Supporting employee’s health & wellbeing is always an important part of a positive & engaging culture, and with today’s current situation - it’s more important than ever. A recent survey from Forbes highlighted the added tension employees are currently facing:
- 67% of people report higher levels of stress since the outbreak of COVID-19.
- 57% say they have greater anxiety since the outbreak.
- 54% say they are more emotionally exhausted.
- 53% say they feel sadness day-to-day.
- 50% feel they are more irritable.
- 42% report their overall mental health has declined.
So how can your organization show employees you care, and encourage them to use the health tools available to them?
We put together a list of seven ideas you can use to promote health & wellbeing to your population. These tips are a mix of things we’ve been doing at our organization, or clients are having success with. Take these and apply them to your culture today.
1. Promote mental health resources
According to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), people experiencing mental health conditions often face negativity, rejection, bullying and discrimination. The stigma of mental health can make their journey to recovery longer and more difficult.
That’s why it’s important for your organization reduce the stigma by communicating freely the importance of getting the help when needed, and providing access to resources, like EAP, openly and frequently.
2. Connect one-on-one
Another easy way to support employees is to simply check in one-on-one with those who may be struggling and simply let know you are there for them. Help recognize and validate that this is hard and give the person permission to feel. Personal connection is a critical step to support emotional health on can open up the dialog on what the employee is dealing with and what is needed to manage. Always remember to give them the pathway and resources to get more help if they need it.
3. Add in some fun
- Appoint ‘chief humor officer’ – some members of the team just have that knack for funny office jokes or videos to make us laugh. Put someone in charge of posting the jokes or feel good stories.
- Have T-shirt Thursday’s: concert, favorite band, ugly Christmas sweater, etc.
- Play games:
- Virtually, you can send out riddles, logic puzzles or brain teasers to get people thinking and talking
- In the office, you can have a "guess who" baby picture contest, scavenger hunt, or post fun trivia/trick math questions on a bulletin board and have employees’ guess.
- Feel good Fridays – post funny videos, or cute animal photos
4. Ask a daily question
Create a new way to connect & team build with coworkers by asking a daily question.
- What song was #1 on the year you were born?
- What’s a new favorite recipe you’ve tried?
- What online sources are you using to find workouts?
- How many siblings do you have? Show us a picture!
- What’s one thing we might not know about you?
- What’s your current favorite, ‘pick me up’ song?
- What’s one thing you are grateful for today?
TIP: Use tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Facebook workplace, Zoho Connect, Skype to create these chats separate from your daily workspace and limit email clutter. Or if still working in person, use a bulletin board and post it notes for employees to write down and display their answers.
5. Start a wellbeing newsletter
If you haven’t already, now it is a great time to start a wellbeing newsletter, to keep employees informed on healthy topics. It’s also a great way to keep communication more open about the tools you have available for them, including EAP, telemedicine, wellness initiatives, and more. Newsletters also provide a place to recognize employees participating in your wellbeing offerings.
6. Encourage physical activity
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include physical activity. It’s a powerful mental health prevention tool and can provide immediate boosts of energy and feel good vibes. Encourage employees to use online resources to stay active, or if you have a platform (like Motion Connected!) run a team challenge to help employees stay connected, and working together towards a goal, while apart.
7. Run wellbeing challenges