Five keys to taking care of employee mental health during the second wave of the pandemic
Europe is going through the second wave of the pandemic caused by Covid-19 and, after eight months of crisis, it is increasingly clear that the consequences are not just economic. The mental health of the population has imposed itself in an exceptional situation which has tested the psychological balance of many people. Since Personio, the human resources platform for SMEs, the keys that this type of service must take into account to address mental health in companies have been raised, since they will be crucial in the recovery of companies, especially in the health fields. mental / employee well-being (45%) and in launching new work initiatives (37%).
Overnight, millions of workers were forced to leave their desks and telecommute to continue their professional duties. This has brought to light a problem that has always been topical but rarely discussed as much as it is today: the mental health of workers. In this context, the mission of Human Resources is to support its employees and ensure their well-being and health at work, in particular with regard to employees who work in remote locations.
Working from home can be stressful. This is due to several reasons. Two or three of them are that social contact is limited and parents work while looking after their children, which exposes them to a double workload. The World Health Organization (WHO) already ranked stress as the biggest health risk this century before the coronavirus crisis. Therefore, it is not surprising that mental illness is among the leading causes of sick leave. That is why it is essential that business leaders protect and preserve the physical and mental integrity of employees, not only from a human perspective, but also strategically.
The visibility generated has a positive point: the Human Resources teams are more attentive to this type of problem and are open to taking measures to preserve this fundamental aspect of the integral well-being of employees, leading to an honest exchange. Therefore, employee mental health is a priority and companies need to focus on it more than ever. But what should be kept in mind?
Mental health as a business priority: It is essential that all areas of the business, including the management team, participate in the adoption and implementation of measures. In this way, it will be possible to coordinate together how and when to start approaching the problem in an open and transparent way. HR as a mediator for the whole company: HR managers will play a key role in these situations, serving as a bridge between employees and their superiors. Businesses need a preventative and open approach to mental health to safeguard the well-being of business hearts, people and the right department to do this is Human Resources. Recognize the signals: It is essential to educate managers / leaders to detect mental health issues in their teams, especially when working remotely where it is more difficult to ‘read the signals’. Early detection is a crucial factor in mental health. That is why it is important to create an alert system for the first symptoms of emotional problems in employees. To do this, human resources managers can take training courses on mental health in the workplace and have frequent contact with teleworkers. Create a mental health policy at work: It is useful to create a written document “prevention, intervention and protection”. This can be overseen by subject matter experts so that management and employees can refer to the document as needed. Software tools can be very helpful. Break the Silence: Creating a safe and trusting space where employees can talk about issues related to the stressful work environment, helps start open conversations about mental health. Let your employees know that it’s okay to be sad, frustrated, or overwhelmed, and most importantly, ask for help.
“Excessive workload and financial problems are considered the main causes of mental health problems in the workplace. However, it’s a combination of problems and stress that can tip the scales in favor of depression or other issues. mental health problems. What was important in the past is now even more urgent due to special circumstances during Covid-19: Businesses and HR need a preventive, open and globally better approach to mental health in the workplace to come out stronger from the crisis, ”says Angelina Gentili, Head of Human Resources and Recruitment at Personio Espaa.