The research shows that before the Covid19 pandemic, 32 million people were affected by mental health concerns in the US. That number has increased to about 180 million during the pandemic. Thus, in this Expert insight Interview, Chuck Cooper discusses how the Covid19 pandemic impacted the employees’ mental health. Chuck Cooper is a Managing Member at Whitewater Consulting, a company specializing in HR solutions for small and mid-size businesses.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- Approaching the topic of mental health
- Utilizing vacation time
- Recognizing signs of burnout, stress, and mental health concerns
The negative stigma associated with mental health issues most commonly prevents people from opening about it. From the business and leadership standpoint, there should be a higher level of addressing this topic and providing resources to help those who need them. Many people are reluctant to ask for mental help because of the fear that will affect their position at work. The company leadership should model changing the attitude regarding employees taking time off for mental reasons. For example, many people spend too much time working, watching, and educating kids from home, which adds stress. Thus, companies should find ways to introduce more flexible company cultures. Communicating with employees, redefining working hours, and setting clear expectations on working from home is beneficial for both company and employees.
Furthermore, encouraging your employees to take a vacation and recharge their batteries is critical. Contrary to the European countries, taking time off from work in America puts a lot of pressure on employees. The study shows that in 2018, there were 700 million unused PTO days, leading to an increase in the number of people feeling anxious and depressed.
How to Recognize it
Managers and HR should maintain close personal relationships with employees to notice the change in their behavior and actions as a cause of burnout. But, managers should also get trained by experts on recognizing the signs of mental exhaustion with their employees.
Getting back to office work after much time of remote work can also cause stress. Some people do not feel comfortable anymore working from the office. Thus, the leadership’s job is to adjust employees to their optimal work environments. If the job role allows it, remote work can improve one’s quality of life by increasing time spent with family, eliminating time lost in traffic, enabling work from another country, etc. But employees have to speak up to their managers about what they need and ask for help so that the stigma starts going away.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.