Five workplace programme lessons
There are multiple good examples from the SWP model that can be applicable during the COVID-19 pandemic. The model for wellness programmes is based on human rights of employees, cooperation between management and employees, promotion of stigma free environments and inclusion of families and communities in the program activities.
1. A Human-Rights based approach
The SWP model is based on upholding the human rights of employees at the workplace. In the same grain, any efforts to address impact of COVID-19 must uphold these fundamental human rights of employees in the workplace. The below rights can be assured through workplace committees and implementation of policies.
- The right to quality care
- The right to treatment
- The right to confidentiality
- The right to information
- The right to be treated with dignity
- The right not to be discriminated for whatever reasons
2. Cooperation and social dialogue between Management and Workers
The cooperation between management and employees in addressing the impact COVID-19 is fundamental, and herein lies the success of the SWP model.
The engagement between management and employees fosters a participatory approach which triggers; a sense of fairness; a sense of ownership of policies and agreements reached, and trust between management and employee.
3. Promoting stigma-free environments and elimination of discrimination
To address the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace, it’s crucial that correct and timely information is available to protect all employees and ensure that no one is stigmatised or discriminated from any benefits, training or promotion opportunities as a result of the pandemic.
Stigma makes disclosure difficult and promotes silence. Silence fuels misconceptions and serves as a hurdle to fight the problem, hence why breaking the silence is important. In order to do so, employers must ensure the non-stigmatisation and non-discrimination of employees that raises concerns and issues around COVID-19. Employees need to feel comfortable and safeguarded to speak out without getting stigmatised or discriminated.
4. Prevention and employee support programmes
Prevention is crucial at the workplace where the company provides protective clothing and wash basin areas for hand-washing and basic hygiene. Equally important is the sensitisation and information awareness on how to use the protective clothes, importance of and how to do correct handwashing and general mitigating measures. Further protective measures may include provision of face masks, glove and hand sanitisers, correct and regular disinfection of work surfaces and communal areas.
Psycho-social components must also be included to promote emotional wellbeing, mindfulness and promote stress management. The responses to COVID-19 will require the employer to provide opportunities for employees to access accurate information and testing for employees who report symptoms related to COVID-19, either on or offsite.
5. Reaching out to Families, Communities and Networks
The SWP experience worked with outreach to families and communities which can be adapted in the COVID-19 response with targeted information campaigns to families and communities of employees to raise awareness, promote prevention and disease management.
Other ways to increase the reach is adaptation to virtual platforms such as webinars, podcasts, radio programmes to promote greater awareness and prevention to reach wider audiences.
Interested to know more? Would you like to participate in our next webinar/activity?
Link up with the SWP team to discuss how we can engage with your workplace.
Learn more on the potential impact of workplace programs. The booklet shares stories on how Swedish companies developed their response to address the workplace challenge around HIV/AIDS and wellness through partnerships and social dialogue.