Tech professionals have been overstretched and overstressed since the pandemic–they deserve a break. And in the current talent drought, it’s vital to safeguard your existing employees against burnout.
Employees who get the mental health support they need are more productive, more resilient, more focused, and happier. With it currently being World Wellbeing, now is the perfect time to adopt these six impactful strategies.
1. Take the lead by being vulnerable
Mental health stigma is still very real. Model openness and make mental health an approachable topic by sharing your own mental health challenges with your team. That doesn’t mean you have to tell them about your relationship with your mother–it could be as simple as telling them you’re taking a mental health day when you’re overwhelmed. You’ll make them feel safer to be honest about burnout, their stress levels, and their needs.
2. Show empathy
Pandemic burnout, mass layoffs, and now fears over AI have left tech professionals under tremendous pressure with little left to give. Show empathy for their situation by:
Implementing more flexible work policies
Encouraging breaks throughout the workday
Cutting down on meetings (including virtual ones)
Checking in and asking how you can lighten their workloads
3. Recognise when they’re struggling
Knowing the signs of high stress can help you spot a problem before it becomes a crisis. Look for these indicators:
Changes in body language: slouching, fidgeting, or looking tense
People who are normally engaged withdrawing from conversations to avoid new tasks
Lower productivity and focus
A significant rise in missed deadlines
Once you spot signs of stress, start a conversation with the person about how you can help.
4. Share mental health resources
Give your tech team details of the mental health support available to them either externally or in-house. If you have an Employee Assistance Programme or provide mental-health-related benefits, promote them–don’t assume your employees know what’s available to them. Studies show they want you to give them details of workplace mental health resources.
5. Go digital
These days, employees want and expect mental health services to be delivered digitally, from virtual therapy to meditation apps and mental health platforms like Talkspace. Digital tools give employees options and make it easy to start taking action on their mental health before things get out of hand.
6. Set an example
How’s your own self-care? Are you open about burnout and stress? Do you take time off when you need it? Employees will follow your example, so model how you want them to behave. This also allows you to take care of your own oxygen mask first–when you’re in better mental health, you can take better care of others.