Employee wellbeing is more important than ever. Everything about the pandemic has placed a major drain on mental health. Eeduced social interaction. Fears about your health, family’s health, finances, and job certainty.
The good news is that the vaccination programme in the UK has been so effective that we are starting to get back to some type of normality. For many this includes going back to work. No more endless Zoom calls. Or sitting at a makeshift desk!
While some people will be excited to get back into the workplace and see work colleagues, the transition of going back will not be as enjoyable for others. If you are worried about how returning to work will impact your wellbeing or you are supporting employees as a manager, here are some tips to support employee wellbeing:
Have regular chats before the return
If people are feeling overwhelmed about going back to work, having a few calls for informal chats before the return date will help to put them more at ease. You might even want to encourage some friendly group calls so that colleagues can catch up with each other before they get back into work.
Encourage going outside for lunchbreaks
Try to encourage employees to get outside for a walk when they are on their lunch break, as the fresh air and change of scenery will help to give them a mental boost and clear their head. Even taking a 20-minute walk can help and the exercise and vitamin D is also good for wellbeing.
Arrange regular check-in meetings
Schedule more regular meetings with employees to gauge whether they are feeling anxious about being back in work. You may be able to help by allowing a gradual return to the workplace. Remind your team members that everybody has been struggling over the last year and that you are here to support them. Make wellbeing a regular conversation topic and you might even want to discuss setting up a wellbeing plan alongside usual KPIs.
Refer to relevant support
If you have an employee assistance programme in place, get the details ready to share with any employees that need some extra support. They may benefit from receiving free expert counselling through the programme, or one of the other services offered.
Help to resolve other issues in their life
If there are any other issues in their life that are worrying them, trying to resolve them will help to lighten the mental load of going back to work. For example, if they have any financial concerns, they could be able to manage their money better through joining a credit union.
Unlike standard banks, credit unions are not for profit and can help employees to improve their financial situation. Employees can choose to have money deducted straight from their salary into savings and take out loans which they can pay back from their salary.
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