While it initially took time to adapt, most professionals are now somewhat comfortable with the new normal. Over time, people slowly accepted the limitations that states put in place, and the various mandates designed to keep people safe.
However, while many had hoped for a reasonably quick recovery, that isn’t likely. Additionally, many are still concerned about their health, and the health of their loved ones. As a result, the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t completely subsided.
Ideally, employers need to find opportunities to help their workforces manage their stress. Otherwise, as it builds and wears on, an increasing number of professionals will experience ill-effects. If you want to ensure your employees are well-equipped to deal with the ongoing stress, here are some tips that can help.
Understand the Potential Invisible Stressors
Many people are subject to a variety of invisible stressors related to the pandemic. During the earlier days of COVID-19, much of the anxiety circled around being forced into a different way of life. Stay-at-home orders made isolation mandatory. Buying critical items became challenging, if not impossible.
While reopening efforts mean much of those stressors are fading, people are now facing a new source of stress. Instead of being told what to do or battling against the same shortages everyone was seeing, the power has shifted.
People must decide for themselves whether going to a store is safe. They may have to figure out if sending their kids to a physical classroom is the right choice if schools are opening in their area, or if they should head into a workplace or keep telecommuting.
Making many of these decisions isn’t easy. The situation is still fluid, so it may seem as if there are no clear right or wrong answers. Employers need to understand that many employees are feeling taxed by the weight of these choices, and need to keep this in mind when they are making business decisions.
Helping Employees Deal with the Stressors
Companies need to take an active role in helping employees manage the stress of COVID-19. By doing so, they can be part of the solution, ensuring the well-being of their workforce is protected.
Ideally, leaders should openly discuss their experience with these pressures and encourage their workforce to do the same. At a minimum, knowing you aren’t alone can be a relief for everyone. Plus, it creates opportunities for people to find solutions together, and that may help.
Additionally, employers should properly make workplace-related decisions. Prioritizing the health and well-being of your employees needs to be a priority above all else. It needs to be a core factor in all decision-making, including reopening a workplace, holding in-person training, or investing in certain telecommuting technologies.
It’s also wise to start building social opportunities into operations. Weekly one-on-one check-in video calls could be a powerful tool, allowing managers to gauge their employee’s well-being and maintain a strong connection with their team. Monthly team-building happy hours could promote social bonding and serve as a kind of stress relief.
By making decisions with the right mindset and encouraging communication, you can make it easier for employees to navigate these stressful times. Ultimately, employers can play an important role in worker well-being, so make sure your company steps up.
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