As a manager, your responsibilities aren’t limited to looking after your team’s performance metrics. After all, there are all sorts of factors—not all of them necessarily work-related – that can cause employees to become stressed or even burned out.

Even if your staff know that you want the best for them and are always open to having honest conversations, they may still be hesitant to tell you what’s bothering them. Many employees feel pressured to pretend that they are fine and continue to present themselves as competent workers, even if they may already be falling apart. Many wait until they’re at the brink of a breakdown before doing anything about it.

Given this mental health should be a topic that is normalised and frequently brought up in the modern workplace. That said, what can you do to support them as a leader?

Learn to Tackle Anxiety Management as a Coach

Though you may be able to confidently solve team problems as a manager, being assertive as a manager may not be the right role to take when it comes to guiding your teammates on matters of anxiety. Hence, approaching the subject of mental health with the mindset of a coach may be a more effective way of helping your employees get to the root of the problem. If you are new to taking on such a role, you can invest in an online training course. This can help you learn how to unleash your workers’ potential by teaching them how to manage their emotions.

Allow Workers to Take Longer Compassionate Leaves

Most employees are afraid to ever ask for time off from work for fear of seeming incompetent and neglectful of their duties. As a result, they end up asking for much shorter breaks as a sort of compromise.

While long breaks may seem unthinkable at first, try to see things from the perspective of an executive coach. Pay attention to any team member whose work performance seems to be declining over a particular period. Then, ask yourself if they’re showing any signs of burnout. If so, ask the employee if they need more time off and urge them to be honest about their needs.

As long as their request still complies with your company’s rules, it’s a good idea to let them take that additional time off. Employees will likely come back to work with more energy and motivation after getting some much-needed rest.

Focus on Providing Support

Unfortunately, it can take an employee a long time to recover from the cumulative effects of stress and anxiety. It may take more than a few days for the most severe of cases. This makes many managers hesitant to grant long compassionate leave for their workers.

However, just because one of your employees is on leave doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to get their share of the work done. Remember: you still have the rest of your team to manage the employee’s tasks in his or her absence. You can mobilise your remaining team members to close any gaps in terms of workload.

This takes a lot of the pressure off the recovering employee, allowing them to fully focus on resting up. You can also think of this as a chance for your other workers to step up and prove themselves, given the new responsibilities that they have to take on.

Make Mental Health a Part of Your Regular Conversations

The sad truth is that mental health issues are often perceived by many as a taboo topic, making it hard for people to talk about these things openly. To combat this, it’s important to speak with candour to your employees and make it clear that there is nothing wrong with discussing topics about anxiety and mental health.

Thus, bring related concerns up during team meetings and casual conversations to show that mental health is an important matter to you. Listen carefully to what your team has to say as well. By normalising these discussions, you allow yourself and your employees to address any potential issues early on.

Additionally, early detection and intervention of any issues regarding anxiety can prevent your employees from getting burnt out. Remember that the descent to burnout is quick, but overcoming it takes a long time. The good news is that simply talking about it can make a huge difference in your employees’ mental well-being.

Direct Them to Different Resources for Support

As a leader, make sure to stress the importance of your team members’ well-being. If needed, you may encourage your employees to seek professional services to help them deal with anxiety and stress. Depending on the severity of the problem, they may want to look into specialised mental health services, too.

In addition to therapy and counselling, some employees may also benefit from additional training. For example, they may be interested in taking time management courses so that they can learn how to better manage their workload without overwhelming themselves.

Think of these strategies as a way of investing in your employees’ holistic development. After all, maintaining a calm and healthy state of mind is just as important as learning new professional skills. At the end of the day, paying for a training course or therapy session will always be worth more than the cost of recruiting someone to replace a burnt-out employee. So, as you value your workers, you need to take good care of them.

Employers and leaders play a vital role in creating an organisation that is safe and accommodating of their workers’ needs. Taking the time to cultivate such an environment in the office ensures that anyone struggling with stress and anxiety is seen, managed, and provided with the proper and necessary support.

We hope that you will find these tips helpful when endeavouring to raise mental health awareness among your employees.

It is important that we are able to provide a support system to look after our employee’s mental health, get in touch with Priority Management if you are looking for interactive and engaging inhouse training to prepare your leaders to handle difficult situations.