September 1 2020
Employee Health & Well-Being During COVID
The past five months have brought many challenges and disruptions to our work and personal lives. At Entuitive, we saw first-hand how our talented global staff worked hard to adjust to working from home while managing childcare and eldercare responsibilities, always being mindful of health and safety rules implemented the world over.
The well-being of our people has always been our priority. Our first question was how do we ensure we’re supporting our people the best we can during these unprecedented times? “We like to think of well-being as consisting of three pillars,” says Michelle Cogan, Senior Manager, People & Culture, “physical, emotional, and financial. We developed our support programs around those pillars.”
While our global staff transitioned to working from home, some of our ongoing projects still required on-site visits. When government regulations allowed a slow return to construction sites, we ensured our staff had proper PPE for these visits. This was paramount in ensuring our team felt safe enough to perform site visits where absolutely necessary.
Alternatively, our innovative team developed virtual site reviews where in-person visits proved impossible.
“The procurement of personal protective equipment has been a top priority,” says Michelle. “Much of our COVID response and planning has involved discussion with every single team member who may need PPE to ensure they’re comfortable with going on site with proper precautions.”
Our team’s physical well-being extends beyond site visits to an increased wellness program since the start of the pandemic.
“We really stepped up our wellness programming this year,” says Pamela Mahal, Generalist, People & Culture. “On a monthly basis we’ve been offering wellness workshops, and in our firmwide Teams chat, we’ve been offering team fitness challenges, healthy recipes, and health and safety tips regarding COVID.”
At Entuitive, we cultivate a One Company culture, which is our way of saying one for all and all for one. The pandemic has shown us just how important our culture is as we’ve been living it every day since working from home. This ties into our second pillar of well-being.
The pandemic has been difficult and challenging. Our people have had to balance many different responsibilities, and it’s been a masterclass in company culture to see how we’ve all come together to support each other through this time.
“This pandemic has been emotional,” says Pamela. “Many of our staff have had to balance taking care of children and parents while working from home with a partner who is also working from home, all while being hyper aware of safety protocols to avoid contracting COVID and inadvertently spreading it. Our team has had several conversations with team members who needed accommodations to be able to handle competing responsibilities. It’s why we implemented Flexible Work Guidelines firmwide.”
Entuitive’s Flexible Work Guidelines outline how employees and their leaders can come together to achieve a work situation that works. For some, this has meant taking a leave of absence to focus on their home and family for a time. For others, it’s manifesting in a phased approach to returning to the office, for example starting with once or twice a week.
“We encourage our leadership to have ongoing conversations with their team members to check in with them and see how they’re doing,” says Michelle. “These conversations are vital to the well-being of our people. We can’t support our team if we don’t understand the challenges they’re facing.”
Our focus on emotional well-being and family responsibilities has led to the development of our Family Leave Program as well, which will provide income protection for those taking family leave.
“Personal finances are definitely a part of wellness,” says Pamela. “Our Family Leave Program will provide an income top up for sixteen weeks, for both men and women who are having a child or adopting.”
The program will naturally extend beyond the pandemic, as it’s vitally important for our people to be supported during such a life-changing, joyful time.
“We are also happy to report that, because of the hard work everyone has put in over the last five to six months, we have been able to minimize the short-term financial impact of the pandemic, says Ken Hodgkins, Director of Finance. “While the future is still uncertain, we’re confident that the extraordinary effort we’ve all put in has positioned our organization to come out of this stronger than ever.”
COVID-19 certainly changed the way we work and interact, but by focusing on the three pillars of well-being, our team has shown resilience and strength, coming together to continue delivering great work for great clients.