Not only will the workplaces we are going back into be physically different from the ones we left, but they will also be different from a mental health and wellbeing standpoint.
Next week is Mental Health Awareness Week, an opportunity, as our economy begins to reopen, to check in on your people’s wellbeing – to listen, to offer support and to boost morale.
But there’s still so much uncertainty at the moment, how can we support wellbeing at a time like this?
It is possible to boost mental wellbeing even in the most difficult work or personal situations. And if you want your business to be operationally resilient, your workforce will be key to that. Here are a handful of our top tips to get you started:
Check-in on your team members wellbeing. Perhaps begin by saying something like “How is your lockdown experience going?” Ask how they feel about their current situation. For some people that may mean returning to work and for others continuing to work from home. Whatever their situation, ask whether they have any suggestions for how to make things work well for them.
- Discuss goals.
Achieving small accomplishments leads to clearer thinking and mood improvement. The goals don’t have to part of a formal performance evaluation, but rather discuss simple steps to achieving a small goal or objective. Accomplishments that can be realistically achieved in the short-term will have the greatest impact on morale.
- Send a thank-you note.
Sending a handwritten thank-you note shows people you appreciate them. And we all love to receive things in the post! Personalised messages help people feel valued, so tailor your messages to reflect the situation the recipient is in. For example, a message for the parent of young children, working from home, might thank them for juggling work and family, whereas a message for a furloughed member of staff might thank them for the sacrifice they are making for the company.
Include employees in the conversation about the new working conditions. If there is concern about health and safety at the workplace, talk about it. Your people may come up with innovative ideas on how to improve the workplace from a safety and wellbeing perspective.
- Share your own challenges.
Leaders and managers sharing their own stories with their team members help make it safe for others to talk about their own situation. We all have mental wellbeing and leaders showing their vulnerability supports a cultural shift towards openness, which in turn supports employee mental health. So be brave and share your story – your people will appreciate it!
Feeling daunted by the journey ahead?
Get Willow & Puddifoot on board and we’ll work with you to nurture and develop your people as you take your business through these turbulent times.