Energy Super - A Contribution to Mental Health
Right now, there’s one contribution every business owner should make. A contribution to mental health.
It goes without saying, these are challenging times. Whether you’re in the energy sector or not, the impacts of COVID-19 in the workplace are being felt in more ways than one.
Your employees may be adapting to working remotely or following social distancing measures in the field. But there’s another invisible force to consider amongst all of this. The impact it will have on people’s mental health.
No matter how tough they are, this situation will affect your team’s morale and overall performance. And don’t forget, you’re human too and are not invulnerable. So in order for you to guide your staff through these challenging times you need to make sure you’re investing in your own wellbeing as well.
So how can your make a contribution to your mental well-being as well as your staff’s? The truth is it’s the simple stuff that really counts.
Be seen and heard
Leaders lead from the front. Now more than ever it pays to be social and present for your staff, even from a distance. Get on Zoom. Get on Facetime. Get on email and interact with employees. Hold one-on-one check-ins. Book in remote social catch ups on Fridays. The interaction will benefit you as much as them.
There are a lot of unknowns right now. Your employees are no doubt looking to you for answers about the future that you just don’t have. And that’s fine. No one has them right now. But during this period, you can still reassure your staff through your tone and actions. Tell your staff what you know. Tell them what steps you have taken or are taking. Level with them and they’ll appreciate it.
It doesn’t hurt to show a little bit of your humanity to staff. Working remotely isn’t a smooth ride. So if your kids pop up on the screen in the background of Zoom, or your partner interrupts a Facetime meeting to check if you put the washing on, it’s ok. Employees like to know you’re one of them.
Be clear but open to change
With remote working, it’s important to set clear benchmarks and goals to motivate staff productivity. But just as important, is being flexible. Working from home can be a real logistical challenge. Tensions arise when people’s work meets their personal life. So a little understanding can go a long way.
People get most anxious when they feel they have no control. So right now, try to empower your staff as much as possible. Encourage them to share new ways of working. Ask for their input into decisions. Right now, they might feel that some tasks can’t be completed. But it’s important to promote a ‘can-do attitude’. Encourage them to come up with ‘work-arounds’ and think about at challenges ahead that might affect their work. If your people are focussed on the future and they will start to see positivity in it.
Be kind to you
Never forget you are human. There’s a lot of pressure being in your position. And right now it’s multiplied. Your mental wellbeing through all this is just as important as your employees. So take some time to notice your feelings and mood. Don’t ignore them or push them away.
You can exercise to relieve stress. Go for a run or a walk. Stretch to relieve tension in your body. And always make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
But also make sure you have someone to speak to, too. A mate or family member who you can talk to about the challenges you are facing at work and how you’re coping. There’s also a range of mental health resources out there that you or your staff can use. The Queensland Government’s Headspace app is a great tool with a range of practical exercises and information to help.
And remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s no shame in calling Lifeline on 13 11 14 or MATES on 1300 642 111