Keeping employees connected safely during COVID-19
In-Office Support for Employees
Many companies, particularly in critical manufacturing and food services, cannot shift all employees to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, as more companies move to a hybrid work from home and in office structure, new policies may be needed to keep employees connected to the team and keep the team safe. This will help reduce stress and improve peace of mind for employees. Employers can adopt some of the following practices:
- Install partitions or revise seating arrangements
- Implement a no-visitor policy
- Increase awareness of the 6-foot rule with free printable CDC posters
- Limit the number of people and time spent in shared spaces
- Virtual meetings – Zoom, Webex, GoToMeeting
- On-site temperature screenings
- On-Site COVID-19 employee testing services
- COVID-19 Corporate Digital monitoring app for employees
Remote Support for Employees
For employers who have remote employees, enhancing communication and providing continued support will be valuable. Here are some tips: (1)
- Ensure direct IT support is available for remote workers.
- Provide technology or hardware to manage meetings remotely.
- Create a scheduled check-in time with your employees
- Face to face virtual meetings to continue socialization
- For a full check list, check out this additional resource
Employers should provide clear communication on the impact of COVID-19, what their plans are to safely continue operating, obstacles and how they plan to overcome them. Open communication will help employees envision a clear picture of the company’s goals, how to manage expectations, and create a path to success. Here are some tools employers can use to achieve this:
- Reports – Provide progress updates to your employees
- Virtual Meetings to voice company concerns & to answer questions
- Virtual happy hours and events
Employee Mental Health
With the uncertainty and risks associated with COVID-19, employees need more mental health support to help manage stress. To combat this issue, consider some of the following suggestions:
- Review and adjust your corporate wellness program to incorporate additional mental health resources in the form of employee wellness challenges, online wellness workshops or online health coaching opportunities.
- Assign peer coaches to add a layer of mutual support. For a resource on how to get your team to coach each other visit this page (2)
- Constantly gauge stress and engagement levels. Monitor engagement by periodically checking in with each team member. (2) You can help reduce worker fatigue with the CDC resource. (3) Consider offering a stress management employee wellness challenge to your wellness program.