As one can only imagine, COVID-19 has impacted the world on personal and professional levels. In the wake of COVID-19, a mental health pandemic has emerged. With shifting workplace conditions and employee responsibilities, employees may be experiencing increased levels of mental health issues, such as stress, anxiety, substance use, and other personal issues that negatively impact their mental health status.
Here are some tips for addressing stress and anxiety issues in the workplace.
Did you know that 64% of U.S. individuals list work as their top stressor and 88% listed the pandemic as the most stressful times in their career? The repercussions of COVID-19, such as layoffs, familial strains, and the fear and uncertainty of the situation likely exacerbated current stress levels. Workplace stress significantly affects employees’ overall well-being. Negative effects of stress include, but are not limited to exhaustion or low energy, reduced engagement and productivity, and burnout.
Business Strategies to Prevent Stress and Anxiety
- Recognize employee fears regarding job and company security, but also acknowledge their value to the company and your efforts to keep them as members of the team.
- Maintain open communications about company decisions and invite feedback to address any issues.
- Stay informed and share as much information as possible about the evolving situation.
- Highlight employee benefits and encourage employees to take advantage of the benefits to relieve any stress.
- Convey empathy in all communications, as every employee’s situation may be different.
Identifying the Signs
- Low energy and/or productivity
- Short temper and/or change in attitude
- Stomach or back problems
Management Tips for Addressing Current Stress and Anxiety
- Conduct regular check ins with employees to initiate communication
- Recognize and celebrate employees’ successes
- Promote positive work-life balance
- Invest in management training for employee engagement strategies and identifying the signs of stress and anxiety, as well as tips on how to address it
- Establish clear expectations for the workplace and employee productivity
Additional Resources Employers Can Offer to Support Employees
While developing a well-rounded employee handbook can guide employers to properly address mental health issues in the workplace, in times of a pandemic, there are additional resources employers may invest in to better assist their employees.
- Caregiving Support: 45% of employees indicate caregiving benefits as a top 10 priorities for health and benefits issues. Given that those with underlying health issues and/or elderly are the most vulnerable populations in the COVID-19 pandemic, an employee serving as a caregiver may experience higher levels of stress. Incorporating caregiving benefits can also benefit your organization by supporting the caregiving industry, as well as providing the resources your employees need to balance their personal and professional responsibilities.
- Telehealth Services: Telehealth services can alleviate many hurdles employees are facing in the pandemic, such as affordability, travel to a medical office, limited healthcare provider options in area of residence, and addressing mental health issues.
- Employee Benefits: Sometimes it can take a global health crisis for you to re-evaluate your employee benefits or perhaps a time when employees need to use their health benefits and allowing them to provide feedback. Take a moment to evaluate your benefit offerings and explore what benefits your employees might find useful or are in dire need of, such as telemedicine, more healthcare plan options, and voluntary benefits.
Whatever the situation may be, AccessPoint is your partner PEO. We offer flexible, affordable, and alternative healthcare options to choose from, supported by our benefits specialists who can assist you with finding employee benefits that suit your unique employees’ healthcare needs. Please don’t wait until you or your employees need healthcare services and contact AccessPoint today!