Change may be the only constant in the past three years. Most of us have found it difficult to live in a period of continuing noticeable change.  We say we like change – but mostly we like change we can control.  Research shows many people are suffering from mental health issues, driven in many cases by the lack of control individuals felt over their lives. Business owners are at very high risk of burnout. Employees are rethinking their work and career choices. Besides reminding my readers to care a bit extra for themselves now, here is some info to help.

An American Psychological Association 2022 study indicates that workers want more mental health support at work. Workers define this in many ways: respect for time off, flexible hours, remote and hybrid work options, four-day work week, and more support from their managers for their needs.

Many organizations in the Metro DC area (and across the country) are looking at wellness programs. These include a pretty wide range of things:

  • If you offer health insurance, be sure employees know the mental health coverage which is included.
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) can be purchased separately – they offer assistance, counseling information, and support via telehealth or telephone.
  • Organizations are now offering complete closures for a full week – usually between Christmas and New Years as paid leave.
  • Some add 1-3 ‘mental health days’  to paid time off programs or are trying 4.5 day workweeks all year long instead of summers only.
  • Some provide information for validated on-line training programs related to mental health.

You may also want to make your employees aware of the mental health services available:

This article on the impact of all the Covid changes, especially on those who worked from home or remotely, on returning to work may be of interest to some of you. It may help how you and your managers work with people.

McKinsey article on why your employees are leaving

After-Action Reports
Have you done an ‘after action report’ on what happened with your business over this time? While the term comes from the military, such reports are a vital way to assess your business and learn from your own past.  Done well they help codify important changes and provide a guide for future challenges you will face.  This is best done by an executive with input from specialist functions and other managers.

  • Look at the positives and the negatives and document them both.
  • What did you do that worked well?
  • How much of a pivot in your product or services did you make and how did you do it?
  • If a pivot was not required, what changes were?  Which were effective?
  • How flexible you were with work hours/location/duties?
  • Did you find processes you changed that were more or less effective? Why?
  • Did you adopt new technologies or adapt existing ones or both?
  • What policies, practices, goals do you want to keep? Which can be eliminated?
  • What did you learn in the process of all these changes?
  • What do you want to document for the future in detail?

This can be a valuable way to assess your business now and to guide it forward.