The dictionary definition of resilience is the ability of a person to adjust to or recover from illness or major life changes, but how can businesses support their employees through challenging times and why is it so important?
The last two years have been challenging, and although the pandemic is showing signs of slowing down and/or disappearing altogether, the devastation it has left behind has affected many people. Some may feel long-term effects from covid, while others might have problems with lockdown and feelings of isolation.
So, how do people who have been affected, not just by covid but maybe other psychological problems, bounce back to work?
Here are five top tips to improve employees’ mental resilience.
Yes. This is as simple as it sounds. A good workout regime at the gym will work wonders for, not only your physical health, but for your psychological well-being. According to PubMed.gov, exercise will minimise or recover cognitive ability, making the brain more resilient. There are some of you that may feel going to the gym can become a bit of a chore. Well, help is at hand through your employer if they have a HR benefits platform. Through this an employer can offer employees, for example, an annual gym membership, create health challenges (such as targets to reach), and organise fun activities such as indoor football leagues. The only limit is an employer’s imagination!
Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive show that there were 822,000 cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2020/21. Although the number of employees self-reporting their stress is on the rise, others do not recognise these problems and try to carry on, which can lead to more serious problems like burnout. There are a lot of things a person can do to de-stress such as hobbies like cooking or painting, for example, but these tend to be reserved for weekends. With an app, employees can have access to relaxation and meditation in the palm of their hands anytime, anywhere. Companies who encourage employees to take breaks when they are stressed, generally find that their employees feel better, are appreciated, and therefore can perform better at work because their mental resilience has been energised.
Difficult situations are extremely hard to deal with when you have a day’s, a week’s, or even a month’s work ahead of you. Work can act as a distraction to some of an employee’s psychological problems, but these problems can affect someone without warning at any time, and this takes a toll on an employee’s mental resilience. According to the Sue Ryder Charity, only 32% of employees are aware that their employer has a bereavement policy, for example. Things don’t have to be like that. Through a HR communication engine, companies can easily state how many days an employee can take off, or give access to therapy sessions through digital meetings with psychotherapists within a couple of clicks of a mouse. Suffering in silence shouldn’t be the norm.
According to the Future of Work report, work-life balance featured heavily in the top three of most countries surveyed, with 69% of employees in The Netherlands saying they felt work-life benefits were the most important to them. One of the clearest ways employers can show their support for employee work-life balance is to offer great flexibility around work hours. Some companies have allowed their employees to finish work early on Fridays, while other companies have introduced paid "wellness days" How will you support your employees' work-life balance and boost mental resilience?
At a recent Solution Forum hosted by Adobe, author and entrepreneur, Stephen Van Belleghem, said the routines that everybody had has been erased, leaving new routines to be figured out. This can tax employees returning to the office after being in lockdown for such a long time, and it can be quite daunting to remember routines from two years ago, for example. Van Belleghem went on to say that technology has to work because people have zero tolerance when it doesn’t. Thankfully, we have technology that can help create new routines or even keep old ones in place through our platform, where HR processes such as onboarding, offboarding, reboarding, and work practices can all be optimized and customized. Routines can eliminate distractions, provide focus, and help employees form healthier habits.
For more information on improving mental health in the workplace by using global benefits, check out our previous blog here.