While we navigate getting back to work or shifting to working from home, there are a lot of changes for companies and employees. Uncertainty and change can be difficult for anyone. How can you help your employees navigate this new work environment? Making a couple of small organizational culture shifts can help improve your employees’ workday and mental health. Focusing on allowing employees to feel safe, supported and connected will help your employees’ wellbeing.
Create an organizational culture where it is okay to be sick and you do not penalize workers for being sick. Even outside of a public health crisis, if an employee isn’t feeling well, you don’t want them coming into contact with others in the office. Allow flexibility for employees to stay home if they’re sick and encourage them to seek appropriate care. If you penalize employees for not coming into work or create an environment where they don’t feel they can take a day off, you may end up with employees coming into the office who shouldn’t. There tends to be a fear of employees abusing these kinds of problems, but that is something that you can deal with if the need arises. The priority right now should be keeping your employees safe.
Remote working can create a feeling of disconnectedness, isolation, anxiety, depression and more. There are a lot of free resources that you can promote within your workplace. For example, create a library of free meditation apps or exercise programs your employees can check out. Let employees know that if they need to take a couple of minutes to disconnect and refocus that it is okay to do so and encourage leaders to model that behavior for their team. If you have any employee support programs available, communicate them to your employees regularly so they have the information on how to use those programs readily available. A recent article from Harvard Business Review reviews a study that indicates there is a looming mental health crisis we are experiencing in the wake of the uncertainty and change created by the recent pandemic. The article gives some tactics that leaders can use to help support their employees’ mental health.
Connect with your team members regularly, let leaders know that they are expected to check in with their team members at least once a week. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy or time-consuming request — even sending a simple IM to check in to see how they’re doing can help let employees know that you care and are thinking about them. If your employees have AcuMax Index profiles, use them. They are resources to understand their unique needs based on their hardwiring.
These small culture shifts can have a large impact on your workplace. More small changes will probably need to happen as we live into our new work environments, but these first steps are a good place to start. Continue to visit our blog as we provide more resources on this topic.