Top Tips 2020: 5 Ways to Support Your Employees During the COVID Crisis
COVID-19 has changed the way employees work and businesses operate, causing organizations to re-evaluate economic strategies and wellness priorities. Now, more than ever, it is important for organizations to continue to build their wellness culture by supporting their employees’ physical and mental health and overall well-being.
Maintaining health and wellness may seem difficult at this time, but there are ways to support your employees and continue to build your wellness culture.
- Mental Health Support – Work-related stress is the most common workforce health issue. COVID-related stress has only exacerbated the problem. We are experiencing more anxiety about our health, job security, additional family responsibilities, and finances. Those without adequate mental health support are especially struggling. Expanding your organization’s mental health resources is important to provide your employees with the extra support they may need during this challenging time. Examples include promoting your Employee Assistance Program (EAP), providing employees with relaxation and mindfulness exercises, or creating a physical activity policy to encourage employees to be more active during their workday.
- Reevaluate sick leave and caregiver benefits – During this time, employees are taking on more family responsibilities, specifically with childcare and eldercare. Flexible work schedules can play a key role in helping employees achieve the correct work life balance. In addition, offer employees extra support by providing a list of caregiving resources, additional paid leave, or subsidies for caretaking expenses.
- Hold a virtual wellness challenge – Challenges are a great way to excite and engage employees through team or individual competition. Holding a virtual challenge has the added benefit of bringing workers together who have been separated since the pandemic began. Challenges can support social well-being and mental health by maintaining connections with coworkers, encouraging camaraderie and providing motivation to achieve one’s health goals. Make sure to share progress and give shout-outs to participants.
Create a challenge that can include everyone; whether working remotely or in the office. Examples include water challenges - have employees track how many ounces of water they drink a day; walking challenges - track the number of miles they walk or run in a month; and virtual cooking classes where employees can make their favorite dish from the comfort of their own kitchen – and co-workers can join in!
- Provide healthy snacks – Taking care of your health during this time is crucial and nutrition is a key element of health. Having fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other healthy snacks available in the workplace helps improve access, which can help employees consume more nutritious foods. Stock break area with individually-wrapped fruit, vegetables, and nuts or develop a healthy meeting or healthy vending policy to provide healthier options for your employees.
- Promote fact over hype – To address employees’ specific concerns about COVID-19, proactively provide them with reliable, evidence-based health information that is backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), or other leading research institutions.
Interested in learning more about Worksite Wellness and how to improve the health and well-being of employees? For more information or to enroll, visit health.springfieldmo.gov/worksite or contact Julie Viele at firstname.lastname@example.org or (417) 864-2077.