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Keeping Our Employees Safe and Healthy During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Over the past several weeks, Wheels has come together to ensure the well-being of our employees and clients. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve stood by our commitment to the Wheels’ core values of client success, integrity and community. These values are the principles that we are committed to delivering on every day.

I am so proud of our employees who, even during this difficult time, have shown an unwavering passion for doing the right thing for our clients, each other and the community at large.

Our employees are critical to delivering on our commitment to clients. We want to make sure they aren’t having to worry about their safety or security and can focus instead on tackling a challenging situation and delivering excellent service to clients. We have taken several measures to help ensure the safety, security and productivity of our people, some of which are highlighted below.

Regular communication

Especially during times of uncertainty, it is imperative that we communicate consistently to ensure employees are kept well-informed, and to maintain our culture in a changing environment.

Over the course of the last 45 days, we’ve sent over 20 organization-wide communications, held virtual town hall meetings and established three COVID-19 task forces ─ an executive team, a human resources team and an operational team. Each task force meets several times weekly to assess situations, make quick decisions and keep our employees and clients informed.

Our communications have included:

  • Business continuity plans and instructions
  • Communications from Dan Frank, our CEO, and other members of the leadership team
  • Health and safety recommendations
  • COVID-19 employee intranet page
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • Social distancing measures
  • Best practices for working remotely, including live webinars for our people leaders
  • Travel guidelines 

Proactive risk mitigation

Due to our annual business continuity testing, we were confident in having nearly 90% of employees shift to working from home a week prior to Illinois’ and Ontario’s shelter-in-place orders. This enabled us to implement social distancing and provide safety measures in the office for employees that remain on-site, for example:

  • Provided essential worker authorization letters to employees commuting to the office
  • Disinfecting the office daily
  • Hand sanitizers to all employees and disinfectant wipes in all departments
  • Guidelines on washing hands frequently, which are displayed throughout the office
  • Moved to online cafeteria ordering to limit exposure and practice social distancing
  • Face masks made available

Enhanced benefits

If employees are ill, we do not want them to face a difficult choice about coming to work due to worries about their pay. As a company, we decided to offer enhanced benefits to employees, including:

  • Additional sick pay benefits (up to 10 days) above and beyond their normal sick days for illnesses related to COVID-19
  • COVID-19 health insurance testing coverage for employees and their dependents
  • Enhanced telehealth and telemedicine benefits for employees and their dependents
  • Flexible remote-work options
  • Additional “crisis care” childcare and elder care benefits, beyond our normal program

We are committed to ensuring our employees remain healthy, safe and productive. Providing comprehensive communication, early proactive risk mitigation and enhanced benefits give them the assurance and resources they need to be well so that they can focus on delivering exceptional service to our clients.

How are you keeping your employees safe and healthy during this difficult time? Let me know at mformosa@wheels.com.