It’s no secret that COVID-19 has taxed us all physically and mentally. Poor mental health doesn’t just affect someone’s personal life, but also has an impact on their work life, which is why employers should be concerned about their employees’ mental health.
Mind Share Partners, a nonprofit that is focused on “changing the culture of workplace mental health so that both employees and organizations can thrive,” conducted a mental health at work survey and released the findings in its 2021 Mental Health at Work Report. The survey found that 76 percent of respondents reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition, a large jump from the 59 percent reported in 2019.
Fortunately, there are simple ways employers can provide mental health support to employees. Harvard Business Review shared several ways to support employee mental health, and here we outline four suggestions home improvement retailers can implement to boost employee mental health and show they can for their employees as a whole.
Build a company culture of support. Improving mental health among your employees starts by making mental health a priority in your workplace and then creating a company culture where each and every employee feels valued and respected. Company leaders should receive training on how to support positive mental health at work and set the tone for a supportive work environment.
Offer employees flexibility. Your employees understand that retail operations often can’t offer benefits like working from home or weekends off, that doesn’t mean you can’t offer some flexibility in scheduling. Provide plenty of breaks throughout a work day and be mindful of your employee’s lives outside of the workplace. During the pandemic, a number of retailers offered employees extra vacation days or closed their stores for additional days to give their employees time to rest.
Connect with your employees. Although your responsibilities may not allow you much time on the floor or one-on-one time with all of your sales associates, making a connection doesn’t have to take a lot of time. A simple check-in with each employee, such as asking how things are going at work or inquiring about their family, can go a long way in letting that employee know you care for them beyond work.
Offer mental health benefits. Choose health insurance plans with mental health benefits, such as coverage for therapy or health savings accounts to cover out-of-pocket costs. You could also set up an employee assistance program (EAP) to provide resources to your employees. Emphasize that your EAP can be accessed confidentially and free of charge. Click here to learn more about opportunities to find affordable, comprehensive benefits.