Only 2 months after the first COVID-19 diagnosis in Canada, our lives has been turned upside down. Isolation, lay-offs, stock market volatility, daily death counts and rampant misinformation have many feeling loneliness, fear and anxiety. Although rainbows and hashtags can help spread messages of hope, employers also have a role to play. Whether your employees are working remotely from home or temporarily off work, it’s important to stay connected to provide a bridge which will guide employees back to a new normal.
Here are some ideas to help foster resiliency during this difficult time.
Stay connected with employees
Remain visible and continue building on your relationships with employees. Provide regular updates from the leadership team on the direction of your organization and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The door is always open” policy extends to email. Encourage a two-way dialogue.
Share quality information from reliable sources
With misinformation making it’s way through social media, more than ever it’s important to consult reliable sources like those of the Canadian government or the World Health Organization. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) have also been instrumental in preparing articles and webinars on a wide variety of COVID-19 related topics. EAP hotlines remain open 24/7 for those wishing to speak to a counselor.
Provide access to virtual health (tele-health)
If you already have subscribed to a telemedicine app on behalf of your employees and their dependents, now’s the time to promote this benefit and remind employees that they can consult a doctor or nurse practitioner remotely, at any time of the day should they experience any health concerns.
If you don’t offer telemedicine but your group insurance plan is insured with Sun Life Financial, here’s some great news. Your employees can try virtual healthcare for free from now until June 1, 2020.
If neither of the above scenarios apply, there is still time to enlist this service. Many options are available at an affordable cost either through your group insurance provider or directly with virtual healthcare providers like Akira, Dialogue or Maple.
Encourage your employees to focus on continuing education
Fill the gaps or low-periods of work with remote training and skills development. Not only will this reinforce the idea that employees still have career potential post COVID-19 but will build up your team’s abilities making them ready to take on new responsibilities as work resumes.
Quebec businesses: Why not tap into the $100-Million program recently announced by the Quebec government to fund employee training during the COVID crisis?
Physical health is important too
Mental health is connected to physical well-being. With warmer weather around the corner, encourage employees to get moving (while respecting social distancing guidelines) walk, jog or bike while soaking up some vitamin D and fresh air. It’s important to maintain a routine, eat balanced meals and get enough sleep.
If you’d like to build a wellness program for your organization or are simply looking for more ideas like these, contact one of our benefit specialists to set-up a telephone meeting.