*Originally published on CommercialIntegrator.com
As the pro AV industry looks to rebound from a tough 2020, take the time to address your employees’ mental health.
While many in pro AV enjoyed working from home throughout the pandemic, a likely equal amount saw a blow to their mental health as a result of the myriad issues stemming from the global health crisis.
That is according to research firm Gartner, which recently published research that found 29% of the workforce described itself as depressed as a result of the pandemic.
The survey of more than 5,000 employees also found that 49% of employees who said their employer offers programming for mental health participated in it last year.
With staff reductions, lost revenue and an uncertain business outlook, the pro AV industry likely isn’t immune. Offering mental health support for employees is not only the right thing to do, but it can also give you a leg up over your competitors and help you recruit and retain the next generation of AV professionals. Here is what Gartner suggested employers could do to help those struggling employees.
Well-being programs – even after the pandemic
In my conversations I’ve had with most integrators, they went to great lengths to keep employees on the payroll, keep them fed and take care of them. However, that should go beyond the pandemic, according to Gartner.
The firm found that 87% of businesses provided flexible work hours to employees caring for family members, and 26% gave employees paid time off for childcare and 21% for eldercare.
And, a survey of 50 HR leaders found that 64% of companies offered new well-being programs, and 34% expanded access to existing programs.
However, only 25% of organizations plan to keep those programs after the pandemic.
While simply offering well-being programs is the first step, next comes the difficult task of making sure the programs align with the demand from your employees.
According to Gartner, only 46% of employees surveyed said their employer’s programs are personalized. One reason could be because only 19% of employees said their employer offered five or more well-being programs.
In addition to offering different programs, Gartner suggested HR leaders give employees the tools and resources to deal with personal challenges on their own. That could include encouraging employees to self-assess their well-being so they can benchmark themselves and develop a plan to improve their mental health and make use of their employer’s offerings.
Now that we’ve seen how a major business disruption like COVID-19 can impact the mental health of employees, businesses should establish more programs that can better deal with these events before they happen.
Gartner suggests empowering employees to discuss difficult subjects and providing easy-to-understand information that define the level of involvement managers are expected to have when supporting employees who are struggling with mental health issues.