Mental Health at Workplace – It’s Time for a Conversation
By NAMRATA KAUR
The world is as of now amidst a remarkable lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19. It is coming to be viewed as the most cataclysmic worldwide occasion since World War II. It is normal that the impacts of this pandemic, monetary just as social, will be felt long after it has authoritatively finished, and the world will not be the equivalent once more.
The National Mental Health Survey (NMHS 2016) featured that almost 150 million Indians need mental, social insurance administrations.
The social and financial gaps uncovered by the pandemic will bring about joblessness, drained social wellbeing nets, starvation, in addition to other things.
What does this pandemic mean for working experts?
We are totally restricted to our homes. But not all of us are in the same situation. A few of us have the advantage of living with our families, where we can divide household responsibilities among ourselves. A few of us have ill and older relatives to take care of and guarantee that they do not contract Covid-19, aside from bearing the significant obligation of household chores. A few of us are living without anyone else and are encountering total and complete isolation without precedent for our lives.
The genuine trial of an organization lies in the way it can bolster its employees during an emergency. Presently, like never before, the businesses must assure that work isn’t an extra reason for worry about their representatives. As most associations have requested that their representatives keep ’working from home’, the time has come to stop and think about the significant role the businesses can play in the lives of their workers at this vital hour.
As people, we can deal with change, however, we do not do well with vulnerability.
I have distinguished four stages each leader and manager can take to make an immediate impact:
1. Open the Door
I suspect that a desire to respect privacy is inhibiting the manager-employee conversations, but unprecedented times call from unprecedented measures. So, make the way for a discussion by inquiring whether individuals are alright, and afterward let them stroll through that entryway in the manner they are generally happy with, accepting the fact that most of the employees may not open up in the first go itself. That is alright, as well. The intention should be to let them know that, as a firm, you care for them, and that you do not aim at digging out their personal matters.
As a leader, you must ensure confidentiality and avoid reporting their personal matters to any higher authority or even the HR of your firm. Else you may lose their trust and the intention could be hampered too.
Employees may hesitate to share their problems directly with the employers because of the fear of being judged or misunderstood.
A more reliable way to take this forward could be to employ professional counselors who can help bridge the gap. The corporate world has made a gradual shift in the way they look at the mental health of their employees. A lot of emphasis is laid on looking after their mental and emotional well-being.
As a leader you may not necessarily have to listen to the concerns of all; it can be exhausting for you as well. Rather, getting skilled people to take care of the overall mental health of all can result in positive outcomes. It has been observed that employees show faith in trained counselors and are able to seek help.
Of course, you will be curious to know it all. In that case, you could request the counselor to give you feedback and share if something needs immediate attention. But do ensure you do not play with the confidentiality clause.
2. Show Supportive Listening:
For workers who do decide to discuss their emotional well-being, administrators need to rehearse strong tuning in. Try not to attempt to understand everything at the same time. Rather, simply tune in, try to really comprehend, and make sure that individuals feel heard. Furthermore, do not be reluctant to open up yourself. The response can be an amazing asset to construct trust. Offer how you are taking care of the new typical. Be helpless.
Studies have shown, approximately half of the people at each position level of an organization have seen a decline in the psychological wellness of all during the lockdown. That implies that whether you are the CEO, an administrator, or a forefront worker, you are similarly prone to be suffering. The sooner individuals acknowledge they are not the only ones in this, the better we will be at supporting one another.
It is a good idea for each team member to feel that maybe, “My difficulties are unique, yet we as a whole have them”. For us all, this has been one of the strangest and most enthusiastic occasions of our lives. We as a whole need to figure out how to show supportive listening and be properly open to one another, perceiving that while the entirety of our circumstances is unique, they are altogether troublesome in their own particular manner.
3. Be Consistent
Discussing emotional well-being is anything but a one and done expressing oneself. One approach to assist individuals with managing vulnerability is by giving consistency, particularly in how and when you convey.
Regarding talking about emotional wellness explicitly, individuals state that by a wide margin the best type of organization correspondence is a call straightforwardly from one’s supervisor. Employees who say their manager is not good at communicating are more likely to experience mental health downfall. Regular, consistent communication from managers is the most essential to ensuring people feel supported and cared for!
4. Convey Available Resources:
Ultimately, ensure you are clear about the emotional wellness resources accessible to everybody at your organization. A lot of employees are unaware of the emotional and psychological help available to them while they are a part of any firm.
Certainly, a few people need to use those assets, however, a lot more individuals simply need to realize that the resources are there. That is the reason simply realizing that resources are accessible goes far to ease nervousness and stress. Individuals who know their organization has proactively shared how to get to psychological well-being resources are more likely to show faith and confidence in their company. They understand the fact that for you, your employees are as important as the work you expect out of them. The feeling of being valued and respected is priceless.
It is okay if you must give more frequent breaks since everyone is working from home now. Let us not forget, working while staying at home has its own pros and cons. It is essential to acknowledge that all families have a different setup. While there is a lot of commuting time saved, there is extra use of energy back at home. There are employees who are parents, single parents, have older parents to look at, have kids on their head asking for constant attention, and most importantly is the house chores that demand time and energy too. It is not normal to suddenly balance it all together. Sometimes it is good to reduce the workload for your employees to get better, reliable results.
We are attempting to comprehend the enormity of this crisis facing us. We should move toward it with sympathy, genuineness, and transparency. We will rise out of this as better pioneers, better individuals, and better organizations.
This a genuine opportunity for businesses to show the amount they value the well-being of their workers and to show that they are really people to them and not nonessential robots. We will have a lot of things to reflect on when we rise out of this fiasco. Let us trust employer-employee connections are not one of them.
Namrata holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology. She is passionate about working with kids and specializes in dealing with children under the autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities and behavioral Issues.