Total Rewards COVID-19 Recording: Tyson's Lisa Round 5-07-20

In response to the rapidly developing coronavirus outbreak and its unprecedented impact to business and employers, i4cp has launched a series of weekly standing calls specific to Total Rewards leadership roles. 

COVID-19-related restrictions might be easing up ever so slightly, but worker health and safety is no less critical. In fact, as employees figure to soon begin returning to work in larger numbers—in some places more than others—health and safety becomes even more paramount.

This was the main theme of the May 7, 2020 meeting of i4cp’s Total Rewards Action – COVID-19 Coronavirus Response call, where total rewards leaders from companies such as Tyson Foods, CoorsTek, Grant Thornton and many more shared how they’re ensuring workers’ well-being and safety, as well as how they’re communicating coronavirus-related information and updates to the workforce, and how they’re gauging sentiment around employees’ needs throughout the pandemic. Some highlights:

  • Employers are taking a variety of steps to ensure the health and safety of frontline workers in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. In response to a poll question on this topic, close to half of respondents said their organizations were keeping records of possible exposures and infections, and more than half indicated that their companies are frequently communicating safety and social distancing protocols to the workforce.
  • Companies are frequently communicating COVID-related information as well as safety and social distancing protocols to employees. Some participants on today’s call shared their communication strategies. Connie Haney, vice president of total rewards at CoorsTek, for example, pointed out that the company is sharing reminders of safety and social distancing practices to employees on a weekly basis via the CoorsTek intranet. McKinstry, meanwhile, has developed an app for employees to self-report symptoms, potential exposures, etc., on a daily basis. Others such as Arvest Bank are using daily emails as well as digital signage for onsite employees to communicate safety and social distancing protocols.
  • Organizations are collecting data to gauge employee sentiment around a variety of COVID-19-related issues, according to today’s second poll. The most common topic of employee surveys related to the pandemic regards return-to-workplace protocols, for which 46% percent of respondents reported their organizations collect data. Another 15% say their organizations poll employees to get an idea of the overall physical and mental well-being of employees during this obviously trying time, with another 12% polling employees to determine whether they had the necessary tools and resources to remain productive while working remotely.

    For instance, Arvest Bank asks employees to indicate whether their productivity while working at home has remained at the same level, increased or decreased, according to Michelle Van Schenck, Arvest’s executive director of total rewards. The financial services company also asks workers if the company has provided the tools they need to thrive remotely, as well as questions geared toward gathering data on the level of supervision and guidance managers are providing throughout the pandemic.
  • Employees are relying on a number of strategies to help manage through the chaos. For example, i4cp’s recent survey on collaborative overload finds that the majority of employees (64%) are emphasizing maintaining virtual contact with friends and family as a coping strategy, with 62% saying that taking a drive, run, or bike ride helps them stay centered and avoid overload. Another 60% said the same about maintaining physical exercise during quarantine. Companies are also trying to inject fun into meetings and other workplace interactions. AMD, for example, has incorporated bingo games into some team meetings, done safety dress competitions and played a safety song-themed version of “Name that Tune” during meetings.

In addition to this recording, please see these resources:

  • The i4cp Coronavirus Employer Resource Center - new research and next practices to help address the COVID-19 pandemic