Workforce Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic

For many health care organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic added strain to an already overtaxed workforce. The combination of uncertainty, the risk posed by the pandemic, and the measures that had to be taken in response to the challenges posed by the pandemic have combined to increase stress for workforces in many different fields. Southcentral Foundation has taken steps to build resiliency and foster well-being in the workforce so that it is prepared to deal with crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Following are a few main points emphasized by SCF during the pandemic to support its workforce:

  • Emphasis on Communication. Throughout the pandemic, SCF prioritized regular communication to the workforce. More details can be found in this blog entry from last year, but in summary, SCF kept regular communication channels open to all employees in the form of virtual chats with leadership, daily emails about SCF’s pandemic response, video addresses from the CEO, and more.
  • No- or Low-Cost Incentives and Solutions for Employees. SCF has implemented no- or low-cost incentives and solutions for employees working on-site during the pandemic. For example, in the early months of the pandemic, SCF offered double leave accrual for those working on-site full time. SCF also offers incentives in the form of things such as jeans days (days when employees can dress casually at work) and other ways of showing gratitude to employees that are not expensive to provide.
  • Support Available for Employees. The pandemic has been a time of uncertainty and stress for many employees, and so SCF has acted to provide support for those employees who may need it. For example, SCF launched a new virtual Learning Circle, SCF Strong, for employees to connect with each other and stay grounded. SCF’s Wellness Committee was also revamped and relaunched to provide support for employees, and SCF also offered other resources to employees, such as videos from behavioral health professionals providing tips on how to maintain wellness.

In addition, SCF’s workforce practices that were in place before the pandemic had prepared SCF to deal with the difficulties presented by it. SCF’s relationship-based approach to working with both customer-owners and employees, decision-making processes that emphasize flexibility and employee initiative, and organization-wide communication trainings (such as SCF’s Core Concepts training), as well as many other elements of SCF’s workforce practices all helped to build the resiliency required to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about how SCF built resiliency within its workforce both before and during the pandemic, contact the SCF Learning Institute.