5 tips to protect the health and well-being of workers

Industrial and organizational psychologists offer advice to employers as the pandemic continues to affect the workplace

#SHRM certification team

By the SHRM certification team
February 16, 2022


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According to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), employers can take five steps to effectively meet the needs of employees who continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their advice is offered in a brief video“Research-based information to protect the health of your staff.”

Kim French, associate professor of industrial and organizational psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, outlines the recommendations and gives examples of how to implement them:

  • Allow control and autonomy. Give employees more flexibility in when and where they work, which will increase productivity. Respect employee privacy, which covers a range of issues, from not contacting them outside of working hours to allowing them to mute visuals during video meetings.
  • Provide tangible resources. Beyond proper equipment and safety procedures, workplace health and wellness resources cover paid time off, dependent care, counseling services and employee assistance programs (EAP). Rethink ways to reduce physical and emotional burdens on workers.
  • From words to deeds. Make health and safety policies and procedures visible at all levels of the organization. Revise policies to create a culture that does not require employees to come to work even if they are sick.
  • Be transparent. Provide information to employees on management decision-making, including health and safety policies and procedures.
  • Show gratitude and grace. Remunerate employees fairly and equitably. Be flexible and show understanding and compassion to all members of the organization. We are all experiencing the crisis differently and can count on each other’s support.

This video is one of many evidence-based HR resources, Spotlight on Science: Applying Research Outcomes for Better Workplaces, produced by SIOP in partnership with SHRM to help HR professionals manage a variety of workplace issues. These papers present data that infuses the science of industrial and organizational psychology and other HR disciplines into day-to-day management practices.


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