Are you a small business owner wondering how you can help your staff overcome mental challenges due to COVID-19? Or is your business on a tough financial spot but you still want to help your staff?
Companies around the world have heightened their efforts of supporting their employees’ mental health. They are gradually and expertly lacing together tricks that propagate mental wellness in different ways. Some companies are offering full or partial sponsoring of meditation and fitness apps, shipping care packages to homes or hiring an in-house mental health therapist. Others are offering bonuses and recommending working four days a week. Whether such or more efforts are done individually or collectively, or in exchange for a small percentage of the salary or freely, there is no doubt that they have a massive impact on productivity.
While they are intended to promote health and wellbeing, they can easily make employers in small companies or those that have been severely affected feel that they aren’t doing enough for their teams. After all, our human nature that calls us to lend a hand isn’t left behind whenever we switch into work-mode. And with the media pleading with employers to invest in their employees’ mental health, the feeling of not doing enough may sink even deeper.
So, how can you best get involved in your team’s mental wellbeing while trying to keep the business afloat? Or how can you cater for your team’s mental health without investing too much
1. Recognize the different financial capabilities
Mental health and productivity are intricately connected. You need finances to support mental health programs of your team but you also need them to be mentally fit to exceed goals and bring in the money. One thing to note however is it isn’t right to entirely base your company’s worthiness on what it is giving back. Also, even though employees are the biggest assets in a company, it is unwise to use every penny to outdo the bigwigs in the industry. You may not be able to keep up. Recognize the different financial capabilities and influence between companies and do what is affordable for the company.
2. Look for low-budget and effective activities that support mental health
Mental health is quite diverse. Even when dealing with the pandemic ongoing, you are spoilt for choice. It can be promoted by some things as simple as some minutes of laughter or as complex as therapy. There are plenty of ways that you can still promote your team’s mental health without straining financially. To make a sure bet:
- Ask employees about mental health needs
Employees face different challenges while working from home. Some are stuck with abusive members, juggling between kids and work, trying to get comfortable in noisy neighbourhoods, or struggling to switch from home to work. As an employer, you may be tempted to assume that you really understand what they are experiencing and what they need to overcome the stress and anxiety. But far from it, the needs vary and so does the resolution. Instead of the trial and error approach, talk to your team to know about their needs, which if catered, can improve their mental wellbeing. Involving your people carries a lot of healing power already. This will increase the success rates of any intervention method selected.
- Educate on how to handle different challenges
When running short of cash, it is wise to use the resources available such as the knowledge gained over time. As a leader, you can set aside a few minutes where team members discuss the different ways of overcoming challenges in different areas of their lives. Sharing such knowledge helps people to effectively deal with challenges, strengthen the bond, and fully concentrate on work.
- Hold debates about mental health
There is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health both inside and outside the workplace. Also, with most workplaces being all work and no play, employees may withhold their struggles only for this to manifest in their performance. Holding debates about mental health in a space that is free from harassment or judgment can motivate affected individuals to seek help early. Sometimes all people need to feel better is someone who can listen to their deepest fears and struggles or assurance that certain challenges are universal and temporary. It is during such discussions that you can suggest taking breaks, having a morning routine, and seeking help whenever necessary. What you will see later is better interaction, freeness communication, and concentration in work.
- Tap into the additional skills of employees
In most cases, you may not know areas that your team members are gifted in besides work. This is why it is a good idea to call all members to help in the fight against mental health challenges. Call for their participation in ensuring everyone is safe and sound and that wellness prevails. This is also a wonderful way of connecting on a personal level and developing a sense of belonging. You may be surprised by the usefulness of some skills some of which would cost thousands if outsourced.
- Encourage creativity on recreation of coping mechanisms
News of how different companies are helping their staff to deal with mental challenges will always flood online. This can leave employees feeling undervalued if the same isn’t extended to them. As a leader, you are not exempted from feelings that you may not be doing much for your team. You may also find yourself at a tough spot of wanting to give the team the best and investing elsewhere. Encouraging creativity on how to recreate different care tactics implemented by bigger companies is an effective way of overcoming mental strain.
Every leader desires creating a workplace where team members will thrive in and others will admire. However, when money is on the line, such wishes may not be realized. However, following some of the tactics listed above can help promote wellbeing to all.