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How to Support Anxious Employees

March 12, 2021

By Mary E. Corrado, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Employees are stressed out and need support from their managers.  They are tired of the pandemic, tired of zoom calls, and for some…tired of working from home. And with vaccinations increasing and a small light at the end of the tunnel, many may be experiencing anxiety over the possibility of returning to the office.

Employers must be willing to support their employees during this time and provide them with the right resources to deal with all these stressors.  CNBC’s Make It recently shared some great tips on how managers can support their employees during this time:

  1. Check in. In a recent Qualtrics study, 38.2% of employees said their company has not asked them if they are doing okay. While employees are working remote, it’s important to check in with them on a regular basis.  Ask them how they are doing.  42% of employees stated that their mental health has declined since the COVID-19 outbreak. No level of employee is untouched:
    1. 44.0% of individual contributors report decreased mental health.
    2. 40.5% of C-level employees report decreased mental health.
    3. 40.1% of managers report decreased mental health.
  2. Connect employees with the right resources. Listen to what your employees need and then direct them to the proper resources. An EAP is often a good start. The Qualtrics study showed that nearly half of all workers (45.9%) say their company has not proactively shared what mental health resources are available.  However, those who said their company has proactively shared mental health resources are 61% more likely to feel their company is communicating to them the information they need to look out for their own wellbeing.  I encourage you to visit ASE’s wellness resources page for some great articles, webinars, and other resources available for helping employees deal with the mental health effects of the pandemic.
  3. Be vulnerable. Share how you are feeling with your employees. It will show empathy and let them know they are not alone. We have all become more vulnerable and open during this time.  If you think about it…we’ve now been in each other’s homes.  We see their home office or living room.  We see kids and dogs in the background.  That vulnerability makes us all real and has actually brought many teams closer together.

If you need help getting the conversation started with your employees, Michigan Medicine’s Wellness Office has a great resource guide available.  You can view it here.  It has some great ideas for employee check-ins.  The guide is meant to be used to kick off staff meetings, team huddles, or even individual employee check-ins.

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