There is a huge communication barrier between employers and employees when it comes to openly discuss their mental health. Ever since the global pandemic, there has been a 25% increase in depression, affecting more than 21 million American adults.
A vast gap makes the employee feel exposed and not empowered enough to speak about it. Here’s how to manage mental health and get work done.
Goals Should Be Concise and Well-Defined
You must align short, achievable goals to make things easier for yourself when you’re having a tough week with depression. It will ensure that you meet the expectations of your employer.
You tend to lose focus when you’re depressed, which is why this will help you out. Creating a list of your priorities will help make the task easier.
As employers, it is essential to understand that depression can eat at your thoughts, and even the slightest workload can feel overpowering or too complex. You need to encourage and motivate the employees to fulfill their deadlines.
Shift Your Focus on Performance and Productivity
Most people suffering from depression struggle to get out of bed in the mornings. With shaky mental health, an individual’s energy, productivity, and sleep levels keep changing.
Their work hours will vary and not be the typical nine to five with some seek job opportunities offering flexible working hours to work when they feel best. It will help them become more productive and take time for themselves.
It is best to focus on the work that the employee does on a daily basis rather than focusing on the working hours. However, there should be a mutual understanding of the deadlines and submission dates. On the other hand, employees should focus on their communication skills with their employers.
Make Use of Employee Assistance Resources (EAP)
One of the most effective ways of closing the gap between an employee and the manager is by offering easy access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). These are a wide range of services offered to almost all companies that help give employee access and helps maintain a better work/life balance.
However, only a percentage of companies and employees take full advantage of it. As a manager, it is crucial to tell employees about such programs since, most of the time, they don’t know these exist.
As employers, you must try and normalize this and keep a session on it so that it is considered okay for employees to use such programs and not feel stressed or embarrassed. We must try to help them overcome this in the best way possible.
The best way to resolve this communication gap is to normalize by having weekly meetings and five to ten-minute discussions about how the employees are doing. The employees should be made to use the EAP resources and ask for help when needed. Working together is the only way to manage mental health and get work done.