Prioritizing mental health and wellness
With employees experiencing increased levels of anxiety and stress, business leaders and managers have an opportunity to prioritize mental health by simply having open dialogues with their employees, then acting on what they hear. By making the topic of mental health more accessible, it becomes significantly easier to discuss things like social isolation and self-care – and ultimately, change the way we approach and discuss mental health issues in general.
For starters, companies can adjust their policies to build positive, stress-reducing behaviors into their culture. For instance, Blue Shield of California has put a company-wide policy into place that prevents meetings from being scheduled between 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM. That way, parents have time during the day to spend with their children, employees don’t feel pressed to run errands before or after work, and so on. It’s a tiny adjustment, but one that’s ended up making a big difference to the people who needed that time back in their day.
One of the most significant reasons to implement these kinds of stress-reducing changes is that while the effort required is often minimal, the end results are often anything but. Talking to employees about relaxation techniques, scheduling virtual lunch dates with friends, and setting aside 10-minute blocks of time throughout the day to stand outside are good examples of this.