What are the effects on our mental health and wellbeing during lockdown and beyond?
The World Health Organisation has done some recent research. It states that due to the pandemic there will be an increase in Mental Health and wellbeing issues amongst workers.
The research has highlighted some of the key concerns that leaders, managers and workforces face are:
- Job security
- Digitalisation – tethered to the workplace 24/7
- Work and domestic boundaries are now blurred
- Lack of social interaction with colleagues
- Remote working – are managers skilled to deal with the dynamics
- Saturation – too much video conferencing
- Working time frames blurred – due to increase in globalisation and 24/7 connectivity and expectations
- Greater expectation on Leaders/Managers to deal with challenges within the team/operations than face to face teams
In addition, many organisations are reporting concerns around the impact of the pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of their employees.
Furthermore, following lockdown organisations are likely to see a rise in requests for flexible working. This will benefit both employer and employee in terms of costs and stress, if they are able to work from home either full-time or at least a few days a week. Hence, this will put pressure on leaders and managers to effectively manage their staff remotely. As a result, a need to upskill managers will be paramount.
The CIPD states that organisations need to address the gap in training Line Managers to deal with employees issues. Most noteworthy, they will need to effectively identify and address potential mental health and wellbeing issues. Most large organisations are able to engage Occupational Health professionals to help where a health issue has been identified.
Consequently, organisations will need to invest time in training and developing managers to deal with such sensitive issues. Empathy, compassion, listening and questioning are key skills required to do this effectively. This does not mean a one off training course or workshop. It means a long term investment to support managers and/or employees.
As an ex HR and Training Manager I understand the importance and necessity to support Line Managers. You can do this by:
- Ensuring they are fully equipped with the skills to manage and support staff
- Holding informal reviews and/or catch up sessions with managers to ensure they are coping and being effective
- Following up on any issues highlighted as a concern for the manager
The CIPD confirmed that only 5% of organisations have trained their managers to support staff with Mental Health issues. Only 3% say managers are confident to carry out sensitive discussions.
How we can help
Over the last 18 years Aspiring Future Competence have helped organisations and their leaders/managers to effectively manage people and deal with sensitive issues in terms of:
- Effective Leadership & Management
- Performance Management
- Disciplinary and grievance – dealing with performance capability and health issues
- Dealing with stress
- Recruitment and selection avoiding discrimination
If you would like to learn more about what AFC are able to offer regarding training and coaching solutions – go to our website https://afcconsultants.co.uk/
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