Given the time we all are living amid the COVID-19 crisis, one thing which is gaining a lot of momentum is ‘’holistic wellness’’ says Mrugesh Dholakia, Head - Corporate Business, Sanofi Pasteur, which a healthcare and vaccine company operating in 150 countries. ‘’While many of us already know about the different aspects of wellness, it’s time we think beyond that can help employers and employees stay ahead of curve in terms of safety and well-being,’’ he adds.
Referring to one survey that People Matters did recently, Mrugesh says, before COVID-19, 62 percent of employers in India didn’t have a plan to tackle disease outbreak. However, the scenario is different today as we brace for more sane measures in the post-pandemic time. ‘‘It’s possible that coronavirus threat will eventually fade, as theH1N1, Ebola, Zika, and SARS have in recent years. But even it does, the next devastating, yet unnamed is not so much a matter of ‘’if’’ but ‘’when’’ and that’s where the preparedness of pandemic needs to be a part of holistic wellbeing,’’ says Mrugesh.
Now the question is do we consider pandemic preparedness as part of holistic well-being? Because almost all businesses have business continuity plans but have we ever thought of adding the wellness component plan in it and we do consider all aspects of prevention when it comes to wellness? Be it wearing a mask or hand hygiene! This is something businesses consider to start thinking over.
It is important that when it comes to prevention, it’s not only bout vaccines and this triggers the question – are we utilizing all we already have?
If we look at insurance bureaus of data, it is found that the real burden is not something which is perceived earlier, the real burden on year-on-year basis comes from infectious disease. This pandemic makes it important to look at this data point little differently because the working age-group (between 25 years to 55 years) contributes to over 50 percent of total ID claims, he adds.
So, the bottomline is, it’s time to revise our strategies of holistic well-being at a time when COVID-19 is impacting people globally. We need to maintain our focus on both lifestyle management and disease management, Mrugesh emphasizes. In fact, a lot of organizations have already started acting on this.
Ensuring holistic well-being during uncertainty
While a lot of organizations have started working on well-being more seriously than ever, different organizations are doing in a different manner. ‘’As a company, we have never stopped asking the question – “What if”. This has been the key to our success especially a time like this, says Dr. Anurag Apte, Asia, Middle East, Africa, India, and Greater China Medical Director - HR, P&G.
The pandemic has taken us through a journey of self-discovery and learning and this is how we have been continuing to innovate, be agile, and step up our efforts to serve our customers, Dr. Anurag adds. Our focus was also on protecting the health and well-being of P&G people along with supporting communities including relief agencies and people who are on the front line.
As a key learning, Dr. Anurag shares, while you manage uncertainty, employees have to experience care. And as a key strategy, they also bet on their learning from earlier experiences as part of crisis management and business continuity plan. To plan for the new normal and decide on the best way forward, P&G leaders were always ahead to judge the situation and adapt their crisis management plan. The company also embraced flexible working for its employees because most of them were in anxiety and apprehensive. The company also went digital to support workers working from home and take care of the mental well-being of their workforce and their family members. ‘’We are focusing on mental wellbeing very strongly and we are offering programs online to meet the needs of our employees,’’ says Dr. Anurag.
There is no playbook to sail through this COVID-19 phase and hence we need to learn from each other and innovate, Dr. Anurag concludes.
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