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3 Employee Wellness Trends to Watch in 2021

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will affect employees well beyond the immediacy of the initial crisis. As an employer, you have a unique ability and responsibility to manage your benefit providers, such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and health insurance plans to ensure your workers have access to the help and support they need. Having your workers know you are here to support them through these difficult times can make a world of difference for their mental and physical health. Your Human Resources team and supervisors can help make this difference a reality.

In these stressful times, it is not enough to post benefit information on your company website. People are overwhelmed by news about the virus, their health risk, their jobs and the economy. That is why you and your benefit providers should reinforce messaging several times, when appropriate, about how to get help for the stress they are feeling. Employers need to reinforce what their benefits providers are saying, support the importance of getting help when needed, and, when relevant, create multi-lingual resources. Working with benefits providers to assure your employees can access remote services and adjusting internal policies can minimize the impacts on your workplace and support your workers through stressful situations.

If your organization does not offer an EAP or similar program, there are still things you can do to support your workforce as they deal with the current stresses. You may want to circle back after the crisis has passed to see if you can deploy an EAP for future crisis issues. Whatever resources you do have available, it is crucial to let your employees know about them. Employees may have a lot on their mind and may be experiencing high levels of stress – they may be more distracted, which is typical. You may need to tell them repeatedly and in a variety of ways how to access mental health services.

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