From helping employees find testing sites and guiding them to condition-specific resources when appropriate, to complying with an ever-evolving list of federal and state guidelines, companies face unprecedented challenges as they explore ways to bring employees back to a reimagined workplace in the era of COVID-19.
Castlight was recently joined by PNC’s Senior Vice President of Health and Wellness Benefits Director Peggy Chevako for How to Safely Return to the Workplace—a panel discussion hosted by Business Group on Health about the ways needs have evolved and how employers are adapting.
Here are some of the top takeaways on PNC’s experience through COVID-19:
PNC’s initial response to COVID-19
As a financial institution with nearly 52,000 employees across 37 states, PNC needed to consider a broad variety of job functions. The workforce encompasses branch employees, other essential employees and corporate positions. While many employees were in positions that allowed them to transition to working remotely full-time, nearly half of the workforce are in roles that can only be performed onsite, which created unique challenges as the company looked for ways to safely and effectively serve its customers.
Although digital banking is becoming more mainstream, especially as a safe alternative, in-person banking and appointments are still required for some situations, which means PNC had to find a way to keep branches accessible to customers. During the height of the pandemic, PNC temporarily closed some branches and kept drive-up capability open at others, with staff rotating through in two-week shifts. In addition, PNC added new safety protocols, including temperature checks, increased signage, plexiglass shields, hand sanitizers and extensive cleaning.
Creating a holistic wellbeing approach
To help address the significant impact the pandemic is having on mental health, it’s critical to offer employees and their families’ easy access to integrated behavioral and physical health support.
One example is the use of a digital behavioral health resource. PNC introduced this resource as a standalone program in 2019 with limited enrollment. After making some changes and integrating these resources among other health and wellness assets in 2020, they saw membership increase from approximately 1,000 to 15,000 in the first six months. This underscores the importance of simplifying the user experience and having everything available in one place to help employees navigate to the right care at the right time.
In summary, navigating through COVID-19 is the most complex healthcare challenge that employers and employees have faced. As needs continue to evolve, employers must offer a reopening strategy that is holistic and flexible to the changing needs of their employees and business.