The importance of a corporate wellness strategic managerial approach during the Coronavirus crisis.
What doesn’t kill you make you stronger!
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
The importance of a corporate wellness strategic managerial approach during the Covid-19 crisis.
from an inevitable situation
As the Covid-19 continues to spread, many employers have no choice but to create a work from home policy in the event that businesses need to adapt for a relatively long period of time to face this sanitary and economic crisis. Few companies are preparing by enhancing teleconferencing tools to help to make it easier for people to work from home. Strategies, business and HR plans are set up to face the comings (long) weeks to come.
Most companies are pretty well prepared or adaptable enough, to face all logistical, technical, and organizational aspect of such situation. However, due to these unique circumstances, this situation has an emotional and social impact that no one has dealt with before. Indeed, the mindset, the resilience, the loyalty and the cohesion of employees may be challenged during this difficult time.
Then the question becomes: how can managers view widespread of this virus as an opportunity to show how much they value the people who work for them?
Through challenges to face...
Working remotely has become common place in today’s work environment. With the ease of plugging in and connecting from just about anywhere, employees have the flexibility and convenience of working form their home, a coffee shop, the library... Being said this way, work from home appears as a symbol of liberty and flexibility.
Unfortunately, regarding this specific situation, “liberty” and even “flexibility” in some cases, are both concepts that we have to compromise for the common good of the collectivity. That means in such context that the pleasure to work from home could turn into a constraint if not managed carefully. Consequently, it is vital that your workers are set up for success!
Moving work from an office environment to telecommuting is an important step in reducing the impact of the pandemic. However, it is an adjustment for those who have not telecommuted before and can be therefor stressful. Planning, communication and employee well being are essential.
Often the work-space at home is not ergonomic. It is difficult, if not impossible, for an employer to ensure that the home ergonomics where the employee is working are going to support versus penalized the job outcome. Home work-spaces might fill many purposes but could also lead to risks. A worker may be sharing that space with his/her partner or kids that will be working as well or having some hobbies. This commingling triggers to some awkward work-spaces that can lead to high stress level and important “home office syndromes”.
Moreover, as employees are physically totally disconnected from their colleagues and managers, employers must ensure a constant cohesion and collaboration within teams.
...To an opportunity to turn crisis into a constructive situation
A key best practice to ensure productivity, cohesion and collaboration is to establish protocols for working home that will help to mitigate employees’ distractions, disorganization and bad habits.
Employers and managers could help employees to set a dedicated work-space where they can focus on their work with minimal distractions. They also could help employees to schedule and organize their working time accordingly to optimize productivity despite all “at home constraints” related to this crisis.
As 70% of productivity loss is health related. That means unhealthy employees cannot reach their full potential and cannot be fully productive. So to have a productive and competitive workforce, you must have strong individuals both physically and psychologically. This statement is even more accurate that we are going through a pandemic, and it is vital that employers keep their workforce healthier than ever.
It is scientifically proven that healthy people with a strong immune system have less risks to be dangerously exposed to viruses and critical sanitary situations. It is then an opportunity for companies to educate, raise awareness and even more important, to show support in employees health.
With this working from home configuration, the need to foster a strong corporate culture has also increased. Though many employees are comfortable with remote working, not working in a traditional professional environment brings its own set of challenges. One of the major challenges that managers face with remote employees is the challenge of engaging a team that works outside of their “physical reach”. This is where an employee engagement strategy can help you more than ever doing this critical period.
Keeping your employees physically and psychologically healthy will help them to face the difficulties of their daily work from home experience. It is proven that people in good health have more ease to deal with heavy workload, pressure, stress and so on. When working on physical health through physical activities seems obvious, working on psychological health is another challenge especially during this period as many factors could influence the mindset of employees.
Communication is very important when working with remote workers. It is a known fact that managers treat their traditional workers differently from their remote employees. Because of this unexpected crisis situation this phenomenon could appear even against a manager’s will. Being left out is one of the biggest fears of a remote employee. This might lead to disengagement in remote employees. To avoid this, it is important to make conscious effort to communicate and share activities with your remote workers. Send out weekly updates to keep them in the loop.
Encourage people to communicate with everyone else using social features that allow employees to share posts, ideas, request for help and of course share knowledge. Encourage employees to express themselves and interact socially to relieve stress and pressure. That will make your company a communication-friendly structure and helps employees remain engaged.
Encourage your employees to bond with their team members through online collaboration and activities. Try to get all your team members sharing common activities online couple of times a week. Propose them some well-being related activities to keep them active and healthy but also to maintain and even develop their soft skills indirectly through activities proposed: to connect and strengthen communication, collaboration, teamwork spirit and so on.
Finally, ensure that your employees feel valued and that their well-being matters. Ultimately, keeping staff members happy and satisfied will motivate them to perform well during trying times, and even more after.