Did you know that employee well-being is directly tied to business health and productivity? That’s why organizations need to ensure they do everything in their power to improve their employees’ mental and physical health, and especially in times of a crisis.
As of writing this post, your employees are likely dealing with the pandemic’s emotional, physical, and financial consequences. At the same time, they’re trying to balance work expectations and responsibilities, which can make any person feel like they are “drowning.”
These daily struggles have gone on now for more than a year and could have a lasting impact on people’s overall health. However, as an employer, you can ease some of that pressure by taking proactive and supportive measures to promote and maintain workplace well-being.
Here are 4 effective ways you can improve employee well-being during Covid:
1. Be Supportive and Responsive
Improving employee wellness during Covid starts with letting your employees know where to find information and support for mental and physical health. Try to maintain open channels of communication and ask how they’re feeling.
Make sure to listen and respond to their concerns and questions. Consider establishing a hotline or assign an employee to be the “go-to person” with Covid related questions.
Remember that two-way communication is essential to build trust, so don’t just rely on your employees to self-report. Instead, check-in with them from time to time to see how they’re doing.
2. Boost Employee Motivation
It’s easy to lose motivation in a time of crisis when people have so many other things going on. All worries about family members and where the future is heading can quickly take over.
However, letting your employees know that their work is meaningful and how it contributes to the overall goal for the company will help boost motivation.
Also, make sure to involve your employees in the decision-making process in any way you can or, at least, be open to listening to their input. Making them feel more involved will boost motivation, performance, and productivity.
3. Promote Physical Activity and Self-Care
Being physically active helps boost the immune system and reduces stress levels, so try to promote physical activity to your employees. It will also help with mental clarity and being able to stay positive in times of a crisis.
Other types of self-care are also crucial such as getting quality sleep, eating well, and socializing with friends and family in whatever ways recommended. It can be through virtual events or outside in nature at a safe distance. Being isolated can create feelings of loneliness and despair that can lead to depression and other self-destructive behaviors.
As an employer, you can prevent this by holding regular Town Hall meetings and other types of team hangouts on Zoom. For instance, did you know that 1.4 billion people use Facebook groups? So, creating a Facebook support group where employees can share their thoughts and feelings about the pandemic and balancing personal issues with work-related expectations can also be a good option.
4. Reevaluate Benefit Programs
In tough economic times, many organizations look for places to cut costs. However, health and well-being programs are not areas they can afford to cut down on right now.
Mental health illnesses like depression and anxiety, and financial stress are rapidly increasing, with many employees dealing with unprecedented challenges from Covid. Issues with, for example, childcare, caring for family members who are sick, and anxiety about the future are more than enough for any human being to deal with.
Saving a few thousand dollars in cutting benefits programs today may cost twice as much in healthcare costs and sick days tomorrow. Employers who understand the value of reevaluating their wellness programs to ensure their employees feel safe will get double their money back in fewer sick days, improved productivity and employee morale, and loyalty to the company.
The statement “people are a company’s most valuable asset” can’t be more true right now. Organizations need to make their employees’ well-being a priority and listen to their needs as our lives will be complicated for months and possibly years to come. Companies that take proactive and supportive measures to improve their workers’ well-being will come out even stronger in the light of this pandemic.