Now that the United States is reopening little by little, businesses must reexamine what employee care looks like. The entire world has collectively been through a major trauma, and the virus is still posing a risk as we shift into a new normal.
The question is: What does employee care look like in these unprecedented times? How can you help your team feel safe, supported, and healthy after such a unique crisis? Keep the following topics in mind as you redesign your employee care procedures and offers to be sure you’re keeping employees safe and supported.
Be Open About Mental Health
For far too many, mental health issues are treated as an isolating secret. But this attitude is unhelpful, dangerous, and outdated. It’s more important than ever before to be open about mental health now. COVID-19 was traumatic enough that many people may find themselves dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to Medical News Today, even if they weren’t personally affected by the virus.
What’s more, as of April 2020, 45% of adults in the United States reported that their mental health had been negatively impacted by the added worry and stress about the virus.
Make it clear that your workplace is a safe space to discuss and disclose these challenges. If an employee admits to having panic attacks, issues focusing, or needing special work accommodations, your job is first and foremost to listen. Encourage employees to share and feel supported in their struggles, while helping them problem-solve mental health issues related to work.
Teach Employees About Their Mental Health Benefits
Mental health awareness is important, but that alone isn’t enough. It’s vital your employees understand what mental health benefits their insurance covers so they can get the help they need. For example, in What You Need to Know About ACA Mental Health Coverage, health insurance experts explain:
“One of the most revolutionary aspects of the ACA is the requirement that certain health insurance plans on the health insurance marketplace provide this coverage. This includes individual and small group plans, as well as Medicaid Alternative Benefit Plans.”
This is something many employees may not know, and when they are educated on information like this, they’re more empowered to tackle their mental health challenges. What’s more, employers lose more than $100 billion per year due to mental health issues. Helping your employees get the care they need helps you too.
Make Cleanliness a Priority
The pandemic has highlighted how significant personal hygiene and public cleanliness is to our general health. Make sure it’s easy for your employees to practice good hygiene at your office by providing sanitizer, posting signs with the proper hand-washing technique, and encouraging social distancing.
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Start here and then take it one step further by implementing CDC-recommended cleaning practices. Unsurprisingly, 46% of businesses are planning on practicing deep cleaning while COVID-19 is still a threat, according to 2020 office cleaning data.
One of the most surefire ways to do this is to hire a professional cleaning team that’s trained in biohazards and sterilization. Combining this with diligent daily cleaning and personal hygiene can help mitigate the spread of COVID in your office.
Help Employees Feel Supported
Employee care isn’t just about physical health or mental illness; it’s about emotional health as well. There’s no denying that now is an unusual and overwhelming time, and coming back to work may be frightening for many.
One way to make employees feel supported is to offer more mental health days that they can take to manage anxiety, stress, and fears during COVID. Take it a step further and check out companies like Chevron, EY, and Verizon are taking mental health seriously.
Employee Care Post-COVID Benefits Everyone
It’s important to remember that your employees are human, and we’ve all just gone through a global crisis. We’ve also seen how vulnerable we are to new illnesses and how important cleanliness is in protecting against such threats. Focus on helping your employees feel mentally, physically, and emotionally well, and your business’s future will look healthier than ever.