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In the Face of the Coronavirus, Workplace Wellness is Key

Your Employees’ wellbeing is important now more than ever! Wellbeing encompasses much more than physical health, but covers a full spectrum of what employees need to be fulfilled, healthy and engaged in their positions.

The natural response to the burden all employers are facing amidst the COVID-19 crisis might be to let your wellbeing program slip down to the bottom of your priority list; however, focusing on employee wellbeing is more important now more than ever. Gallup workplace studies have found that employee wellbeing is highly correlated with employee engagement, and employee engagement results in higher productivity. Regardless of the state of your organization, whether operating at full capacity or with a skeleton crew, maximizing employee performance should be part of your survival plan. Taking care of employee wellbeing is taking care of your business.

Here are a few helpful strategies to implement to continue fostering a culture of engagement, amid the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Communicate with Compassion and Empathy

    We are all human and experiencing similar feelings of worry, fear, and anxiety over the unknown from job security, paying bills, taking care of family, children’s needs, older family members, and our health. Many of us are also grieving the loss of family vacations, celebrations, and milestones, such as a child graduating, weddings, and anniversaries. Expressing genuine care and concern helps to elicit trust and grace in return from employees.

  2. Promote Existing Resources that Support Employee Wellbeing

    Many of us are operating in high-gear at the moment. Make it easy for employees to access resources and benefits you already have in place to promote employee wellbeing such as:

    Physical Health

    Why is it important? Those with weakened immune systems have a higher risk for contracting any virus. Encourage employees to manage existing medical conditions and take precautions to stay healthy, like getting rest and eating healthy. Additional avenues to take advantage of are:

    • Mail-order prescriptions
    • Telemedicine
    • Expert medical opinion
    • Treatment decision support

    Social and Emotional Health

    Why is it important? We are all being taxed right now with duties such as taking care of our families, adjusting to remote work, and with fear of the unknown. Stress and anxiety take a considerable toll on our immune system, our body’s natural ability to fight illness. Remind employees of the following helpful resources to battle mental health concerns:

    • EAP
    • Mindfulness and mediation apps
    • Leverage technology with video capability instead of phone calls
    • Encourage “water cooler” chat before or after meetings to facilitate social connection

    Financial Health

    Why is it important? Financial stress is linked to our physical health, and stress can be detrimental to our immune system as well as a distraction when it comes to focusing on work. Encourage your workforce to take advantage of the following tools, if available through your existing company-sponsored retirement plan:

    • Financial counseling through 401k vendor or other existing partners
    • Budgeting tools

    Community Health

    Why is it important? Social distancing is making it hard for employees to feel connected to where they live, work, and play. Connection is a significant component of our support system. Remind your workforce of the following so that they can continue to feel connected to the workplace:

    • Donation match programs
    • Communicate any efforts the company is making to support the local community
    • Consider starting Employee Resource Groups to encourage like-minded employees to connect and support each other

    Career

    Why is it important? We are all feeling uncertainty about the economy and our livelihood. Consider the following tactics amid this unprecedented time:

    • Promote training and development opportunities
    • Rewards and recognition programs
  3. Consider Offering Additional Resources

    Many businesses and vendors have risen to the occasion and are offering free subscriptions for products that encourage overall wellbeing. If your organization does not already offer a solution that address these important areas, consider leveraging one of the following solutions.

Free Resources

For more information on how to navigate essential employee wellbeing issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our  OneDigital Coronavirus Advisory Hub,  or reach out to your local OneDigital advisory team.

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