Languishing – How To Support Your Employees

Languishing – How To Support Your Employees

One of the newest terms doing the rounds in HR and management circles when it comes to employee wellbeing is languishing, a general sense of emptiness and restlessness experienced by staff that they feel unable to open up about to their line managers.

But what exactly is languishing, where does it come from and what can employers and those in leadership positions do to support their teams?

In this article, we explore the topic in more depth and offer up some practical advice and strategies for tackling this growing mental health concern head-on.


Languishing is real

The term languishing stems from feelings of numbness and disconnection from colleagues, family and peers.

Languishing can cause depression, anxiety and burnout if left unchecked. It’s important that you recognise this relatively new term and arm yourself with the skills to support any team members currently struggling with it.


Recognise the signs

The signs that a staff member is languishing may be subtle at first. Keep an eye out for red flags such as general disinterest in a job they used to thrive in, a failure to engage properly with their colleagues or constantly missed deadlines if they used to be a reliable and dependable worker.

Knowing what to look out for is the first line of defence against languishing developing into a much bigger issue, so be vigilant.


Open up a channel of communication

Recent research in the USA has found that over 44 million American adults struggle with issues such as anxiety. This can have a clear impact on employment opportunities and career progression, with 75% of Generation Z leaving their job due to mental health issues.

According to UK research, almost a quarter of people agree that more mental health support in the workplace would be a positive step forward. Such support would allow them to open up a channel of communication with those in positions further up the chain.

Being able to open up about any mental health concerns without judgement is a great starting point for improving employee wellbeing. In addition to ensuring that your door is always open to your staff, consider drafting in professional support such as a therapist for team members.

Provide a robust wellness policy

So much more than a workplace ‘nice to have’, wellness policies are a great way of keeping staff at their brilliant and productive best.

From simple features such as giving staff a private place to access third part mental health resources via phone while at work to counselling and discounted yoga sessions, there are ways that you can help those who feel that they are languishing with a little thought and consideration.

As detailed above, some of these wellness features don’t require a huge budget either, so reach out to your employees for a frank discussion on what they actually need before putting your wellbeing policy wheels in motion.

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