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Employee mental health in times of business unusual

The global pandemic has turned the traditional workplace on its head. Things became more flexible for employees. But feeling isolated and disconnected from colleagues could have long-term negative effects on employee mental health of the workforce.  

So how do we stay connected, productive, and engaged during this ‘business unusual’? 

The new era of positive psychology that may counterbalance the negative effects of this new working environment. 

Kelly Michael is co-founder of Human Link, a new company using psychological expertise to help companies build strong, innovative, and inspiring organizations where staff flourish.  

“We are seeing alarming increases in anxiety, depression, loneliness. These are all really natural responses to what the world is going through,” Kelly said.  

“We shouldn’t be waiting for it to be post-pandemic to be thinking about what we can do.”  

How companies address employee mental health (or don’t)  

There’s a tendency for different kinds of emotional education to be required for managers and leaders but Kelly said it’s important everyone gets access to this kind of training.  

“The data is clear; when people have access to these types of programs, they live more meaningful lives, they are happier.  

“This work is really critical. It cannot only be for a select number of people, but we’ve got to work out how to create better access for this,” she explained.  

“I think technology is going to be critical in our ability to scale much of this work.”  

You can’t pour from an empty cup 

Even with emotional education training, managers and leaders are likely feeling stress and isolation. Kelly said they’re also carrying some of that load supporting their teams. With employee mental health oftentimes being forgotten about.

“You can’t fill from an empty cup. We have to create spaces for leaders to learn about their own internal worlds,” Kelly said.  

Kelly said organizations need to “dive into” these conversations right now. 

“I think that is where tech can make a massive difference in empowering leaders with the skills, knowledge, and mindset, to know how to have some of these conversations.” 

How technology can help  

Kelly said the problem with a lot of surveys for organizations is knowing to ask questions but being unsure what to do with the answers.  

“If you’re asking people to be vulnerable, to answer surveys about how they’re feeling, then you do nothing other than present that data at a board meeting somewhere, that’s a huge injustice to your people.  

“That is worse than not asking the question to begin with, because your people will become more disengaged with that,” she said. 

“I think technology has a great role to play in taking us past these kinds of surveys.”  

Kelly said breaking down staff surveys into “tiny pieces” gets more responsive answers from recipients.  

“You get to see what’s happening in real time, and you empower your employees to be able to see what’s happening for them in real time as well.” 

LiveTiles Vibe: Your remote employee check-in 

At LiveTiles we are passionate about technology that can change lives for the better. That’s why we partnered with Human Link when creating LiveTiles Vibe

Vibes — simple, interactive cards emailed to employees — can be completed in just seconds. They’re easy to send, fun to receive, and secure and confidential. 

They’re micro-surveys that accurately represent a moment in time. 

Whether you’re working from home or back at the office, with LiveTiles Vibe you’re always one click away from knowing how the team is feeling, if your remote culture is thriving, or if you need to make a change. 

Hear more from Kelly on our Intelligent Workplace podcast here 

Find out more about LiveTiles Vibe here. 


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