The pandemic has been tough for everyone, but it has been particularly difficult for healthcare workers. For those on the front lines of the pandemic, the experience was and continues to be, traumatic. In the beginning, they faced the unknowns of a new disease and over time, having to treat patients through various surges in infection across the country.
The effects of pandemic-related trauma remain prevalent. According to a recent survey from the Washington Post, 62% of healthcare workers believe the pandemic has had a negative effect on their mental health and 55% indicated feeling burn-out at work. These are all in addition to the very real potential for illness and death among themselves and their colleagues. The fear of illness was mentioned by 21% of respondents to the Washington Post survey. At this stage, it is important for healthcare employers to take meaningful action to combat the mental and physical health tolls the pandemic has taken on employees.
How to Support Healthcare Workers in 2021
Healthcare workers are dealing with trauma and it’s important that employers accommodate employee symptoms appropriately. While conventional methods, like giving employees extra time off may not always be an option due to continuous waves of infection, employers often need to find creative ways to provide support and care to their employees as we progress through the second year of the pandemic. Some of these techniques may include:
- Experiences at work: These experiences could be simple like hosting visiting therapy animals or could be more focused on self-care opportunities in the work environment like hosting meditation stations, and moments to exercise during breaks.
- Extra rewards: Employers should focus on allowing employees to continue to heal both in and outside of work, mentally and physically. This could be a meal brought in during a shift or could include a gift card that employees can use at their own convenience.
- Safety measures: While vaccines are becoming more readily available, the pandemic is still with us. Maintaining safety measures in healthcare settings can help decrease healthcare employees’ anxiety and stress of contracting COVID-19 themselves or spreading it to their family and community. This can also include encouraging other healthcare workers to get vaccinated if they haven’t already.
- Acknowledging the trauma: The best way to support healthcare workers is to empathize with the trauma they have gone through and take proactive steps to help employees manage mental health proactively. This could include offering group or individual therapy through the employer to ensure easy access to care.
The Best Thank You Gifts to Recognize Healthcare Workers
In honor of National Nurses Week 2021, now is a perfect time to say thanks with meaningful gifts and rewards for healthcare workers. Using this week to either start or continue a gift card recognition program can help employers show appreciation and support for employees’ mental and physical healing.
Gift cards are a practical, meaningful way to show appreciation to healthcare workers. With hundreds of brands to choose from, employers can reward employees with gift card brands that support mental and physical wellness. Some options could include:
- lululemon to promote exercise and movement among employees.
- Apple gift cards that can be used in the app store for meditation apps like Calm and Headspace.
- Home Chef to promote cooking as a therapeutic activity that can be done with family. Home Chef also promotes healthy eating by encouraging employees to cook at home.
- REI gift cards can help employees get geared up to spend more time active and in nature.
- Wayfair to help make their home a true sanctuary that helps employees unwind at the end of a long day.
- UberEats can help streamline healthy eating and can ensure employees are eating regularly even if they get home from work late or had a particularly tough day.
- CVS® carries all kinds of products to promote a healthy lifestyle, as well as many common household goods.
- Hotels.com doesn’t seem timely quite yet, but providing a gift card to Hotels.com now could help healthcare employees travel when it’s safe to do so, so they can truly getaway.
Browse All 300+ Gift Cards
Gift cards are effective thank you gifts because they are easy to distribute whether you are sending physical or eGift cards. They provide flexibility, allowing employers to personalize gift card brands to the goals of their recognition program while allowing employees to choose a reward that is going to be meaningful to them this National Nurses Week.
Register for Engage2Reward™ to buy gift card rewards in bulk for healthcare workers at a discount today!