigating the risks associated with the poor mental health of employees. The organizations adopting Employee Assistance Programs deal with the personal and professional needs of employees to enhance their performance and productivity at work.
The workforce is the most valuable asset for any company. A psychologically healthy employee helps the company in driving it forward and ensure sustainable success. Thus, organizations are focusing on implementing comprehensive wellness programs. It takes into consideration the different aspects of their life that empowers the employees in handling stressful situations and maximize productivity to stay competitive.
(The author is MD & Co-founder, iXceed Solutions (Global Tech-Recruiter Provider). Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online..)