COVID-19 came with unprecedented challenges for employers and employees alike. People fell ill, lost their loved ones, and all this was coupled with the economic hardships that characterized the pandemic. The pandemic has indeed been painful for everyone. Fortunately, the approval of different vaccines and the commencement of the vaccination program indicate the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone, including businesses, is anticipating this return to normalcy. According to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, most of them expect COVID-19 recovery to have employees back in their offices soon.
But we’re not out of the woods yet, and as employees return to work, organizations have a role to play in improving the current health situation and moving to the next normal.
Here are five ways businesses can help in the COVID-19 recovery.
1. Ensure Safe Working Conditions for Returning Employees for COVID-19 Recovery
Businesses have to adjust to new ways of doing things to mitigate the effects of this crisis on their operations. First, get your own house order. Ensure you put together safety measures within the organization that guarantee the safety of your employees. Institute social distancing measures in the work areas and follow cleaning and hygiene protocols.
Ask yourself whether new or extra training and information are necessary for the employees returning to work. Keep the team informed of what the organization is doing to reduce anxiety amid uncertain times.
A safe return to work cannot be a one-person job. It requires a collective agreement of all departments in the organization to work together. For example, allow employees to contribute in assessing risks and identifying new solutions.
2. Review Employee Benefits Plan to Promote Wellness
Motivate your employees and make them feel comfortable returning to the office by going the extra mile to provide a wellness-centered benefit plan.
For instance, with the increasing concerns in the mental health issues like depression which have been prevalent among US adults during the pandemic, expand employee health benefits to incorporate mental health care.
Similarly, childcare support should be another employee benefit that employers should review. Put workers with dependents at ease by adding or expanding your childcare service benefits.
3. Encourage Employees to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine
Although different vaccines are already approved, some people are hesitant to get the Covid vaccine. By law, you cannot force anyone to receive the vaccine, but you can encourage them to get vaccinated.
Businesses can partner with a local health provider or expert to give accurate and timely information about vaccines. You can also give electronic, visual, and paper educational materials with approved information on the benefits of receiving the Covid vaccine.
Another approach is to give incentives such as gift cards, a bonus, or other rewards to workers who get vaccinated. Giving incentives is a legal tactic of encouraging people to receive the vaccine.
4. Foster Strong Partnerships By Supporting Local Public Health Efforts
For more than a year now, health institutions and practitioners have been our first line of defense against the virus. Businesses should foster strong partnerships with the local public health authorities by supporting their efforts towards curbing COVID-19 infections.
Your organization should be at the forefront in following advice from public health experts. Attend their meetings on safety and follow their advice in the workplace.
5. Advocate for Streamlined Health Initiatives & Reporting
For years, there has been a decline in the capabilities of public health departments due to the reduced number of workers, the exit of top-notch professionals, and out-of-date reporting systems. Your business can collaborate with the local public health departments and help increase their capacity by increasing volunteer and pro-bono activities. The support and resources from the private sector offer a multiplier effect to employers and health departments.
Take Your Business’s COVID-19 Recovery to the Next Level
Benefits Zone offers a digital benefits mobile app that helps companies deliver wellness information directly to employees. We can help you centralize information on changes in benefits or procedures surrounding returning to the office. Request a demo today!