How to promote employee mental health during Covid- 19

How to promote employee mental health during Covid- 19

Keeping your employees happy and motivated during the lockdown is a tough task even for the seasoned HR professional. Staff can experience claustrophobia, a lack of motivation and the absence of camaraderie amongst colleagues and friends can also lead to feelings of isolation. Despite the sense of gloom and sense of doom, there are a few things HR professionals and managers can do to keep the morale high.

Be open with employees: The management and the HR needs to understand that a fear that instantly grips employees from all levels at such times is that of losing their job. The management needs to acknowledge this and assure employees that they will retain their jobs and do so at regular intervals. They need to tell them that the salary cut, if it has been done, is temporary. Else the management needs to be frank and let employees know the current situation is taking a toll on the company and help them find alternative jobs.

Talk to your employees: Every once in a while, managers and HR should check up on the employees and ask if they are doing OK or if he or she needs any help. Most people want to feel cared for and listened to by their managers.

Counsel employees going through a breakdown: There may be the odd employee who may be going through a nervous breakdown. It is important to stand by these employees and help them with their concerns. Provide access to medically certified counsellors. At the same time, provide names and numbers of people one can reach out to if one needs professional help.

Keeping your employees happy and motivated during the lockdown is a tough ask even for the seasoned HR professional. Staff can experience claustrophobia, a lack of motivation and the absence of camaraderie amongst colleagues and friends can also lead to feelings of isolation. Despite the sense of gloom and sense of doom, there are a few things HR professionals and managers can do to keep the morale high.

Let employees breathe: One of the fastest ways to a burnout is asking employees to work from 9 am to 9 pm with only a 15-minute break for lunch. Let the employees take breaks.  Provide broad guidelines on breaks and whom to inform when taking one. Also have employee Whatsapp groups or Facebook pages where employees can share jokes, anecdotes, or stories of their travels or other adventures. Create the feeling of being in office (as much as possible).

Interactive sessions for the staff every few days: HR professionals across industries can arrange for interactive events and games for staff. Events and talent shows can be conducted with little or effort on zoom or house party. This encourages interaction and camaraderie amongst staff and promotes positivity.

Promote exercise: One of the ways to stay active and positive during these tough times is to exercise. Exercising releases endorphins and can give people an energy boost. HR can suggest different exercising apps and help their employees stay fit. Have a face book page or a whats app group to share healthy recipes and tips for self-care. If it is a small company, even yoga sessions with the staff can be a regular activity.

The most important thing to do during this lockdown is to communicate. Whether it is a joke, anecdote, a “hi, how are you doing?”, make sure it reaches the others.

Mental health is not a topic that is debated openly in our country and hence gets ignored most of the time. However, providing mental support for your employees during these tough times will ensure retention over the long run and boost employer image in the minds of existing employees and well as the potential ones.


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