If 2020 was a year of crisis management and emergency healthcare support, 2021 is the chance to redouble efforts on mental and physical wellness and build a happier, fitter workforce. Here are 5 pointers to help you do that.
1. Don’t Pull The Plug On Digital H&W
Surveys indicate many people are likely to working remotely on a regular basis or at least occasionally in 2021. So don’t shelve online wellness programs you had in place in the past year. Instead, leverage those initiatives to build new ones for the year.
2. Be Flexible, Offer Choice
Offer employees the chance to self-select. Don’t force offline initiatives on everyone – some employees may have health concerns or may have to work from home even this year. Equally, don’t make everyone stick to online modes if they prefer being face-to-face, say, with their yoga teacher.
The right healthcare partner could offer you a combination that works for everyone – healthi, for instance, offers online fitness programs as well as access to fitness centers and gyms nationwide.
3. Focus On The 3 Rs
This year, your H&W program should combine initiatives that ensure adequate rest and relaxation, skills that teach resilience to tide over this uncertain phase, and time for recovery from illness/setbacks.
4. Train Supervisors And Leadership
A hybrid workplace can no longer be a one-off or exception. The sooner supervisors, managers, and leadership accept this as par for the course, the better. This also changes things like how performance appraisals happen, how KRAs are tracked, and so on.
The stress and uncertainty around whether working remotely will impact ratings can take a toll on employees’ mental and emotional health. Employees who know their supervisors have been sensitized and that they will not be penalized for working from home or having had health setbacks are less likely to be anxious about these things.
5. Drive Health Safety At The Workplace
If your organization intends to go hybrid, communicate the efforts being made to make the office a safe place for returning employees. This will help reassure the workforce. So even as you set up Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for cleaning, hygiene, and prevention, you should also:
- Periodically list SOPs and measures taken clearly on your intranet or via mailers.
- Use visible signage to direct employees to things they might need (like sanitizers, spare masks etc.).
- Guide employees on social distancing norms in common areas like cafeterias, elevators, the lobby, meeting rooms, and so on.
- Place posters and signs with WHO & CDC based tips in common areas like hallways, notice boards, canteen, etc. and even as table tops.