Do you know of any employee who is displaying signs of distress or experiencing a breakdown? International studies have suggested that work stressors were among factors associated with poor mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to new work-related practices, which have left some feeling stressed and anxious as they struggle to cope with the change. Employers should show more empathy towards employees, and recognise that their role in helping their employees is crucial as this will affect their productivity and mental well-being.


Below are some tips on how you as an employer can support your employees’ mental well-being:

 

What happened? As the employer, how can you help? 

Scenario 1

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Wong’s company continued to operate as its services were deemed essential. However, Mr Wong felt stressed by the change in his work processes due to the Safe Management Measures.

In addition, he experienced a sense of isolation from his colleagues as lunch breaks were staggered and some were working from home. He also made some careless mistakes, resulting in some damage to the machines, which was spotted by his supervisor. He felt inadequate at work and he eventually voiced his concerns to his supervisor.

 

Mr Wong’s supervisor realised that his situation could have happened to any other employee.

He decided to:
1) Create an open culture where employees feel safe voicing their concerns (e.g. through regular feedback sessions with management or direct supervisor, or anonymous feedback to HR).
2) Provide third-party counselling services and support to affected employees (e.g. Employee Assistance Programme).

Scenario 2

Mdm Tan is an admin officer working in town. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, her company asked everyone to work from home. Her school-going children were also told to switch to Home-Based Learning.

It was not easy for Mdm Tan, having to juggle multiple roles such as helping her children navigate online learning, coping with collaborative working via virtual meetings, and preparing meals. Not long after, Mdm Tan started to exhibit signs of stress. The multiple roles, coupled with expectations to work after office hours, were affecting her work-life balance and she became depressed. During a meeting with her colleagues, she started to cry.

 

When Mdm Tan’s employer saw her mental state, he realised that he should have provided more support to her and his other employees while they are working from work and during their gradual transition back to office.

He decided to:
1) Regularly check in with his employees and follow up on their areas of concerns.
2) Conduct a survey to better understand his employees’ mental well-being and stress using the iWorkHealth Tool.
3) Tap into the initiatives under the Total WSH Programme where applicable.

short url link | May 24, 2021 Release Date - Ietp