The COVID-19 Pandemic has globally shattered the economic activity on an unprecedented scale, raising the specter of salary cuts and job losses.
In these turbulent times, how you look after employee wellbeing will be remembered for years to come. Showing your support and consideration for employees will leave a lasting impact on their loyalty, engagement, and productivity.
It’s good to see some companies in the UAE meet these challenges with such creativity, kindness, and heart. It’s easy to lead when everything is going smoothly, but a tough call to lead during challenging times. Compassionate organizations have stepped up humanitarian efforts.
From Al Habtoor Group donating 50 ambulance vehicles and a medically equipped building for quarantine purposes to IBC Group pledging $5million to help contain the Pandemic. And the Al-Futtaim Group announcing a DH 100 million fund to support its mall tenants in Dubai Festival City and Festival Plaza, ease their financial burden-We see many uplifting examples of companies acting with compassion during this COVID pandemic.
Essential steps to prioritize employee wellbeing
Pay cuts can make your employees feel devalued. Feelings of resentment are possible if benefits are suddenly taken away. It may even lead to lower morale, decreased productivity, stress, and reduced loyalty.
So how do you optimize employee performance during pay cuts?
Focus on mental health
Pay cuts can lead to a lot of emotional strain among employees. Of course, they have their own set of expenses and families to manage. Added to this social distancing and the scary pandemic news would raise their anxiety.
Consider providing mindfulness training for your employees. Likewise, you can offer employee assistance programs or highlight the use of other mental health apps. Sites like Mindfulness Exercises provide free assistance to walk participants through guided meditation.
Announce a gratitude challenge
Being thankful can make you a happier person. When the going gets tough, thinking about the good things in life will change our perspective.
Science says gratitude enriches relationships, improves physical and psychological health, enhances empathy, and reduces aggression, enhances self-esteem, helps sleep better, and increases mental strength. Launch a gratitude challenge to keep your employees motivated.
Encourage virtual wellness activities
Now more than ever, encourage employees to work out as it not only boosts physical fitness but enhances mental health as well. Point your employees to online free sources like Youtube that explain home workouts and yoga to promote physical fitness.
Corporate Sports, via its corporate esports project, offers a range of online activities to boost employee wellness. Jut a few formalities, and you’re all set.
Offer financial assistance
Find creative ways to support financially struggling employees. During this Pandemic, some companies have made sure “Human” is prioritized in human resources. They’ve expanded their offerings to services like free telemedicine consults, in addition to their already existing medical, financial, and mental health benefits.
Likewise, some companies reimburse lunch and coffee for employees purchasing from small business owners, thereby supporting small businesses.
Some notable employee benefits by corporates during this Pandemic include
- Access to free mental health counseling through phone or text
- Free financial planning support
- Expanded childcare support
- One hundred percent coverage for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19
- Immediate paid leave for any employee diagnosed coronavirus positive.
- Financial coverage for virtual doctor visits
- Paid caregiver leave
- Creating wellbeing modules for staying physically and mentally healthy at home.
Humans are social animals, right? On a psychological level engaging with people can decrease feelings of isolation and loneliness. Schedule coffee breaks with team members and spend time catching up. Some employers have organized Zoom Happy Hours, where employees participate in different challenges, for example, decorating their homes with used items. Some corporates have even extended virtual happy hours to include kids and pets.
Employees want to make sure they are working with a company that has humanity at its core. Use this Pandemic to do genuine good, whether for your employees or communities, and reap the benefits after we’ve sailed this turbulent sea.