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A top human resources executive for one of the largest U.S. Catholic healthcare systems says that COVID-19 has heightened the urgency for businesses to value their workers. So reports Gallup.

covid 19 4951405 640small“Now more than ever, leaders must appreciate that employees are not robots or algorithms,” Edmund "Ed" Hodge, chief human resources officer for Trinity Health, writes for Gallup. “They are human beings with wants, needs, problems, emotions, ideas and aspirations.”

The challenges managers face are significant based on recent polling by Gallup. In January of the first year of the Great Recession, 52% of U.S. adults said their lives were “thriving. That number fell to 46.4% just 10 months later, according to Gallup. “The current decline--occurring over about the same amount of time--is nearly double this amount, erasing 11 years of steady (albeit uneven) improvement in how Americans evaluate their lives,” Gallup notes.

Hodge warns that “leaders should not underestimate the significant physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social and financial toll the COVID-19 crisis has inflicted.” In light of this, employers need to ensure their employee assistance programs, counseling, behavioral health services and other resources are capable of helping workers and their families, Hodge writes. “It may take a long time to fully understand the level of resiliency that is both healthy and needed for this situation, but supporting employee resiliency will create a workforce able to cope with what is happening now and recover from what lies ahead,” he notes.

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