Even with 2020 behind us, COVID-19 continues to have effects on the traditional views of the American workforce. We spoke with Group & Pension Administrators (GPA), a finalist in the Healthiest Employers of Texas awards program.
What was GPA’s original response to COVID and how has this changed/adapted over the past year?
In response to COVID-19, GPA was quick to assess and address the needs, obstacles, and uncertainties that individuals might be facing during this unprecedented time in history. “GPA recognized that providing stability and reassurance for our workforce was only part of the solution,” said CEO Kathy Enochs. Our generous and kind owner supplemented income twice with a small bonus for our entire population to assist them with unplanned expenses.” In addition, GPA implemented several initiatives through the BeWell program to support employee wellbeing. The health and wellbeing of employees is a top priority for the GPA leadership team.
Some of GPA’s responses to support employee wellbeing include the addition of COVID-19 specific education in all program materials, conversion from onsite to virtual education events, virtual walks and fitness classes, our “Staying Well During COVID-19 Campaign” and Staying Well Bingo series. GPA also coordinated with our screening partner, eHealthScreenings, to offer COVID-19 Anti-Body Testing, added safety precautions for onsite screening events, and the availability of at-home testing kits.
Can you tell us a bit more about your "Staying Well During COVID-19 Campaign?" What was the response? What were your greatest learning moments/takeaways from it?
GPA’s “Staying Well During COVID-19 Campaign” provides our members with health and safety education for reducing exposure to COVID-19, and also addresses mental health, physical health, nutrition, and financial wellbeing. The “Staying Well During COVID-19 Campaign” is an ongoing campaign that will provide monthly updates and resources on a variety of relevant topics. The campaign also included educational flyers surrounding safety in the workplace and a Staying Well Bingo series to help employees stay engaged in their wellbeing during the pandemic.
One thing that truly stands out about the “Staying Well During COVID-19 Campaign” is the overwhelmingly positive response from our clients and members for well-timed provided content. We received many direct responses from individuals that expressed their gratitude surrounding the supportive information and ideas for future content that would be helpful to have more information on. This positive feedback solidified the need and importance of the campaign, which continues to help our population navigate the pandemic and its effects.
How have you integrated your wellness programs that were in place prior to COVID-19 with virtual offerings? How have these efforts changed over the past year and what initiatives are being continued currently?
Due to COVID-19, GPA worked swiftly to provide a strong virtual presence to help keep our members physically and socially connected. We have a BeWell Facebook group where we share tips on “Staying Well During COVID-19” and encouraged friendly conversations since we might have been missing those in-person interactions. We also provided virtual Zoom walks within our physical activity challenges that encouraged members to join each other for fun dialogues while staying physically active. GPA transitioned our Onsite Education Events to offer Virtual Education Events on a variety of wellness focuses.
A big challenge that we were able to overcome was hosting our first Virtual Health Fair in place of our standard Onsite Health Fair. However, we successfully connected and engaged our population with valuable health and wellbeing resources through our first ever “Virtual Health-O-Ween Fair.” We received great feedback on these virtual events, and it was always nice to hear a familiar voice or see a familiar face. GPA looks forward to continuing to offer and innovate these virtual efforts to help us all stay connected in a digital world.
Can you tell us more about the history of your Healthy & Me Programs and how these have changed over the years?
Healthy Me & More is our exclusive online coaching series designed by GPA health experts. Each program is eight weeks long and provides a simple but focused approach to behavior change. Because Healthy Me & More is GPA’s in-house program, we have the unique ability to continually review and update to provide relevant content at any time. We are consistently evaluating our members’ needs to drive the development of one new program series offering each year.
What does the rest of 2021 look like for GPA?
As we progress through 2021, GPA will continue to evaluate our COVID-19 responses to provide best practices and offerings in the most helpful and safe way possible. GPA values the wellbeing of employees and consistently demonstrates how much they CARE.
Responses submitted by Layla Najm, Wellness Coordinator