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5 Tips to Protect Worker's Health and Well-Being

Industrial-organizational psychologists offer employers advice as pandemic continues to affect workplace.

By the SHRM Certification Team

February 16, 2022

Employers can take five steps to respond effectively to the needs of employees who continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, says the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). Their guidance is offered in a brief video, "Research-Backed Insights to Protect the Health of Your Workforce."

Kim French, associate professor of industrial-organizational psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, presents the recommendations and provides examples of how to implement them:

  • Allow control and autonomy. Allow employees more flexibility as to when and where they work, which will increase productivity. Respect employees' privacy, which covers a range of matters, from not contacting them during nonwork hours to permitting them to turn off visuals during video meetings.

  • Provide tangible resources. Beyond proper equipment and safety procedures, resources for workplace health and well-being cover paid leave, dependent care, counseling services and employee assistance programs (EAPs). Rethink ways to reduce physical as well as emotional burdens on workers.

  • Walk the talk. Make health and safety policies and procedures visible at all levels of the organization. Revise policies to create a culture that doesn't pressure employees to come to work even if they are sick.

  • Be transparent. Provide information to employees about management decision-making, particularly regarding health and safety policies and procedures.

  • Show gratitude and grace. Pay employees fairly and equitably. Be flexible and show understanding and compassion toward everyone in the organization. We are all experiencing the crisis differently and can use one another's support.

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