02 August 2021

Maintaining Your Team’s Mental Well-Being during COVID-19 Surges

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Across all industries, the pandemic globally affects workers’ financial, physical, and psychological conditions. HBR and Mind Share in a global survey found that 42% of their respondents have been experiencing a decline of mental well-being since the pandemic started. MHA and Faas Foundation also reported that 83% of employees felt emotionally drained during work. Another research by Ginger also showed that moderate to extreme stress affects 88% of workers during the pandemic.


How the current world unfolds can significantly affect employee mental health, and the role of business leaders, managers, and supervisors to care for their employee has never been more important. Unfortunately, a research reported that 59% of employees do not receive sufficient amount of support from their leaders to manage their stress during the ongoing pandemic. As employee mental health should be a priority at the moment, how can a leader support his or her team while supporting their well-being?


  1. Gather and Assess Data on Employee Well-Being

Mapping the present condition of your team’s mental health is a good way to start. You might want to start an informal meeting or create an online form that allows your team members to safely and comfortably share their concerns about the present condition. After identifying the issues, think about ways in which team members can help each other. Consult an expert if necessary. Identifying what your employees’ mental needs can be an effective first step of getting everyone back up on their feet.


  1. Acknowledge the Struggles: Financial Issues, Isolation, Loss

Among the most common pandemic-related struggles, employees may face financial issues, isolation, and loss. In a research, it was found that 58% pandemic-affected employees are worried about not having enough to pay for their living cost or emergency situations. Others may feel isolated because of not being able to meet their loved ones face-to-face. During surges of cases, some may lose their families and friends. Everyone is having a tough time, and the least that a leader can do is to acknowledge them.


  1. Prioritize, but Keep Things Flexible

If the majority of your team is withstanding a lot of pressure and stress, there might be turbulence in performance, which may affect task completion. In such situation, a leader can wisely prioritize tasks and manage how the tasks are assigned. Postponing less urgent tasks can mean a lot for some of your team members. Some others might experience Zoom fatigue due to non-stop conference, meetings, and calls. Giving a scheduled pass for not attending meetings may help your team focus on things they need to deal with.

 

  1. Communicate with Transparency, Honesty, and Empathy

Qualtrics and SAP’s study found that employees whose managers do not communicate well are 23% more likely to experience a decline in their mental well-being. If communication has been an obstacle for your teamwork, it is time to improve it. Pay attention to how you communicate with your employees and how they communicate with each other. Make sure that everyone knows whenever an update comes up. Start giving more constructive feedback and compliments. Show some understanding whenever someone makes a mistake.


  1. Last but not Least… Stay Sane

In moments of when everyone on your team is feeling down, you need to stay healthy. Make sure you pay attention to your own mental health condition. You cannot serve from an empty vessel. Start taking care of yourself. Give yourself some treat and a pat in the back. Forgive yourself for silly mistakes you’ve done. By keeping your psychological state healthy, you don’t just talk about promoting good mental health, but you can inspire others on your team and probably brighten someone’s day, making it easier for them to go on.

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