Mental health during outbreak matters for your team

21-05-2020    11:00   |    Greenhouse Grower

One of the underlying effects of the coronavirus lies beyond the bottom line of your business. It’s the mental health of you, your team, and your company’s extended family.

Managing through this stressful time is certainly a challenge. Your employees may be working longer hours than ever before, and those whom you have had to furlough might have difficulties returning to a work environment that’s likely going to be much different than when they left.

This has become one of the top concerns for many. Fortunately, there are a couple resources and strategies that may be helpful.

Take, for example, NatureSweet Tomatoes in San Antonio, TX. When grocery trips drastically reduced in March due to closed retailers, and the uncertainty of a normal future was looming, NatureSweet jumped into action, first by donating more than 1.3 million pounds of produce to food banks across the U.S. However, the company also focused on the families of its team members, sending safety kits home with employees (PPE materials, cleaning supplies, and family board games), and donating community safety kits.

“We’re doing everything we can to support our associates and their families, and we’re prepared to take additional actions as needed,” says Rodolfo Spielmann, President and CEO of NatureSweet. “We hope the rest of the tomato industry – and the entire agriculture industry – joins us in raising up these workers who are the lifeforce of our global food system.”

Other NatureSweet efforts include:

  • Safety plan implementation, including temperature checkpoints, additional personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitation, and social distancing inside facilities – including rearranging cafeteria layouts and adding shifts to reduce contact.
  • Thank-you lunches each Friday, in accordance to social distancing guidelines, to serve employees a special lunch and snack to show gratitude for their service.
  • Family safety kits to keep team members’ families safe. The kits include five face masks, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, soaps, disinfectant, and a spray bottle, along with a letter to families and instructions for use of the kits.
  • Employee family support, including sending shipments of board games, contests, and other entertainment home to bring joy to their families.

One Supplier Provides Caring Resources

The primary mission of RedLine Solutions is providing traceability software solutions to the controlled-environment industry.

However, after feeling inundated by a continuous stream of bad news about COVID-19, the RedLine team launched a Caring Resources page to help staff, as well as customers, stay healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

“As we go through this difficult time, we can focus on the challenges and disappointments of today, or focus on using the resources available to us and do our best to focus on a better tomorrow,” says RedLine CEO Todd Baggett. “Together we will get through this pandemic and hopefully come out on the other side with more empathy, kindness, and appreciation for all we have taken for granted.”

The Caring Resources page includes a wide range of resources:

  • Business: tips on using video meeting platforms such as Zoom
  • Personal Protection: how to make face masks and hand sanitizer
  • Inspirational links, such as TED Talks and yoga instructions
  • Playlists of inspirational music
  • Mental health support lines

Baggett emphasizes that the site is not used for any commercial purpose; it is simply meant to offer a list of helpful resources to anyone during this challenging period. 

Source: Greenhouse Grower
Photo: San Antonio Food Bank


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