Whether you've been back to work for months or are just now welcoming employees back to the workplace, your company needs a plan to deal with changes brought on by COVID-19. A thorough workplace wellness program can help keep your employees safe and maintain productivity. By focusing on everyone's most basic needs, you can create a safer and happier environment for every member of your team.
Focus on Safety Measures
When it comes to combating COVID-19, certain steps are required to keep everyone safe and healthy. No matter what the nature of your work environment, these important steps are a must.
Implement More Frequent Cleaning Measures
Keeping a clean and tidy work environment can help reduce the spread of illness while also boosting productivity. Create a schedule that allows for more thorough and frequent cleanings throughout the day. This can reduce the number of germs on common surfaces, providing extra protection for everyone in the workplace.
Keep Disinfecting Products Within Reach
Stock your location with plenty of disinfecting wipes or spray, antibacterial hand soap and hand sanitizer. Make sure these products are easy to locate and are readily available so employees can clean a surface before or after each use. Consider keeping these items near frequently used objects around the office.
Provide High-Quality Masks for Every Employee
Wearing a face mask is a critical step in your workplace wellness program as it helps reduce the spread of COVID-19. This should be a requirement for each individual on site. To ensure everyone has the protection they need, provide complimentary, high-quality face masks for every employee to use. This not only improves safety, but can be a much-appreciated gesture of goodwill.
Focus on Morale
While keeping everyone safe and protected is the utmost priority, lifting spirits and boosting morale are a close second. Mental and emotional well-being should be a main goal for your company.
Create an Outdoor Space for Meals and Breaks
Fresh air and nature can do wonders to improve mood. Since the break room is likely off limits, create an outdoor location for employees to take a break or enjoy their lunch. Add some chairs or small tables, outdoor trashcans and a few elements of natural beauty to make the place feel calm and inviting. While you'll still want to encourage social distancing, an outdoor getaway allows employees to enjoy conversation in a safer way.
Celebrate Corporate and Personal Milestones
These days, everyone needs a little more celebration in their lives. Look for reasons to recognize the accomplishments of your employees and your company. Send out congratulatory emails or prepackaged treats for birthdays, work anniversaries and employee progress. Celebrate company-wide accomplishments by providing some branded swag or a free lunch.
Keep Employees Connected and Engaged
A simple yet important step in your workplace wellness program is helping your employees feel connected during these isolating times. Help maintain peer relationships by setting up virtual coffee breaks, lunch sessions and happy hours. These can provide much-needed opportunities for visiting safely with fellow employees.
In addition, take the time to send a personalized email, letter or card to each employee over the course of the next few weeks and try to reach out with a phone call or one-on-one meeting as well. For larger organizations, have your supervisors and managers help carry out this task. It's important to check in and find out how everyone is handling the changes and demands that have come with COVID-19.
Send a Simple Care Package
A small gesture can make a big difference in helping employees feel important and cared for, which is critical during periods of stress and loneliness. Provide some pick-me-ups every so often to show how company values every employee. Consider any combination of items, including
• Gift Cards
• Travel mugs with samples of tea and coffee
• Snacks and treats
• Games, books and puzzles
• Supplies for a movie night at home
Whether big or small, a simple gift can help boost workplace morale.
Focus on Overall Wellness
COVID-19 has placed a focus on disease prevention. One of the best ways to boost your immune system and protect yourself from complications is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Helping your employees focus on overall wellness can be beneficial for all.
Start a Wellness Incentive Program
Research your company's current health care program and look for options that reward participants for healthy behaviors. Registering an app or fitness tracker can make it easy to track progress. If necessary, start your own program to encourage healthy living where employees can compete or earn rewards for different achievements.
Provide Access to Virtual Exercise Options
Consider purchasing a company membership for an online fitness program and give each employee access to these resources. Once a week, set aside time during the work day for everyone to join in on a socially-distanced 30-minute workout. You can even host a virtual 5K and use the proceeds for a charity or cause your company supports. Staying active can help combat stress and anxiety, release endorphins and strengthen the body for better immunity.
Have Conversations About Mental Health
Help remove the stigma surrounding depression, anxiety and other common mental health issues by providing avenues for help and treatment. Invite a local mental health professional to discuss warning signs and coping mechanisms for people struggling during these unprecedented situations. Post flyers and send emails that contain quick self-assessments to help people evaluate any current symptoms or reach out for help. When needed, provide some extra time off to help your employees regroup and care for their minds as well as their bodies.
With a solid workplace wellness program in place, you can help keep your employees happy and safe. Take action to put your plan into place today.