According to a recent survey, managing people’s fears and anxiety, as well as supporting their mental health during the Covid-19 outbreak is the most common challenge for employers.
The data comes from a CIPD and People Management survey that questioned 301 HR professionals to identify the key challenges employers are facing during this unprecedented time, and the specific challenges with mass home working.
More employers (67%) said that supporting people’s mental health was a key challenge than deciding on the best way to respond to the crisis as a business (49%), despite the uncertainty many employers now find themselves in.
The survey also found that the most common challenge identified by employers with staff working remotely is ensuring they are staying well both physically and mentally (70%).
This shows that employers recognise it’s an exceptionally worrying time for many of their staff, who will have a range of concerns. This could include fear about themselves or their loved ones contracting the virus, losing their job or having to reduce their hours, and feeling isolated because of the lockdown measures.
The CIPD is encouraging employers to have constant communication with their workforce and take early action to offer support such as counselling and ensure managers are trained and confident to support employees’ continued well-being, both those in the workplace and those working from home.
Rachel Suff, well-being adviser at the CIPD, commented, “On one hand, these findings are welcome as it shows that the vast majority of employers do care about their staff and recognise they have a responsibility to look out for them. On the other, it does bring home the heavy toll that this crisis is putting people under, and some employers and line managers may well be feeling out of their depth in how to best support them.
“There are simple steps employers can take at this time to support their staff’s mental well-being, such as reminding managers about the importance of communicating regularly with their teams, asking how they’re doing, and signposting to advice on good self-care like a healthy diet, sleep and relaxation habits.”
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