Five ways employers can help employees reduce stress and anxiety

Uncategorized Jul 12, 2022

The psychological, physical, and financial costs of a worldwide pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and the return to in-person labor have resulted in a highly stressed workforce.

Whether employees publicly conveyed their concerns, they all faced mental health issues during the COVID-19 epidemic. Even people who do not have a formal diagnosis may require assistance to be fully involved and productive. Many employees are dealing with their anxieties and the emotional demands of their children or parents.

As a result of these reasons, there has been a rise in mental health awareness, prompting the growth of core benefit packages. However, there is still more to be done. Employers may establish a more robust mental and emotional health support system tailored to difficult times by keeping these five tactics in mind.

1. Offer more options

When it comes to mental health and well-being, one size does not fit all. The services that parents with teens may enjoy will be vastly different from the help that Gen Z employees require. Distinct generations have other preferences for getting help. Millennials are more inclined to email a therapist for aid, but Boomers prefer to call and chat. This implies that businesses must think about the benefits they offer and how their employees are likely to use them.

Employer-provided mental health and well-being benefits have gradually increased over the previous few years. As parents return to work or handle home obligations, childcare and eldercare are increasingly important. Although not every employee will require every benefit, it is critical to have them on hand to keep your team supported in the appropriate ways at the correct times.

2. Reassess your rhetoric

In the last decade, the way we talk about mental health has changed dramatically. A window of opportunity has opened, and HR departments now have a tremendous chance to assist us in managing the stressful conditions we are all facing. This may need altering the terminology used to discuss mental health to represent its relevance and severity. While most individuals are familiar with the signs of a heart attack, they may not be able to recognize and treat the symptoms of sadness or anxiety. Employers can only build a more productive, less stressful workplace by properly discussing and normalizing the indicators of mental health disorders and promoting these services.

3. Train the brain

Mental health solutions, which are clinical and structured to provide access to affordable, high-quality care, can only support up to 40% of employees at any given time, leaving more than 60% of employees struggling with daily challenges and stressors like burnout with no natural support system. Employers will need to provide mental health and skill-building solutions to assist employees in developing their resiliency, self-awareness, emotional regulation, internal narrative, and communication skills to close this gap.

One-hour lunch and learn events every few months are insufficient to provide staff with the stress-relieving techniques they require. It should be a high priority to give aside time for participant-driven mental fitness training. After all, the brain needs exercise and training to grow healthy and robust like the rest of the body.

4. Eliminate empathy fatigue

The amount of information we receive regarding catastrophic occurrences and potential threats has continuously increased. Because the brain has difficulty discerning between what the body is feeling and what we are simply watching, it can feel like we are constantly being attacked by conditions we have no control over. Our empathy jumps in, helping us sympathize with others’ suffering, even if we can't help them.

Empathy fatigue can be avoided by leaders assisting employees in taking action and regaining control. When empathy is combined with action, it becomes compassion, which is far more productive in the business. Employers can instill understanding in their employees by giving them a day off to volunteer or just devoting the opening few minutes of a meeting to discussing how everyone is feeling. It will feel like a weight has been lifted, and the unpleasant symptoms of empathy fatigue will begin to fade.

5. Tap into tech

Technology has opened up options for mental health care to people and places that practitioners previously couldn't reach. There are many alternatives now, from text message instruction to virtual reality cognitive behavioral therapy. Employers should make them available, but they should be mindful of the disadvantages. Technology can be hard to use, and there are still gaps in its capabilities regarding robust mental well-being solutions designed to deal with the daily stressors and problems that come with the job. However, when combined with other in-person and digital offerings, technology may be a tremendous tool for reaching out to more people.

Putting it all together

The increased discussion and understanding of mental health in the workplace has piqued people's curiosity. Employers have a critical role in reducing the stress and worry that so many people are experiencing. Employees can cope with our increasingly complicated environment by providing a more comprehensive range of benefits, reframing the dialogue around mental health, addressing mental well-being, combating empathy fatigue, and using technology. Improved retention and recruiting rates and a more focused, productive, and engaged workforce are all enticing incentives to get employees the help they require.

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