Well, here we are again. As we enter 2022, two years after the start of the pandemic, which changed the “way” and the “why” we work, the world faces additional Covid-19 variants and an unforeseen future. A future that many thought would return to normal by now.
Not only does this cause anxiety for employees and working parents around their health and safety and that of their children, but it puts office re-openings on hold. While your company needs to keep generating revenue, you can’t ignore what’s happening right now. Indeed recently published their Employee Burnout Report and it indicates that 67% of the workers surveyed feel employee burnout has gotten worse since last year. It’s become apparent that People ops leaders will need to adopt technology in fresh ways to face continuing challenges with remote and hybrid work, vaccine mandates, employee retention, and the overall health, wellness, and engagement of their employees.
Just when we thought we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, employers will need to continue to provide ongoing support to employees during this difficult time. When employees feel supported, their productivity can improve and as leaders, we can buffer the impact of suffering and prevent burnout before it even gets to that point.
Here are five ways to support employees’ total well-being despite what the unforeseen future of Covid-19 brings.
Introduce programming to assist in educating employees and their families on Covid-19 and what is happening with the global pandemic. It is essential to provide employees with information relevant to everything going on in our world right now as we make decisions on our health and that of our families. AccessElite provides multiple offerings organizations can leverage such as “Covid-19 Navigating Through Today’s Climate” where an AccessElite psychologist will discuss the toll Covid-19 has had, and ways to proactively manage through change and tips to keep you on track. There is also a plethora of uncertainty regarding children’s health and Covid-19 so consider providing a session like “Children’s general health and expectant/new mothers during Covid-19” with an AccessElite Pediatrician sharing general health advice for children, addressing questions regarding parents’ health, and providing ways in which you can support your family when it comes to Covid-19. This class also provides helpful tips for being a parent or expecting parent during Covid-19.
2. Support the Mental and Emotional Needs of Employees
As Americans brace themselves for another year of pandemic life, their mental health is hitting an all-time low, according to the Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition. Stress levels are climbing with the Omicron variant, up 27% in just the last 3 months. “This sustained impact on the mental health of today’s workforce will require an equally sustained impact and effort on the part of employers,” said Daryl Tol, executive vice president of One Mind at Work. Oftentimes, it is hard to believe that the people you work with could be struggling, so employers must also take steps to understand what their employees are going through if they are going to be able to support them during this time. The same goes for team managers and cultivating a safe space for employees to voice their concerns and need for a break when they are in a time of mental stress. Leaders are likely experiencing similar effects, so it’s just as important to understand these issues for your own mental health. AccessElite can provide your team with the tools required to support employees that are facing emotional and mental health concerns. Whether the support is through a mental health seminar, an art therapy class, or just a fun team bonding event, AccessElite has something to keep your employees thriving.
3. Keep Connection Strong
Social isolation is one of the largest factors negatively affecting mental health so now more than ever, it’s critical to keep teams connected and engaged. A happy and healthy team means more productivity and lower costs. So as employees continue to experience virtual fatigue and burnout, how do you create fresh programs that people will actually engage in? When face-to-face interaction is not possible, how do you continue to build connections? Creating opportunities for virtual social interaction is a great way for employers to bring their team together and help anyone struggling feel less alone. Keep virtual activities fresh and exciting and take team building to the next level to meet your goals in a fun, new way. Organize a fun dueling pianos event, interactive game series, comedy, or magic show; Offer access to a virtual concert, or facilitate a motivational speaker series. From virtual events to office lunches, AccessElite makes engaging with employees easy. Whether your team is in the office or not, we provide you with the tools your employees need to stay connected and thrive.
- Musical Bingo
- Terrarium Building
- Cooking & Cocktails
- The Game Show Series
- Let’s Craft Together
- Comedy Shows
- Paint and Sip
- Cookie Decorating
- Coffee and Tea Tasting
- Wine Tasting
- Escape Room Experience
- Sushi Night In
- Magic Show
- At-Home Spa
4. Encouraging Taking Time for Self Care
Employees should know that taking care of themselves is a priority at your organization, especially since many are facing additional demands such as childcare or financial strain. Sharing resources for self-care, including reminders to spend time outside when possible, taking a walk when needed (and not just on a lunch break), eating nutritious meals, working out, or meditating, helps educate people on the impact of stress and burnout. Encourage employees to put “well-being time” on their calendars each week and provide easy access to live or on-demand videos they can access on their schedule. Give the gift of relaxation by hosting a virtual R&R event filled with a variety of activities for employees to enjoy such as sound baths, meditation sessions, virtual spa and beauty consultations. To make it even more special, send a curated box of spa products or mini relaxation kits. AccessElite curates activities and custom kits to deliver straight to your employees’ door making it even less stressful on you and them! Promoting flexibility is also vital, as people juggle demanding schedules and many teams work across different time zones. Employees should have a myriad of options available at their fingertips with the ability to access self-care resources instantly.
5. Engage Management in Your Programming
Leaders are ultimately responsible for ensuring the positive impact of a well-being strategy. Showcase to management that connecting with your staff on a deeper level through daily communication, consistent check-ins and regular events will create a nurturing environment where teams can thrive. Successful strategies have support from the top-down and having well-being advocates in all corners of the “office,” especially C-suite will help employees overcome obstacles and remove barriers to getting help. Furthermore, leaders and managers must be visibly and enthusiastically involved and remain accountable for maintaining a mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially healthy workforce. As the famous philosopher Albert Schweitzer said, “the three most important ways to lead people are: by example… by example… by example…” Be a role model by actively participating in your organizations’ health and wellness programs. Join company challenges, take your PTO, share your well-being priorities, book well-being time on your calendar…proactively walk the walk do not just talk the talk. As Kathy Miller Perkins powerfully says in this recent Forbes article, “Your job is to become the visible sponsor, model, and cheerleader for a robust, healthy, and sustainable culture. Setting your company up to carry out strategies and achieve goals is job number one as you plan for the new year.”
Are you looking for ways to support your employees during this challenging time? Learn more about AccessElite’s comprehensive Covid-19 solutions, virtual team building, engagement experiences, and all-inclusive digital wellness platform. Book a demo today or reach out to one of our experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.