Stress. Anxiety. Depression. Fear. These are some of the many emotions that people have felt during the COVID-19 Pandemic. As workers have begun to return to the workplace, worries and fears have come with them. One of the key things that employers must do to be successful during this pandemic is to help manage employee workplace stress and anxiety. While this may seem like a difficult task, here are some steps you can take to help make your workplace a more productive and stress-free environment.
The stress of working during a pandemic is real and different for every individual. Because of this, finding a universal solution is impossible. However, you can remind your employees and supervisors to be respectful in their daily communication and interactions. Your supervision team should be trained to identify signs of stress and anxiety for themselves and their team, and in turn, help direct people towards resources to help them manage it. Most importantly, remind your employees that it normal to feel the way they do – that it is the first step to managing their emotions.
For many, it feels that they are navigating this pandemic in the dark and without a map. Therefore, businesses should do their best to maintain constant contact and communication with their employees. You should explain why certain measures are put in place and offer opportunities for employees to express any concerns or questions they may have. If your company offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), make sure employees are aware of it and the services they offer. Being transparent may be difficult, but the trust that is built on that far outweighs the negative.
One of the most important tools that you can use during this pandemic is knowledge. Inform your team about the signs of stress and anxiety so that they can recognize the symptoms before they get worse. Provide COVID prevention tips and best practice information on your company website, break areas, and other communication sources. Teach your employees about proper COVID-19 PPE usage and procedures to help dispel any misconceptions or confusion. Knowledge, especially when put into action, can greatly decrease your workforce anxiety, and increase productivity.