Knowledge is Power
Being trained for workplace wellness management is one thing, but indefinite remote communication of employees can be difficult to manage. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted each employees’ mental well-being differently and it is important to recognize that it can manifest in various ways. The amount of information being blasted by the news alone can leave people feeling fearful and overwhelmed. Being stuck indoors and away from social gatherings can begin to affect mental health and daily function, resulting in consequences in both the personal and professional lives of an employee. Those employees with pre-existing mental health issues will be more likely to be affected. Below we list a few of the emotional reactions that can occur with COVID-19.
Common COVID-19 responses:
- Worried and stressed out easily
- Feelings of isolation and depression
- Uneasiness throughout the day
- Not adhering to typical activities
- Concern for the safety of loved ones
- Feelings of helplessness
- Inadequate sleeping patterns
Severe COVID-19 responses:
- Inability to focus on a task and constantly distracted by thoughts
- Fear/paranoia of others and constant checking of their symptoms
- Constant checking of the news
Maintaining psychological well-being during a time of uncertainty is very difficult and can be emotionally draining for many. Being on the lookout for these emotional responses can help you counter their negative effects and provide support to your employees.
HR to the Rescue
In a unique situation such as the one we are presently living through, it is fundamental to highlight that everyone is dealing with their own set of individual challenges. Getting proper support during the COVID-19 outbreak can mean a significant difference in the lives of your employees. A thoughtful approach and strong support will build the trust your employees have in your company and their future within it, but it all starts with how employers treat their workers during this time.
Employers must be:
- Understanding about the uniqueness of this pandemic
- Flexible to accommodate employees during unexpected times
- Empathetic to those who have been impacted by COVID-19, whether in a big or small way
But how do employers facilitate open communication and support when their employees are working from home? In this situation, remote communication becomes the stepping stone to any support system a company will be executing. The Human Resources department of a company must have the proper training to do mental health check-ins, which can occur through online platforms like Zoom or Skype. Remote communication will work best if you make it an appealing source of help. The communication must be relaxed and open, but never invasive. It is important that your employees feel supported in a way that is authentic. The more open you seem, the more transparent and honest your professional relationships will be. The time to act is now and the response that is delivered will make or break the trust of individuals.