As an employer, you have a duty of care to all staff which includes their mental and physical health. Programs that support the mental health and wellness of employees can be beyond the budgets of many SMEs but there are some cost effective options that are easy to implement. Here are our suggestions:
1. Encourage holiday leave
While lockdowns, travel restrictions and border closures are creating reasons NOT to holiday, the reality is, we all need to take time off to relax and recharge our batteries. Even if annual leave is taken as a couple of days off here and there or as an extra long weekend, these stay-cations can help relieve stress and re-energise us. Importantly as a business owner, you need to remember to do the same for yourself.
2. Implement your own wellness programs
If your staff are remote working, introducing wellness programs can be challenging but not impossible with the aid of technology. Inexpensive but cost effective examples include:
- Online or in-person Lunch and Learn sessions with health professionals such as chiropractors, dietitians, personal trainers, physiotherapists or work and safety experts (sharing information on ergonomic workspace set-up).
- Regular morning tea team meetings or after work online catch-ups to socialise and maintain team dynamics. These days, there are even online group activities such as Escape Rooms, wine tastings and cooking classes.
- Encourage staff to monitor their daily steps and provide recognition or incentives for staff who are maximising their exercise time – especially during any lockdowns.
- Asking staff if they would like to engage in before or after work walking, cycling, jogging or sports groups. These are free or low cost activities where the power of the group maintains team engagement. These activities also help to encourage team building and morale. Best of all, walking, cycling or jogging can usually continue during lockdowns with the aid of smartphones and video apps.
- Once back to onsite working, consider providing fruit for morning tea to promote healthier eating habits.
3. Recognising fear and anxiety
Each member of your team will be interpreting and experiencing COVID threats in different ways. That’s why it’s important to be on the lookout for staff members exhibiting signs of anxiety and fear.
Developing a culture where everyone looks out for each other will strengthen team work and help support your goal of providing a healthy and safe workplace. We call it QuaranTEAM – working together to collectively navigate the challenges and uncertainties of life with COVID.
If you are seeking practical solutions and support to navigate the complexities of managing your team in a COVID-19 world, contact End2end on 02 8977 4002.