COVID-19 Infections on the Rise
Due to the Delta variant, COVID-19 infections are on the rise again. According to Johns Hopkins University data, the 2021 infection rate has officially surpassed the number of infections during 2020. This has organizations unsure of how to move forward with their return-to-work strategy. Only a small portion have fully retuned to the office, with many remaining working from home or holding in their phased return approach. In addition to constantly adjusting their return-to-work strategy, leaders have been, and will need to continue, making adjustments to their wellness programs and strategies to match the unknowns of the workplace.
Next Steps for Wellness Programs
Given the fact that we’ve had another whirlwind of a year, it is understandable that employers, HR professionals and employees alike are all overwhelmed. With the ever-changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19, many do not know what their next steps should even be when it comes to their wellness program.
In a recent article, the Director of Member Experience at WELCOA, Maggie Gough, explains that major, groundbreaking changes are not needed right now. With everything going on in the world, it is best to keep it simple until things calm down. Listed below are three small, meaningful steps you can take right now to start improving your wellness program:
- Listen to Employees: Whether it is over Zoom or masked up in person, talk to your employees one-on-one. If your organization is too large for one-on-one conversations, consider small and intermediate focus groups instead. Regardless, make it clear that employees are in a safe space and you are very interested in hearing their honest opinions. Ask them what well-being means to them, if they feel supported and about improvements that could be made.
- Organize Feedback: During your conversations, take notes. Then organize all the feedback you received into insights and data to take to leadership along with any recommendations you may have.
- Support Well-Being: If you are unsure of how to support employee health and well-being, Health Designs has a variety of flexible solutions that can help you achieve your organization’s health and well-being goals including our all-in-one wellness portal, well-being coaching, on and off-site biometric screenings as well as COVID-19 antigen rapid testing. To learn more about our offerings, contact us today!
- Prioritize Self-Care: One of the most important aspects of well-being is self-care. Find ways to empower employees to practice self-care, whether it is removing barriers to self-care, such as extensive documentation for incentives, or providing time during the work day for self-care. Whatever works best for your employees!
The Future of Wellness Programs
While some may think wellness programs will no longer be relevant in a post COVID world, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Experts are predicting that healthcare costs will rise higher than expected due to the course pandemic has taken. In previous years, wellness programs were popular due to the fact that they help lower health care costs while also reducing absenteeism rates and improving employee engagement. Now, wellness programs will play a critical role in helping to manage healthcare costs. While there will be differences, the main focus stays the same: providing employees with the best resources possible and promoting healthy lifestyles.
To learn more, visit WELCOA!