HOW EMPLOYERS CAN SUPPORT SELF-CARE
Nov 25, 2020
As this crazy year comes to an end, stress unfortunately does not seem to be going anywhere. COVID cases are again surging, and on top of that are the usual holiday planning stresses, shorter days accentuating seasonal depression, and the cold weather keeping us inside even more.
What can you do as a company/employer/manager to support your team members to stay healthy and positive during these trying times? Here are some tips.
You can’t expect (and should discourage) employees from being constantly “on call.” Your workers need to have a work-life balance. With cell phones and remote work technology, it is easy for employees to think that they must always respond to emails and calls, even at night or on the weekends; or work overtime to finish up that project today because they can access their company’s network in their living room. However, this will ultimately lead to increased stress, physical illness, reduced productivity and burnout. Managers and owners need to model healthy boundaries and encourage employees to separate work-time from home-time (even if that can’t always be the case).
ENCOURAGE EMPLOYEES TO TAKE VACATIONS
It may seem counterintuitive to encourage employees to take time off when many companies have had to decrease their workforce, and work often ramps up as the year comes to an end. However, employees need some sustained time away from work to de-stress and sustain mental and physical health. By actively encouraging employees to take their allotted time off, you will end up with happier, more productive workers in the long run (and you won’t be scrambling to cover for them last minute when they call in sick!).
Whether your workers are in the office, the factory, on-the-road, or working at home, comfort is key. They need good lighting, furniture that supports good posture and a quiet and safe environment to concentrate. Especially as workers are shifted to remote work, be supportive of their home offices. They should have proper chairs and desks to work on (not bar stools at the kitchen table for 8 hours), reliable equipment and access to the same files/networks that they have when in the office.
Offer Employees Stress and Time Management Courses
There are many great classes on and off-line promoting better time management and ways to reduce stress. Consider hosting a monthly “lunch and learn” (either in-person or virtually) with a different topic each month. In addition to providing a great learning opportunity, it will help with co-worker bonding and morale.
Employee recognition is a proven way to increase engagement and productivity. Unfortunately it is also one of the areas most lacking in companies today. Don’t let the day-to-day projects, meetings and other activities get in the way of formally recognizing your employees on a regular basis. We all crave recognition and those formal “pats on the back” will ultimately result in a host of benefits to company.
These are just some of the many ways companies can help their employees to be happier, healthier and more productive employees. By helping your employees, your company will be the one to ultimately reap the benefits.
Community Health Network, Anxiety and Self-Care During COVID-19
Lauby, Sharlyn, Employee Self-Care: 10 Ways Organizations Can Be Supportive
Scalco, Dan, 5 Employee Self-Care Practices You Should Support