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Here's how leaders can keep their employees mentally healthy during the pandemic

By BROOKE VILLANUEVA Published Jan 20, 2021 7:54 pm

Have you noticed your employees feeling tired and demotivated? 

It’s called “pandemic fatigue," which has been affecting various organizations and employees since the COVID-19 outbreak has completely changed the way things are being done, according to global management consulting firm McKinsey.

“European nations are reporting increasing levels of pandemic fatigue in their populations,” the company said, "75% of employees in the United States and close to a third in the Asia-Pacific region report symptoms of burnout.” 

“The number of those who rate their mental health as ‘very poor’ is more than three times higher than before the crisis, and mental health issues are still likely to rise,” they added. 

Now more than ever, leaders in the workplace need to make sure their team is able to cope with everyday challenges in the “new normal.” It has been nearly a year since the crisis started, and while it may seem that everyone has been given enough time to cope with the stress that comes with it, Harvard Business Review (HBR) shared that “many of us are struggling more, not less.”

What can leaders do to keep their team physically and emotionally healthy?

According to the same report, discussing health holistically could be of great help. Leaders can open up about the hardships they encounter at work “because it normalizes the discussion.” HBR also said lending their ears to their employees is paramount. "But it's not enough to just listen; you need to do it well," they stressed.

Some firms in the Philippines like TeamAsia, an Integrated Marketing Experience agency, have made the move to make mental health a top priority. “Only when all of the different facets of our being are healthy, valued, and loved can we also give the best version of ourselves, at work and in life in general," said Bea Lim, its managing director.  

Beverly Aguilar, the organization’s senior human resource officer, added it’s important to check in on each employee from time to time and figure out what causes them stress and anxiety in their work environment. Hanging out virtually via Zoom with no agenda can also be beneficial to employees as it gives them a chance to get candid about their feelings and experiences. 

Open Space sessions can be created so that the entire team can simply be there for one another | Photo from TeamAsia

Last but not the least, leaders can also partner with health organizations for the overall well-being of their team. They can hold health and wellness talks, launch webinars on how they can deal with problems, and initiate special tie-ups with other psychological platforms that can provide a space for them to voice their important concerns and understand themselves better.