How to Support the Mental Health of Your Employees

There are increasing numbers of stressors impacting your employees’ mental health right now. Growing safety concerns and economic upheaval are among the factors contributing to elevated levels of anxiety, depression, and burnout.

Mental health concerns are further impacted by race, economic opportunity, job type, parenting and caregiver responsibilities, and other variables. As a manager, you should do what you can to help your employees reduce the impact of these stressors as much as possible.

Follow these guidelines to provide support for your employees’ mental health.

Model Vulnerability

Share your experiences with mental health concerns to normalize open discussions about mental health issues.

  • Virtually everyone experiences a mental health concern at some point.
  • Talking about your struggles with mental health shows you are human, relatable, and brave.
  • This type of authentic leadership cultivates trust.
  • Listening to leaders share their stories lessens the stigma of struggling with mental health issues.
  • Your employees should feel more comfortable opening up about their own struggles with mental health.

Display Healthy Behaviors

Show that setting boundaries and engaging in self-care are among your top priorities.

  • Focus on caring for your own well-being along with your employees’ needs.
  • Talk about your forms of self-care, such as eating a healthy lunch, taking a walk during the day, meditating, or talking with a therapist.

Build a Culture of Connection

Regularly check in with your employees to see how they are doing.

  • Look for signs of mental health struggles, especially if your employees work remotely.
  • Ask questions about specific ways you can help each employee increase their mental wellness.
  • Actively listen to each response.
  • Ask follow-up questions to gain more information.
  • Summarize what you hear to check your understanding of the situation.
  • Provide suggestions for actions to take.

Provide Flexibility

Keep in mind that your needs and your employees’ needs will continue to change as situations change.

  • Pay extra attention to your employees during times of transition.
  • Help solve problems when they come up and as appropriate.
  • Encourage your employees to maintain their boundaries.
  • Ask for specific ways you can assist each employee.
  • Offer flexible work hours to help your employees better fulfill their childcare, eldercare, and other responsibilities.
  • Share how you changed your own behavior to more effectively meet your changing needs.
  • Encourage your employees to remain patient and understanding with each other as they adapt to the ongoing changes in circumstances.

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