Here’s one way to talk to your boss about mental health

During the pandemic, businesses began to pay more attention to employee safety. But with Covid in our rearview mirror – and people back in the office – employers no longer offer things like mental health.

“During the pandemic, we had a shared stress, so we were all going through the same thing, which was causing a lot of stress and anxiety for all the staff,” he said. Taye HowellProfessor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources at Brigham Young University. “It was easy to help each other because we had a common understanding. But now that we are on the other side of the epidemic, we don’t get recognition for some of the challenges that people are facing.

Howell points to a recently released Salesforce memo as an example. According to Fortune magazineThe note said, “The culture of health has overcome the culture of high performance at the time [the] Epidemic.”

So if employees are struggling with their mental health post-pandemic, they need to advocate for themselves at work, he said. Part of Howell’s research focuses on employee voice—how employees speak and are heard in the workplace. The first step when talking to a manager is to come up with a solution, she said.

“Employees can go to their managers and say, ‘Hey, I’m struggling with some things at home or at work, and here are some things that can help me be more productive.'”

Howell added that the last part is important. To be more effective when talking to a recruiter, employees need to talk about how their solution can help the company.

“[It’s] If employees are healthy and productive, they are beneficial to both employees and employers.

Thinking ahead and being proactive can also help. Howell gives the example of a worker whose son died. The employee knew the anniversary of that death would be particularly difficult.

It was very helpful for him to talk to the manager first. [say], ‘… I need to take this day off and mourn him and recover from this experience, then I can come back and be more productive.’ Thankfully, he had a manager who was really supportive and understanding of the situation.

Some employers offer Employee Assistance Program. These programs help employees get short-term counseling and other mental health help. Howell said people who are struggling can benefit from professional help by presenting a case to their employer.

“Having a diagnosis… helps to prevent and provide [employees] A little more rights to seek time off and different accommodations for mental health issues like depression and anxiety,” Howell said.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Ciara Hulett: What strategies can an employee turn to when struggling with their mental health in the workplace?

Taye Howell: I think one important thing is to find someone to advocate on your behalf. Some of my research looks at advocates, people who speak on behalf of someone else. It can be a very effective way to bring about change as managers respond better to advocates. If you have a reliable colleague who is comfortable to share [with] Not only can you represent some of the situations you’re facing and you can help your manager come up with solutions, but help your manager see solutions that can benefit both you and the organization. Effective. The lawyer will probably see things differently. Another benefit of having an attorney is that it shows the administrator that there are many people who care about you and your situation. It can prompt the manager to act on it.

CH: There are certain workers who are particularly vulnerable to mental health problems in the workplace.?

TH: People who are pushed to their limits in different ways have no chance of healing and are in less visible forms of work. I have looked at some of my research Corrections officers Many suffer from mental illness because of the hard things they see at work. They feel so invisible and unappreciated. Some of my research has looked at the importance of appreciation, and what we’ve found is that when employees feel seen, appreciated for what they do, they’re more likely to engage in healthy recovery behaviors like exercise, reaching out. Going out to friends, meditating, praying, things like that.

CH: What about new employees?

TH: We think that this is an exciting opportunity for new jobs, but in general it is a time when you are not sure what to do and what is expected of you. It creates a lot of stress on people and can lead to depression. Here are some things new employees can do to protect themselves [include] Reaching out to others, seeking that social support from people in the organization [and] Asking questions to test expectations from the manager’s perspective.

CH: Can employees use sick time as a mental health day?

TH: A paid license is not required in United States or Utah. But we have. Family Medicine Leave Act, which prevents the workers from taking leave. Those who have been diagnosed and are seeking treatment for a mental illness, such as clinical depression or anxiety, are protected so that they can use FMLA leave. You can take sick days for such things. [If] You feel blue [or] You are facing a lot of stress in your life. [that] Vacation is not technically covered under the FMLA. Definitely work with your managers and supervisors and try to address these root causes as best you can.

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