When Covid-19 hit the headlines in March, none of us knew what would happen
Fast forward to today – three lockdowns, 12 months and countless cancelled plans later – and here we all are; taking it one day at a time and doing what we can to make the best of an unprecedented (sorry) situation.
Working life has undergone a seismic shift. In the last 12 months IC teams regrouped and refocused their communications to offer advice on managing this new way of working with a strong focus on wellbeing.
It’s been great to see companies rally to support their people. But, as ever, communications need to evolve to stay relevant and responsible. With uncertain days dragging on, now is the right time to review how your wellbeing communications are going and what you can do to show employees that you’re not all talk.
Here are few ideas on how to turn words into action…
1. Encouraging people to take a break is one thing – but are they actually being given the opportunity to do it? Block book 30 minutes in everyone’s diaries over lunchtime and peg it as ‘you-time’ to stop people booking meetings and make sure everyone can switch off.
2. Include a quick wellbeing check at meetings. Think about how new and existing work affects your people, so you can make plans to support them. For example, will they need to work extra hours? Do people know how to claim time back in lieu?
3. Book some time in for an audit of your policies and procedures. Advising people to manage their time in a way that’s healthy, but not allowing flexible working hours, for example, is a confusing message; see if you can spot any updates or quick wins.
4. While we’re apart, feeling ‘seen’ and appreciated is more important than ever. Create tools and resources to boost peer recognition, like downloadable thank you cards. When there’s a template to use, people are more likely to share the love!
5. Everyone’s mental health has taken a hit this year. Getting senior leaders to share their experiences as well as just encouraging people to talk shows people you’re serious about openness and acceptance, and that wellbeing is here to stay.
6. Plan events that focus on wellbeing, and give people time off to attend. We’ve helped clients create digital events from small, friendly focus groups, to business-wide bonanzas during the past year, find out more here.
7. Don’t expect people to do their own research – bring it to them! Organise webinars and ‘TED talk’ style meetings by bringing in external experts.
8. Start step challenges, virtual running clubs, even company-wide yoga sessions to encourage people to stay active. Doing something as a team means people are more likely to stick at it and make a permanent, positive change.