HR administrators, safety managers, and employers have played a vital role in being a credible source of information and resources for workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Without your help, there is no safe return-to-work plan.

Here are 8 ways you can help create and maintain safe work environments while fostering productivity among employees and contributing to the success of your business.

1. Provide education.

Employees are making major health and wellness decisions that will impact their lives and your business. Provide them with educational materials and resources from reputable sources, like the CDC and the World Health Organization, to help them feel confident and knowledgeable in their choices.

2. Communicate often.

Employees want to know that their company cares about them. Show that you understand your employees’ safety concerns by communicating frequently about company-wide decisions regarding COVID-19 prevention, vaccination, policies on employee privacy and record-keeping, and OSHA standard compliance.

3. Get creative.

If your company plans to include the COVID-19 vaccine as part of its employee-sponsored wellness program, take advantage of incentive ideas that encourage employees to get vaccinated.

4. Be transparent.

The COVID-19 crisis has caused employees to look more closely at benefit details, coverage offerings, and healthcare costs. In fact, employers may be liable if this information is not provided. The Transparency in Coverage rule is the first step in the direction of cost estimate transparency for healthcare services. Be sure to provide employees with resources such as cost estimator tools.

5. Be proactive.

Following the end of the emergency period (when the government will no longer be covering the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine), employers will need to cover the vaccination cost as part of the Affordable Care Act’s “preventive care” provisions. Talk to your broker now about coverage options.

6. Distribute vaccines safely.

Consider hosting a COVID-19 vaccination event at your workplace, so employees can get the vaccine onsite, at no charge, and during work hours. Our turnkey vaccine administration services are customized to our clients’ specific situations and are in full compliance with CDC guidelines.

7. Stay compliant.

Part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan may include an OSHA-issued emergency temporary standard. The standard will likely require employers to create, plan, and execute stronger workplace safety guidelines. Need help navigating the guidelines? Wellness Coaches is your partner in COVID-19 solutions ranging from compliance to response to control.

8. Offer empathy.

The past year has been challenging in many ways. Showing that you care can go a long way—even something as simple as asking your employees how they’re doing. Set aside time to check in with your team, and actively listen to their responses. A few minutes of genuine empathy can have a really positive impact on someone’s day.