Providing support for employees

With any change, it is normal to experience fear, stress, anxiousness, and worry. This has been an emotionally overwhelming time for many people. Stress can be compounded by a number of factors, notably physical or mental health challenges and financial strain.

Some individuals returning to the workplace may feel worried, anxious, tired, and uncertain about coming back, while others may be enthusiastic, energized, and engaged.

Additional challenges you or your team may face include:

  • Childcare concerns
  • Change in caregiving role
  • Fear of COVID-19 exposure
  • Absenteeism
  • Managing relationships
  • Feelings of guilt or loss after layoffs of other team members
  • The emotional impacts for employees returning from temporary layoff

As a manager, it is important to recognize and support all responses and challenges. A supportive manager or supervisor can have a direct impact on the mental health and well-being of the faculty and staff they lead.

To be a supportive and effective leader and help your team transition as well as possible:

  • Be flexible.
  • Set clear expectations and ensure employees understand what’s required of them.
  • Measure performance with deliverables (not perceptions).
  • Check in with employees regularly.
  • Approach conversations with genuine care and concern.
  • Encourage open dialogue about how people are feeling.
  • Seek to understand struggles.
  • Prioritize work-life harmony and self-care.
  • Proactively and consistently encourage the use of the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP).
  • Learn about campus resources so you can share them with employees. 


Campus resources for leaders:

If you’re concerned about the mental health and well-being of a faculty or staff member due to worrisome or troubling behaviour, and they are not responding to your offers of support, consider contacting Helping Individuals at Risk (HIAR).

Resources to share with your employees: