Be a mental health LEADER

If you are in distress, please contact your Employee Assistance Program or nearest crisis / distress centre. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.

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Mental health leadership tips for managers

The pandemic has placed unexpected demands on leaders. In addition to maintaining operational requirements, leaders are responsible for supporting their employees while adapting to new ways of working and responding to changes in their own life outside of work. Leaders are at the forefront of the employee experience and are key to supporting psychological health and safety at work. Below are six LEADER tips to help achieve that.

L – Leave room for conversations about COVID-19

Leave room for employee conversations about COVID-19 but do so in moderation.

Despite understandably being one of the most discussed topics, perceptions of the pandemic affect employees differently and could increase anxiety within the team. Focusing on actions we can control, like following local public health guidelines and maintaining physical distancing when appropriate, helps employees feel safer at work. 

E – Encourage communication

Encourage communication as much as possible.

In managing workplace changes, transparency is key. Clear and frequent messages show employees that leaders are following and adjusting to changes. Communication works both ways: encourage your employees to come forward with their questions and concerns. Realistic, thoughtful, and everyday communication can have a powerful effect on employee well-being.

A – Adapt your leadership style

Adapt your leadership style to meet employee needs.

In a hybrid workplace, each employee may have different preferences and face a unique set of challenges. Balancing the needs of your employees with work objectives shows commitment to psychological health and safety in the workplace.

D – Demonstrate exemplary behaviour

As a leader, your actions set the tone for the rest of your employees. Taking advantage of flexible work arrangements, adopting self-care strategies and conducting check-ins show leadership and encourage your employees to do the same.

E – Engage in social activities

Engage your employees in social activities.

As physical distancing remains part of the norm, leaders must ensure that social connection and employee engagement are maintained for the overall well-being and morale of employees. Plan regular social interactions that employees can participate in regardless of work location.

R – Remember, you are not alone

Change is not easy and new situations present learning opportunities for both leaders and employees. Be patient and accepting with yourself and others. Seek guidance or mental health support to help you manage.

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