The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything I could have ever imagined as an HR professional. Many of us have attended the SHRM webinars and conferences regarding emergency preparedness and crisis management. Some of us had our business continuity plans updated and felt moderately prepared for severe weather events, a water main break in the building, a data breach, prolonged power outages … but not this.
Looking for ways to adapt
Most, if not all, HR professionals, business leaders, and employees are reeling from the ever-evolving uncertainty, rapid changes in legislation, social distancing dynamic, and the challenges of working remotely as much as possible.
As we announced the transition to remote work at Emplify (which we are very fortunate to be able to do), each of our leaders and our People Ops team have made deliberate efforts to over-communicate. Through individual Slacks, all-team meetings, and 1:1s, People Ops identified some themes in the challenges our team members were facing during this time. We used these common themes to create a blitz of well-being chats for our team, planning a 30-minute virtual discussion for each day of the week.
These talks focus on holistic wellness in an attempt to help Emplifiers maintain physical, emotional, financial, and social health through these uncertain times and our new remote reality. We hosted Pete the Planner to share his insights on financial preparedness; asked therapist Susan Moody to help us manage stress and anxiety during this time; invited yogi Ally Denton to lead us through some breathing exercises and beginner poses; asked professor Paul Cook to share methods for deciphering accurate news and media sources; and hosted Licensed Nurse Practitioner Bridget Whitmore to educate us about the coronavirus and share her most practical tips for keeping healthy.
Finding more to appreciate
Moving forward, we will continue to host one workplace well-being chat each week, focused on the dynamics of the COVID-19 situation and work in this new context. We also opened up our chats to the family members of our Emplifiers, so that we can reach as many of our team and their loved ones as possible.
Our goal for these chats was to help Emplifiers prepare for a period of uncertainty. We found they provided something else just as valuable: They helped us maintain our social connection in a socially distant world — and reminded us that no matter how different our new reality is, we’re all in this together.