Spotlight on Baptistcare
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented some very unique challenges for WA workplaces, with many having had to adapt their workplace health and wellbeing program activities during the pandemic. We asked Michele O'Day, Injury Management Partner, to share how Baptistcare has dealt with the impact of COVID-19 and the strategies they have put in place to enable them to continue to address employee health and wellbeing during this time.
How did COVID-19 affect your workplace?
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the entire aged care sector. Our focus from the outset was always on safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our residents and customers, many who are vulnerable, as well as our employees and volunteers who provide such dedicated care and support. We took precautionary measures to do this including implementing a preventive lockdown across our residential facilities until it was evident the curve in Western Australia was flattening. We also ensured our people working across the organisation were upskilled and further trained in infection control and pandemic control.
While it has been months since WA has recorded a known case of community transmission, we have not become complacent and are learning what we can from the recent outbreaks in Victoria. We continue to strictly adhere to the Government of Western Australia’s Public Health Directive which includes mandatory temperature checks and health screenings of all visitors and employees, as well as the requirement for anyone entering a residential care facility to have a current influenza vaccination.
Did you adapt any of your health and wellbeing activities for staff whilst they worked remotely? If yes, how did you adapt them?
We promoted our virtual Wellbeing Centre on MyRecognition, our employee engagement platform, which provided our people with access to a range of resources such as articles on how to stay active while working from home and maintaining mental health during social isolation. Our Employee Assistance Program also provided us with some excellent resources and strategies for our people to support their family and loved ones which we were able to share.
Unfortunately, our in-person wellness activities such as massages and skin cancer checks had to be put on hold due to social distancing requirements.
How did your workplace champions help to keep staff engaged with the program whilst working remotely?
Our workplace champions embraced technology to stay connected and used programs and chat tools such as Microsoft Teams to keep staff engaged with our health and wellbeing activities while working remotely.
Caroline Douglas, Baptistcare workplace champion - Baptistcare Head Office:
“I am very proud to be a Wellness Champion with our Wellness Taskforce. Our aim is to raise awareness on healthy living, mental and financial health whilst achieving a work/life balance.
As part of our Spiritual care series, our social responsibility focuses on supporting women 65+ who may need assistance with accommodation. I had the opportunity to lead a campaign with Share the Dignity where we collected 80+ handbags filled to the brim with toiletries, essentials and some gorgeous mementos.
During COVID we had to reframe our thinking and explore different avenues, we stayed engaged and connected via our online Wellbeing Centre with a series of online tutorials, exercise videos and healthy recipes.”
Were there any changes you made during Covid-19 that you have decided to maintain now that staff are transitioning back to the workplace?
Flexible work arrangements have been available to employees where practicable and we have seen a large uptake in the use of technology to communicate when working remotely, including Microsoft Teams for virtual meetings and MyRecognition for acknowledging and thanking colleagues. We also continue to use our virtual Wellbeing Centre to provide helpful resources to employees.
For more information about Baptistcare’s workplace health and wellbeing program, and their three top tips for other workplaces embarking on workplace health and wellbeing please check out their landing page.
For more tips on how your workplace can continue to support the health and wellbeing of staff, check out our recent blog Five tips to support employee wellbeing when returning to the workplace.
How has your workplace ensured that workplace health and wellbeing stays on the agenda during this time? If you have some useful tips to share we would like to hear from you - email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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