How Employers Can Help with Mental Health During COVID-19

June 15, 2020 - minute read

It should come as no surprise that a majority of employees are now facing some kind of mental health issue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to physical health concerns, many are struggling with uncertain work situations, intense financial strains, complications with childcare, and more. Unfortunately, wellbeing and mental health initiatives have gone largely unacknowledged as employers are focused on re-opening their operations and formulating effective crisis plans.

With so many new stressors to adjust to, employers must take a leading role in helping employees acclimate to this new reality. Here are some tips for managing the wellbeing of your employees and supporting their mental health as your business continues to adapt!  

Make Mental Health Part of Your Company Culture

The most important action you can take to support employees’ mental health is to create a company culture acknowledging and de-stigmatizing this topic. Traditionally, mental health has been a taboo subject in the workplace, requiring employees to leave personal struggles at home. In light of  the widespread fear and stress occurring with COVID-19, this mentality can be extremely damaging to your employees’ wellbeing.

In order to make sure these experiences do not deteriorate your employees’ mental health and functionality at work, make sure to vocalize about your company’s avenues for relief and encourage transparency to prevent further stress.

Take the Time to Train Managers

Given the unprecedented changes at hand, you’re likely already re-training your managers on new operating procedures and social distancing requirements at worksites. But does your training include addressing and evaluating the wellbeing of their workers? If not, they may feel ill-prepared to handle a struggling or distressed employee.  

Make sure your managers know exactly how to conduct appropriate one-on-one conferences, as well as how to evaluate the best course of action if an employee needs additional help. Stress the importance of empathy while assisting with each employee’s unique circumstances as well.  

Provide New Mental Health Benefits or Programs

In order to address the full spectrum of wellbeing affecting your employees, it’s important to review the gaps in your benefits coverage and HR initiatives. According to the latest data from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), only 13% of companies are currently providing on-site stress-management programs.

Managers and administrative teams often have a limited capacity for handling employees’ personal struggles, so offering additional benefits and or EAPs (Emotional Assistance Programs) with licensed counselors could be a step in the right direction. You may also want to consider coaching sessions where employees can reach out to a professional to discuss anything that may be causing them stress.

Take Advantage of Apps and Virtual Care

There’s an app for everything nowadays, so utilizing third-party mental health applications is another affordable and accessible solution for helping your employees. These online and mobile apps focus on different areas of wellbeing and can help with successful mindfulness practices, meditation, panic reduction, sleep, and mental resiliency.

This is a great solution for workers who may want to deal with their mental health more privately. Apps allow your workforce to work through their stress and anxieties on their own time as you adjust your company culture and implement other initiatives.

EPAY Systems

EPAY’s Human Capital Management system has a variety of features for assisting with the mental health management associated with COVID-19. Consider our benefits administration solution (including an employee portal for easy benefits reference), our HR consulting services for managing more complicated situations, or our Learning Management System for uploading custom training videos on how to recognize signs of mental stress in employees…  and that’s only the beginning!

When it comes to managing the hourly workforce, EPAY has your back. Check out a quick overview of our entire system and schedule a demo today!

Filed Under: Human Capital Management Employee Benefits Performance Management