As more schools reopen this week and parents return to work – the good ol’ stiff upper lip will be in full deployment.
This is all well and good to keep the nation focused on the task at hand – but it works for the short term only.
Parents will be carrying genuine concerns and fears about their children’s health who, after months in their sole care have now entered into a school environment that is out of their control. Reliant on others to keep their babies safe from the danger that is still around us.
The impact of this pandemic on mental health is only just beginning to register. We know the fall out is going to be huge and this will be impactful on your employees and their families.
My number one piece of advice to organisations is to make sure there is time and space for the discussions to happen in the workplace.
Because the welfare of your employees’ children is THE most important thing to them and shutting conversations down puts you in opposition to the most important thing to them.
Why not support employee wellbeing and put an email out that encourages discussion where it is possible but to remind your employees not to ‘doomsday’ one another.
We are all under tremendous pressure – so whilst things settle in over the nest few days – give them the space to express their fears and to get the support and reassurance from their colleagues should they want or need it.
Peer support from colleagues right now is vital. Nothing good will come from bottling up that level of anxiety – so if you think preventing your employees talking means they are going to work harder – that’s a false economy. Let them get their feelings out and make it very clear that you are encouraging them to do so.
In creating this peer-to-peer supportive atmosphere in the workplace you will contribute towards and ultimately benefit from the positive workplace feeling that ensues.