Keeping employees healthy and happy has never been more important. The impact of Covid-19 has been so devastating that businesses had to shut down overnight and embrace a work-from-home culture.
While work-from-home was successful for most employers, they believe that employees still need to be in the office for a few days of the week to maintain company culture. Over 65% of employers from a recent PwC survey say that employees need to be in the office for 3 or more days a week. This means that employers must bring employees back to the office while ensuring they stay healthy in the workplace.
Be Transparent About Policies
Post-Covid-19, employers can expect that employees will be more curious about the company’s policies than ever before. Hence, it’s essential to be transparent about those policies and how they will be implemented. This means communicating openly with your team about new changes in the employer-employee relationship or workplace safety guidelines implemented due to the pandemic.
You should also think about ways you can spread awareness of these policies among your workers—for example, by using an online community forum or issuing regular newsletters to inform employees of updates on compliance with Covid-19. Transparency should extend beyond simply telling employees about any new policy changes. It should also include explanations for why certain policies exist in the first place. When discussing new policies, explain why each has been introduced and how it affects employee health and well-being (e.g., “We want everyone at our company to feel supported when dealing with mental health.
The policies you make should align with the guidelines set by OSHA. The government body has highlighted some standard guidelines for employers, such as:
- Developing a response plan to be implemented if someone is found ill
- Implementing basic preventive measures like hand washing, hygiene, sanitization, etc
- Developing policies to identify and isolate sick people when required
- Giving PPE kits to employees and encouraging them to use it
- Implementing safe work practices.
Implement a Hybrid Work Culture
When it comes to employee health and wellness, you’re likely already aware that a flexible work schedule and a hybrid culture are essential parts of the puzzle. But what exactly does this mean? Your company should offer an alternative work schedule for employees with personal responsibilities outside the office. This could include having more flexible hours on certain days or allowing remote working arrangements when possible.
As an employer, offering flexible hours can significantly impact employee satisfaction and engagement—which in turn leads directly back to higher productivity levels in your workplace. If you want to boost morale and reduce turnover rates among your staff, consider offering more flexible time options when possible.
Moreover, a hybrid work culture encourages employees to participate actively in their health and wellness. This means they’ll have more ownership over their lives and careers, leading to higher morale, satisfaction, and engagement. You can offer various hybrid work mental health tips on how they can better manage their physical and mental health when they are working from home and when from the office. Since both environments are different, one-size mental awareness won’t do much good. Hence, you can create different best practices sheets and give them to your employees.
While moving to a remote workforce became necessary due to the pandemic, most employees want to carry it forward. Now, when the restrictions are no longer in place, employees still want to do most of their work from the comfort of their homes and go to the workplace only a few days a week. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by a government body in the UK, the proportion of employees doing hybrid work has increased from 13% in February 2022 to 24% in May 2022.
Conduct Regular Health and Wellness Checks
Although they should, you can’t expect employees to take care of their health without providing some assistance. Hence, you must offer regular health and wellness checks so that they can catch any issues before they become more serious problems. If you find an issue during one of these checkups, you should have a process to address it. Don’t discriminate against employees with health conditions—they still need access to the same resources as other workers.
Regarding mental health and substance abuse problems, employers should also provide support and resources for workers struggling with these issues. It may seem like an easy answer is just firing someone who has a problem with drugs or alcohol—but that’s not always the best policy and can be illegal. Instead, consider whether your state has laws on this matter; if so, comply with them by offering support services rather than terminating people immediately.
Implement Stress Management Training
For employers and employees alike, stress is a common problem in the workplace. Stress management training can help employees deal with their stress levels and improve overall well-being by teaching them how to recognize signs of stress and learn techniques for managing it.
Some examples of effective stress management training include:
- Practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
- Learning cognitive reframing techniques (changing how you think about a situation) such as looking at the bright side of stressful situations instead of focusing on what might go wrong.
- Changing your environment by removing distractions from your workspace or taking frequent breaks from being on your computer screen so that you don’t get eye strain or headaches.
You can also implement an employee wellness program. Around 52% of US employers already have an employee wellness program. The numbers are higher in large enterprises. According to a study by Kaiser Family Foundation, over 80% of large firms offer an employee wellness program. These wellness programs have proven to improve employee health behavior and productivity.
Encourage Open and Honest Communication
To ensure a healthy workplace, employers must create an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up if they struggle with mental health issues. Studies show that 86% of workplace failures occur due to a lack of effective communication. Moreover, it enhances employee engagement, which improves health and wellness.
Besides communication, employers need to be able to recognize warning signs and symptoms of mental health concerns and provide support for their employees. To identify these signs, employers should encourage open and honest communication between themselves and their employees by creating a culture of trust. This can be done by facilitating communication between managers, peers, or even individuals who may not be directly impacted by the initial conversation but will benefit from knowing more about how others handle things at work.
Get Creative With Employee Outings and Social Events
The first step to ensuring employee health and well-being is to get creative with employee outings and social events. Going out together can be a great way to bond with colleagues, especially in a work environment where you don’t all know each other well. In addition to helping employees get to know each other better, these events are also an excellent way for new or part-time employees to integrate into the organization more quickly than they otherwise would.
Employers should take advantage of this opportunity by planning large group outings and smaller ones. While both types have their benefits, it’s important not to overlook the value of small gatherings on coworker relationships—whether it’s just two people chatting at lunch or everyone attending a networking event together.
Traveling has changed completely post the pandemic. Hence, when planning an outing, research the Covid-19-related restrictions at the destination site. While most places have removed restrictions, some still have a few in place to ensure long-term safety. Hence, you must do ample research, talk to someone at the destination, and let your employees know about any rules that are in place.
Remember, a happy employee is productive, so keeping their well-being in mind and ensuring they are comfortable with their work environment is essential. While there are many things you can do to promote wellness among your employees, these tips should be enough for now! Don’t forget the importance of communication at all times – whether talking about health issues or just having an open dialogue about any other topic. This will help ensure everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts freely.