Managers have played a key role in supporting employees experiencing stress and burnout during the pandemic.
In taking on this added responsibility, many may be experiencing compassion fatigue, and would benefit from extra support themselves.
Leadership teams can support managers as they prepare to support their teams through yet another transition in returning to the workplace in 4 keyways
1. Make time to chat with each manager about the challenges and highlights of their professional journey during the pandemic.
One company we have been working with set up a weekly catch up with its three managers to have a coffee with their director. The informal nature of this catch-up allowed the managers to feel more comfortable in expressing frustrations and equally having a laugh. The Director was then better able understand with more clarity about the challenges their team was facing.
2. Recognise and provide space for grief and consider potential triggers and anniversary reactions, which might include the date of the first lockdown, first person lost to the virus, date a person or a loved one went to the hospital with COVID-19, and related issues.
Managers are humans. The collective experience of this pandemic sometimes overshadows the individual experience in the workplace. We haven’t yet begun to see the impact of loss, lockdowns and uncertainty on staff so it’s important to be sensitive to each reaction and offer support as needed.
3. Be Proactive in Promoting wellness.
Many managers and people leaders are burnt out and experiencing anxiety related thoughts feelings and behaviours. Studies that explore Generalised Anxiety Disorders (GAD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) consistently find that being proactive in engaging with external supports and learning internal coping strategies result in individuals feeling more able to cope and less impacted by anxious thoughts and feelings. Help restore your managers and people leaders capacity to cope using evidence based strategies that could be transferred into the workplace include:
- Intentional acts of kindness that are random in nature (e.g., buying a manager a coffee, offering a compliment, giving them the day off)
- Meeting free days
- Free access to mindfulness training either through an app like Calm App or in-person
- Regular formalised meetings to discuss career progression and opportunities to reach professional goals
- Reinforcement of importance of prioritisation of staff physical health including sleeping and eating
- Normalise and openly talk about all staff accessing counselling through the Employee Assistance Program
4. Consider mental health training increase psychological, emotional and behavioural capacity across the organisation. Lineage Groups Workplace Mental Health Capacity Building for Managers training which supports managers and people leaders to confidently work with their teams during this time.
- Engage with staff in a confident and calm approach to notice potential signs of mental health concerns
- Collaborate with staff about how their concerns are having an impact and to seek out appropriate services and supports
- Transform the workplace into an inclusive space where all can thrive
To find out more about our Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing Capacity Building for Managers and People Leaders Training click here