Companies can invest in emotional counseling for their teams by investing in team building and group counseling sessions.
Par Neeti Sharma et Dr Aarti Jagannathan
Covid-19 has helped highlight the underlying challenges related to mental well-being in the Indian business sector. As businesses work tirelessly to align their efforts to identify and address the stressors that directly or indirectly affect them, there is still a huge gap to close. Covid-19 has caused stress, worry and fear due to changes in our daily lives, restricted movement and being continuously locked inside. The inability to travel, meet family, friends and colleagues while managing work and home has had a huge impact on the mental well-being of employees. It is important that each of us take care of our mental and physical health. In such times, managing anxiety is one of the main goals of employers. It’s an opportunity to collaborate and spark initiatives that can help employees at all levels. Training and development teams can create programs to address these concerns and help employees be more efficient and productive.
When was the last time you did something for the first time? Invest in a hobby? Learn a new skill? Bringing a sense of purpose and fulfillment, developing goal-oriented work and engagement techniques, providing meaningful employment to the vulnerable population, acquiring a new skill, developing a support system are some of the ways to fight against mental stress.
Given the broad spectrum of mental health and illness, it might be more effective to focus on specific conditions related to stress and burnout, such as depression and anxiety. Resilience training should also accompany this mental health training and should focus on empowering employees with the skills to recognize when they are experiencing stress and burnout and then work to reduce them. It is quite obvious that workplaces also play an important role in defining the mental well-being of an individual. Factors such as salary expectations, work-life balance, managerial leadership style, and anxiety about career development are one of the main factors that add to mental stressors. In late March and early April, a nonprofit HBR organization, Mind Share Partners, conducted a global employee survey in partnership with Qualtrics and SAP. He said the mental health of nearly 42% of respondents had declined since the start of the epidemic. One of the positive aspects of the pandemic is that it normalizes mental health issues. Almost everyone has experienced some level of discomfort. But the universality of experience will only translate into less stigma if people, especially those in power, share their experiences. It’s more important than ever to intentionally check in with each of your direct reports. It was important but often underused before the pandemic. Now, with so many people working from home, it can be even more difficult to notice the signs that someone is having trouble. In our study with Qualtrics and SAP, nearly 40% of employees worldwide said no one in their company asked them if they were doing well – and these respondents were 38% more likely than others to say their health mental health had deteriorated since the epidemic. Inclusive flexibility is about setting proactive standards that help people design and maintain the boundaries they need. It is necessary not to make assumptions about what employees might need; because they will probably need different things at different times. Take a personalized approach to dealing with stressors, such as childcare challenges or feeling the need to work all the time. Provide flexibility proactively. Now more than ever, companies must prioritize proactive and preventive workplace mental health training for leaders, managers and individual contributors. Managing stress and finances is crucial right now, managers and leaders need to help their teams align with these goals. Financial stability gives a sense of security and offers relief. We often forget to achieve but doing mundane jobs that do not stimulate people can cause a lot of mental discomfort, employees are not happy if they are assigned to do jobs that do not serve meaning or that are not more important. With the arrival of millennials in the workforce, it is very important for companies to take care of forming a happy and meaningful work culture.
Companies can invest in emotional counseling for their teams by investing in team building and group counseling sessions. These small organizational steps will not only empower employees, but they will reduce burnout by 70%. Employees are the greatest asset of the business and investing in them is the most crucial thing of all. It is important that leaders get behind the wheel, break down barriers and promote a culture that eliminates the stigma associated with mental health.
(The article is co-authored by Neeti Sharma, Co-Founder and President of TeamLease Edtech & Dr Aarti Jagannathan, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatric Social Work (Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience ( NIMHANS). Expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)
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