read

#StealThis: How companies support employees during coronavirus pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented disruption in the lives of people all over the world. The disease is deadly serious for some, and yet goes unnoticed by others. In practical terms, many sectors of the American economy are on “pause,” while we wait to see how our medical infrastructure copes.  

Fortunately, the ubiquity of the internet allows many knowledge workers to operate from home in the short term. Unfortunately, many other Americans are now stuck at home, with no surety of paid sick time, or even future employment when they are finally cleared to return to work.  

Many businesses and communities are looking for ways to stay connected and afloat as they do their best to respect “social distancing. Many have decided to step out in faith and provide additional support to their employees and customers.  

This approach cuts through the fear and panic that can otherwise feel so overwhelming. It’s a two-fold strategy that allows them to build trust and create awareness in a time of trouble. 

Here are some examples from outside the financial industry that could inspire you! 

 

  1. Mark Cuban announced that any of his employees (including those who work for his NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks) will be reimbursed for any lunch and coffee purchases from local, independent, small businesses. 

  2. Starbucks has extended its mental health benefits. In partnership with Lyra Health, Starbucks is offering its partners personalized, confidential mental health care, 20 free in-person or video sessions every year for partners and each of their eligible family members, online scheduling with most providers available within two weeks, and access to a provider network of mental health therapists and coaches. 

  3. Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, others) has announced paid sick leave for all of its hourly workers not currently covered by a corporate policy. 

  4. REI is closing their stores until March 27th, and all of their employees will be paid during this temporary closure. 

  5. Bandcamp, a website that facilitates independent music sales and streaming has designated Friday, March 20, as a day when it will suspend its revenue sharing agreement so that artists can collect 100% of the money from sales. 

  6. The Raintree Athletic Club in Loveland, CO is freezing membership fees for all members while the gym is closed.  

  7. Kasasa has empowered its entire workforce to work from home during the pandemic. In addition to our open PTO policy (which supersedes paid sick leave), we also have the Love Fund, which is a joint effort between the company and employees to assist employees who may be experiencing hardship (financial or otherwise) 

  8. The Peached Tortilla in Austin, TX is offering “Family Meal Delivery” and is donating 100% of proceeds to staff 

  9. Whole Foods is raising worker pay and creating extended hours to help seniors have a safe space to shop.  

  10. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia has closed its Amuse Restaurant, but has offered to pay base wages to all service staff during the closure.  

 

Each business, community financial institution, and person must make the choice that is right for them in this uncertain time. However, it’s encouraging to see people taking action to reach out and strengthen their communities, even as we must pull back somewhat physically. Even if you can’t give people real hugs, you can still open your arms and be present in the struggle. We’re in this together. 

Is your institution taking special measures to help people cope with COVID-19? Email us at social@kasasa.com and tell us about it. We want to hear the good news and spread the word if we can. 

Tags: Culture