Anxiety, Depression, Stress during COVID. Are your Employees suffering?

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Anxiety, Depression, Stress during COVID. Are your Employees suffering?

COVID has affected many of us, and your employees may be feeling anxious, depressed and stressed.   Good business management and leadership acknowledges and supports anxiety, depression and stress amongst their employees.

Mental Health in your workplace and how to find support

This may well be exacerbated during COVID, with some employees feeling the disconnect if they are working from home, working reduced hours, or have had to take leave.  This disconnect can make someone feel anxious, nervous or stressed, lower productivity and engagement levels.

The COVID situation can also trigger existing mental health issues in some people, as well as in  people who don’t have an existing condition but are going through a difficult time in these stressful and unusual circumstances.   A lot of pressure and consideration for a manager/business owner.

If you feel that your employee(s) may be stressed or struggling to cope during COVID, (or at any time for that matter), or you just want to be prepared should this occur, know there are resources/support available to assist you and your employee’s mental health.

There are many great organisations that will help you and your team:

COVID-19 Mental Health Support Service

https://au.reachout.com/

https://www.headsup.org.au/your-mental-health/work-and-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/news/managers-heres-how-to-support-your-staff-during-covid-19/

https://www.dss.gov.au/women/help-is-here-campaign

https://www.1800respect.org.au/

What you can do to support your team

In addition HR Central can help you create an EAP (Employee Assistance Program). An EAP supports employees with personal problems and/or work-related problems that may impact their job performance, health, mental and emotional well-being. EAPs generally offer free and confidential assessments, short-term counselling, referrals, and follow-up services for employees.

We have an experienced psychologist referral who is very experienced in this field.  This service is completely confidential.

How to keep engagement, productivity up and keep an eye on everyone during isolation

There are also another couple of considerations when your team are working remotely or are indicating that they feel anxious around this strange period in our history.

Be mindful that working from home or cutting down hours can drive productivity down.  There needs to be a period of adjustment and tolerance, whilst everyone re-adjusts to going back to Stage 3 restrictions.  This may well be harder for many people than the first time around.

However, work still needs to be done, and by helping your employees set goals and targets – i.e managing projects together a bit more than usual, can be motivating, as there is accountability but also the feeling of being supported by another.

Keep everyone engaged.   Ways to do this are to ensure that you have regular catchups with both your team and individuals.   Anyone working from home should have a suitable and safe setup that includes some form of access to Zoom or Microsoft teams or any video conferencing app that your  business uses. Setting times and dates for meeting is a great goal for everyone as it may be something that someone looks forward to, or a chance to ask questions and express any concerns.

Managers should also individually check in at least once a week to see how people are going.

HR Central have an end of week catchup where we specifically don’t talk work and people can relax, and just socialise, to help combat loneliness, or isolation.

We ask questions – not work related, but funny ones, who would you like to have dinner with? What is your hobby and why?  These questions help distract everyone from the concerns of COVID, and also help everyone learn a bit more about their peers.

Other ways of engaging are exercise challenges, for example a walk 10 k’s in 10 weeks, where everyone can walk on their own, but come together to discuss how they are going, different training ideas etc.

Wellbeing tips and videos are also great to share.  Meditation, nutrition, gentle exercises like yoga can all help people who may be at a loss of what to do with themselves.  Encouraging exercise is essential for good mental health and even if it’s a 10 minute walk around the block, can help keep anxiety at bay.

And finally, let’s talk about you!

As an employer, manager, business owner, you have to also look after yourself.  It is very important that you acknowledge if you are struggling, it is completely understandable, and the good news is that there are resources out there for you.

  • Beyond Blue has developed free resources to assist you to find the information you need to feel confident in playing a support role.

Get in touch! We can provide you with resources that will help you navigate COVID and your employees mental health and wellbeing

 A working from home checklist (to ensure your employees are working in a safe environment)

  • A working from home policy
  • An EAP for your team
  • A psychologist’s referral for your business
  • Advice regarding how to handle employees that may be suffering from anxiety, stress or mental health issues from an HR perspective.
  • Advice regarding poor-performance
  • To have a chat! We are all ears @ HR Central!
  • 1300 717 721 

 

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