COVID-19 Updates

Podcast — The No Normal Show, Episode 4



Offering Support to Employees Amid the Pandemic 

  • The response to the workforce wellbeing amid COVID-19 involved creating a new initiative — leveraging existing resources at the very beginning of the pandemic and then adding some additional services later on. 
    • It was clear that employees needed support for their emotional needs, so in response, University Hospitals offered: 
      • A call center for on-demand support. 
      • A digital library containing helpful resources.
      • Free webinars and classes (Yoga, meditation, leadership/management). 
      • A Crisis Intervention Team.
      • "Lavender Rooms" with massage chairs to create a quiet, calming space to relax and reset.
      • Daily emails with important news and encouraging stories.

Accessing Resources 

  • University Hospitals focused on offering support that was not connected to HR in order to provide a neutral space. 
    • It's important to be a role model in making sure there is a buy-in from the top leadership by using and talking about the services you offer.  
  • Most of the resources are offered in an online portal, but not every University Hospitals employee has a company computer. 
    • So we also send daily emails short enough so that they can be printed and shared by supervisors or managers. 
    • This has been most effective when there is a change in shift for nurses as well as changes in cooking and cleaning crews.   

Breaking the Mental Health Stigma for Healthcare Workers 

  • The focus for us is on prevention and building resilience. 
    • The goal is to let employees know that you genuinely care. 
  • In terms of communication, we must tell the stories of how others are building resilience and how they face and conquer adversity.  

Tips for Wave Two of COVID-19 

  • It's important to validate your employee's fears and concerns before you ever offer solutions. 
    • The first step is to make sure that we listen to them.  

Communication Tools

  • We use multiple modes of communication. 
    • The daily email is very short and very different from any other emails that people are receiving. 
    • We work hard to try to avoid additional files and any repetition. 
    • It's delivered early in the morning so it can be printed, posted, and shared. 
  • We've also hosted town halls, webinars on zoom, and YouTube videos.    

Measuring the Effectiveness of Internal Communications  

  • We track the open rates of our emails, attendance to our classes and webinars, and the usage of the call center and the Crisis Intervention Team. 
  • We have different kinds of rewards/recognitions to boost morale and participation. 
    • In the weekly email, we highlight workers in our "hero interviews".
      • These are individuals that stand out and bring a great sense of team spirit. 
    • For our classes, employees get points for attending, which ultimately awards money.
      • There is a maximum amount of points per quarter.