By Paul Binsfeld, president and founder of Company Nurse LLC
The past few years have been some of the most exciting for Company Nurse. We were rapidly growing — adding new clients, team members, and services.
Then we, like all of you, were hit with a wake-up call in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the Company Nurse Leadership Team has paid great attention to caring for our employees and in fostering a positive culture, this pandemic has brought to light what our employees truly need – in this time of crisis and beyond.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 and the expansive media coverage of the disease has spurred overwhelming anxiety. Your employees most likely fear for financial difficulties, their health, isolation from social distancing, and other lifestyle changes.
Here’s how you can support employees and continue to do so after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Provide Financial Management Resources
You can help your employees manage anxiety spurred by uncertainty by keeping them informed of relevant financial news. Be transparent about the state of your company and the impact any changes may have on their jobs. And be sure to notify employees of news (local, national, or world) that impacts the company.
In addition, it’s important to provide your employees with financial management resources and remind them of the resources already available to them.
For example, at Company Nurse, we provide our employees with an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Our EAP has several resources for financial management including webinars, guides, and counseling.
Employees may forget about this benefit, so be sure to remind them. Send them updates of new or relevant resources in your EAP so that they can make the most out of the program. Our HR manager sends these announcements through our human resources platform’s announcements section so that employees have a consistent process for receiving and later finding these messages.
After this crisis is over, continue practicing financial transparency; providing news that impacts the company and your team and reminding employees of financial management resources. Sharing this important information to your employees will let them know that they are valued and respected.
Remind Your Team of Employee Health Benefits
Keep your employees informed of their health benefits now and after this crisis, ensuring they know how to access both their physical and mental health benefits.
For workplace injuries, you can provide employees with 24/7 nurse triage. Having access to nurse triage immediately after a workplace injury means employees can get the care they need, when they need it.
At Company Nurse, 40% of injuries we triage are addressed with self-care. This helps employees avoid clinics and the ER, where they could be exposed to COVID-19 and other viruses. We can also triage to telemedicine, when appropriate. So, if the employee does need to see a doctor, they may be assessed in a telemed visit.
For general health (non-work-related injuries or illnesses), check if telemed is available for your employees. Again, this can help your employees avoid potentially dangerous clinics and ERs, while still getting the care they need.
Make sure you also support your employees’ mental health during these difficult times. Check with your Employee Assistance Program for available resources. From virtual sessions with an expert to webinars and worksheets, your employees can get the help they need, the way they want.
Encourage employees now, during the crisis, and beyond to utilize these services. Consistently remind employees that these resources are available and that they are provided as benefits.
Create a Community
With the practice of social distancing, your employees most likely feel isolated from your company and their community.
Get your company’s communication back in full swing with consistent town hall meetings to share important information about the company and employee resources.
At Company Nurse, we hold town hall meetings two to three times a week via Zoom. Our team has been getting creative and having fun with different theme days for these meetings — including team spirit day, wacky hair day, and pajama day!
We’ve found these meetings to lift our team members’ spirits and improve our company’s overall communication. So much so that we will continue these town hall meetings when we are back in our physical offices.
You can continue to foster communication between employees by providing a place to share ideas and tips for thriving in life during this crisis.
Company Nurse offers an optional chat group for employees to share at-home workouts, recipes, crafts, thought articles, and more! After the crisis, your employees can emerge feeling that they have bettered themselves, not just in their work lives, but in their personal lives.
By extending support to employees during a crisis, you will learn lessons and implement procedures that will help your company in future years.