There are numerous ways that managers can make life easier for their employees: cybersecurity with companies like contextual security, employee appreciation weeks, edible arrangements for the whole office. However, the best way to show your employees’ that you care about them is to care about their mental wellbeing. Whether your manager wants to admit it, sound mental health is essential to a successful business. According to the CDC, 71% of adults have reported headaches, feeling anxious or overwhelmed due to stress. Paying attention to the stress levels of employees is increasingly more important in small businesses; the work is often more strenuous, demanding and plentiful while the number of workers is significantly smaller.

Thankfully, the taboo of talking about mental health in business is steadily fading. Employees’ are demanding the respect and care they deserve. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new stressors: social isolation and quarantine. Each stressor can have a significantly negative impact on people’s mental health. It is important to reintroduce the conversation about mental health and wellbeing to keep people safe. Here are some ways that a small business can take care of their employees’ mental health.

Evaluate Your Employees Workloads

Sometimes it feels like your emails may never stop gathering—your workload keeps growing, but your manager doesn’t seem to care or notice. As a leader, you should always evaluate how much work you are designating to each person. It is crucial always to be aware of overworked employees or underworked employees, and to mitigate the skewed workload. Always try to carve time to express your appreciation for your employees and their impact on the company.

Offer Mental Health Resources

This point is perhaps the most straightforward way to show that you care about an employee’s mental health and wellbeing. Take a look at your employees’ insurance policy for mental health: make sure that they have the privacy and means to take care of themselves. Consider offering time off to overworked employees who need to take care of their mental health. Consider offering a more flexible PTO policy, or monthly mental health days to revive employees’ spirit, relieve stress and prevent burnouts.

Introduce (and Uphold) Self-Care Policies

Depending on the nature of your business, there are a few ways that self-care policies can be implemented and supported. Be upfront with your workers: make sure to use these policies as a reason why people should be eager to work with you. It begins with identifying the needs of your employees: avoid sending emails on the weekend, encourage a work schedule that prioritises employees getting a sufficient amount of sleep each night, and ensure that employees take a lunch break away from their job. There are many ways to show employees that you care about their health if you actively think about it.

Cultivate An Open and Accepting Work Environment

Encourage an ongoing conversation with your employees about destressing from work. Show that you care about your mental health by stepping away from your computer. Listen to your employees when they bring up ideas like team bonding exercises, in-office yoga, or meditation spaces. As a leader, it is your responsibility to detect where your business lacks in some of these areas and mediate change to better support your employees who work so hard for you.