How 5 Best Workplaces™ Are Giving Employees New Support During the Pandemic

 How 5 Best Workplaces™ Are Giving Employees New Support During the Pandemic

Employee Experience Recession

Image: Employee at Best Workplaces winner Abbvie. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on into the fall, we could all use some inspiration.

Providing inspiration is, to borrow a phrase from Tigger, what Best Workplaces do best 

Below are several stories from Great Place To Work-Certified organizations that earned a place on one of our Best Workplace lists in recent months.

We asked these organizations to “share something you are proud to have done to take care of your people or your community in light of COVID-19.”

The responses lifted our spirits. We’re confident they will lift yours as well—and offer concrete steps for improving your workplace culture during these difficult times.

 1. 15Five: Giving employees “Best-Self Time”

15Five, a people management software company based in San Francisco is a 2020 Best Workplaces winner on multiple lists, including Best Workplaces for Millennials.

“One of the major changes we made for our employees, outside of the transition to remote work, is starting April, each employee at 15Five was able to stop work [for a break] at 1 pm in their respective time zones to take what we call, “Best-Self Time.” Given everything going on in the world this year, we knew how important it would be for people to take mindful time to de-stress from it all. This time is designed to support people in their personal development practices; it is ongoing and dedicated self-care/self-growth/recharge time that we hoped will leave people even more creative, productive, and motivated to serve our customers and community.”

2. Abbvie: Keeping working parents sane

Abbvie, a biopharmaceutical company based in North Chicago is a 2020 Best Workplaces winner on multiple lists, including the Best Workplaces in Health Care & Biopharma.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for everyone in different ways, but particularly so for caregivers, including working parents. AbbVie has implemented several new U.S. resources to help parents performing the ultimate juggling act, blending their work and life hours. Some of these include: back-up care for children and adults; discounts for sitters, nanny agencies, online tutoring; live and on-demand online classes ranging from martial arts to theater; and Employee Assistance Program–guided conversations for parents of similar-aged children to connect and share ideas, challenges and resources.

“We also are offering support for employees through the AbbVie Employee Assistance Fund’s Employee Relief Program who have a sudden loss of income, such as a spouse’s job loss. Employees in need of assistance can apply for this program, which covers critical expenses such as mortgage/rent payments, utilities, food, childcare and medical expenses.”

 3. Chatbooks: Dinner on the company

Chatbooks, a photography products maker based in Provo, Utah is a 2020 Best Workplaces for Women winner.

“Pre-COVID times, we brought lunch from local restaurants into the office 2-3 times a week, as a way to help employees save time at home during the morning juggle or save time having to run out to grab food. When we all started working from home in March, we decided to put that benefit directly into our team members' hands—each team member gets a monthly budget to pick up lunches or dinners at the local businesses of their choice. And while this is a perk for everyone, we hear directly from the women on our team that it’s one little thing that makes the day easier. Parents can skip the meal headaches a couple of times a week and use that time to either get in some quality work time, quality kid time, or quality personal time—things we all need these days!” 

4. Sheetz: Food for kids and raises for employees

Sheetz, a convenience store chain based in Altoona, Pennsylvania is a 2020 Best Workplaces winner on multiple lists, including the PEOPLE Companies that Care.

“When faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, Sheetz focused on taking care of people even more so than we do on a regular basis. Through more than $300,000 in donations to healthcare workers and hunger relief efforts; through the Kidz Meal Bagz program offered to more than 346,000 children in our communities; and through WOW pay for our store and field-support employees who continued to serve up Total Customer Focus despite everything that was happening around them, Sheetz proved to be essential as ever!”

(The Kidz Meal Bagz program includes a turkey sandwich—freshly prepared each day at Sheetz Bros. Kitchens, then delivered to stores—chips and a drink. “WOW pay” was an additional $3.00 per hour for store and field-support employees working on the front lines during the COVID crisis.)

 5. Comcast NBCUniversal: Helping employees help each other

Comcast NBCUniversal, the telecommunications firm based in Philadelphia, is a 2020 Best Workplaces winner on multiple lists, including the Best Workplaces for Millennials.

“In addition to committing $500 million to support our employees through continued pay and benefits where operations have been paused or impacted, we have provided our employees an additional 40 hours of paid time off to be used to help teammates who, because of COVID-19, are facing the challenges that come with caring for family members.”

Looking for more inspiring, instructive stories? Read more on our COVID workplace resources. If your company is going beyond business as usual right now, and you're ready to join the Best Workplaces, apply to get on a list. 

Ed Frauenheim