In these testing times of the Covid-19 pandemic, employee wellbeing has become a crucial issue to address and more so when people are confined within the boundaries of their home. Organisations now have to deal with an entirely new spectrum of issues, much of it having to do with the mental and emotional health of their employees. As leaders, we will have to come up with novel ideas to improve the wellbeing of our workforce and keep them motivated and engaged as we navigate a course through this extraordinary global challenge.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a transformational change in the way organizations function. After initial teething issues during the start of the pandemic, working from home has now become the new normal. Organizations have left no stone unturned in showing genuine compassion and going full throttle in supporting employees at this difficult time.
Organizations such as JLL have created an online portal of company resources to guide their employees on their mental, physical, and financial health. JLL also organizes regular webinars to help employees cope with the current scenario. Organizations such as Amazon and Google are providing 2 weeks of fully paid leave to those infected with the deadly virus in addition to the actual paid leave. KPMG recognized the employees need to have a platform to go to in case they need medical advice since most people are avoiding visiting hospitals at this time. They coped with this need by arranging video consultations with medical practitioners along with support required for Covid-19 testing.Existing employee medical covers may need to be modified to cover Covid-19 hospitalization costs. Many organizations have now introduced “Covid Kavach” and other health policies to cover employees and their dependents. Click To Tweet
While physical fitness has taken a hit due to being locked up in the house, companies are helping employees maintain fitness by organizing online Pilates, Yoga and dance classes. TCS is hosting its first-ever virtual marathon inviting people from all over the world to register and run virtually from their homes. While physical health is important, mental health cannot be ignored especially at this critical time when social distancing and the fear of Covid-19 have caused anxiety and paranoia in all of us, in addition to added workload of home and parent duties.
Sprinklr is helping its employees deal with stress by providing free access to mindfulness and meditation apps such as Headspace. Employees can log in at any time of the day to attend meditation sessions on their phones/tabs.
For leading corporations, employees’ safety and wellness – physical, mental and emotional – is their priority. It is high time that other organisations learn from them and pull up their sleeves to tackle pandemic induced challenges and improve the wellbeing of their employees to keep them motivated and engaged.
How can organizations ensure employee wellness in the present scenario?
1. Reassess Benefit Programs
Existing employee medical covers may need to be modified to cover Covid-19 hospitalization costs. Many organizations have now introduced “Covid Kavach” and other health policies to cover employees and their dependents. In addition, medicine reimbursements can be looked at as an option for those opting for home isolation. Free video consultation with empaneled doctors will also greatly benefit employees.
2. Virtual Assistance
These are uncertain times we live in. We have multiple sources of information ranging from the internet to WhatsApp to print media. This has led to a lot of confusion about what is right and wrong. Organizations can provide employees with the correct source of information at this time by hosting webinars and inviting experienced medical practitioners to answer employee queries and guide them on how to cope if they or their family members get infected.
3. Counselling Support
Being infected by Covid-19 or living in the fear of being infected, both can cause immense psychological impact. Employees and their family members can benefit through access to trained counselors and mental health professionals to deal with this anxiety. Offering anonymous telephonic consultation through helpline numbers may prove to be beneficial.
4. Fitness Support
Organizing online fitness classes along with fitness challenges e.g. plank challenge, virtual marathons might be a great initiative at this time as it will help employees be motivated and engaged. Organizations may go a step further by hosting group fitness challenges to promote team spirit and belonging.
People never forget the way they are treated, especially during tough times. The treatment that they receive now will be remembered by them for years to come and will also have a huge impact on their engagement with the organization. Therefore, it is imperative for organizations to not only be compassionate but also aware of employee needs at this time to provide the best employee experience possible.