As an employer, or manager, you know that creating a positive and healthy work environment is crucial to success. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is estimated that 25-35% of the American workforce will work from home by 2021. That said, monitoring employee well-being has become more difficult than ever.
So how can one maintain a positive work environment in times of distress? Following these guidelines will help you understand how to care for your employees in less than ideal circumstances.
Boosting Employee Well-Being Through Connection
If you and your employees are working remotely, continue to meet virtually whenever possible. A great way to show that you value your employees is through consistent communication and connection.
These meetings don't need to just be about work. Setting up virtual social events allow employees to engage with fellow colleagues in the hope of eliminating potential feelings of social isolation.
Your HR team/resource can also help reduce stress amongst employees by being virtually available for more personal conversations. Some recommended questions that show you value an employee’s well-being include:
“What can I do to support you?”
“How are you coping during the current situation?”
“How can I help you meet your intended goals?”
Promoting Safety and Wellness
If employees will be returning to the workplace in the near future, it's important that they feel confident in their employer's approach to safety and wellness.
Per OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, businesses returning to the workplace should be addressing and putting in place guidelines related to hygiene, social distancing, training, and more. Implementing these safety precautions can help employees feel safer, and minimize potential health risks.
Suggestions from OSHA include:
Provide soap, water, and paper towels for workers, customers, and visitors to wash their hands, and encourage frequent and proper (for at least 20 seconds) handwashing
Limit business occupancy to a number of workers/customers that can safely be accommodated to allow for social distancing
Select and implement appropriate engineering controls (e.g., physical barriers/shields to separate workers, enhanced ventilation)
Employers can also promote safety and wellness practices outside of the workplace, which can greatly benefit employees working in remote settings. Recommendations include
Sharing healthy tips related to diet, sleep, mental health, and more
Promoting breaks and regular exercise
Providing trainings on home office ergonomics and safety
Re-Evaluate Employee-Benefit Programs
Now more than ever, employees are relying on reliable and helpful benefit offerings from their employers. Re-evaluating your company’s benefit programs will show employees that you value them and want to support them during this unexpected time.
Some factors that should be considered when reviewing employee benefit plans include:
Strong medical offerings that include coverage for family members
Access to telemedicine services or health hotlines
Retirement offerings to help decrease financial pressure
Your team's health is important, which is why it is crucial for benefit programs to meet the needs of employees.
Although the future of the pandemic is uncertain, the way you help your employees will determine the future of your business.
To learn more about how to ensure employee well-being within your company, check out our wide array of services.