Companies Prioritizing the Employee Experience During a Pandemic

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States and across the globe, retail stores are closing, restaurants are either closing or limiting operations to take-out or curbside pick-up, and many companies are shifting to a remote workplace. 

Large corporations are making the news for the measures they are or aren’t taking to take care of their employees as this virus continues to spread. 

At Maritz Motivation, we believe an organization’s employees are their greatest resource. They provide the innovation, expertise and value behind their business. As companies are adapting their current practices to ensure the safety of their employees and prioritizing their well-being, the employee experience is more important than ever. Today, we’ve rounded up 5 examples of companies who are prioritizing the employee experience as we navigate this new world of work to ensure the safety of the populations who may be more vulnerable to the virus.

1. Shopify 

Shopify, a leading e-commerce site, has been keeping a close eye on COVID-19 and making regional specific decisions since January. As the virus spread and began to impact their employees and communications, they decided to switch to a fully remote workforce to do their part in slowing the spread of the virus. In addition to the decision to close offices to protect employees, they offered a $1,000 stipend to all employees so they could purchase equipment to make their transition to remote work easier.

2. Lululemon athletica 

Lululemon, a global athleisure brand, announced closure of all of their stores in North America and Europe from March 16th to March 27th, while allowing consumers to continue to shop on That date has now passed, and stores around the United States remain closed. lululemon pays the store employees hourly – many who would go without pay with the closure of their retail locations. However, lululemon announced their employees would continue to receive pay for all hours they have been scheduled to work and have access to Global Pay Relief plans. During these uncertain times, employees shouldn’t have to worry about where their next paycheck comes from, and thanks to the steps lululemon is taking, they won’t have to.

3. Starbucks 

Starbucks announced that they are closing all US  company operated cafes and only operating drive-thru and delivery services in response to the current pandemic. They will continue to operate some cafes located in or around hospital and health care centers as part of their efforts to serve first responders and health care workers who are helping to fight the virus. Starbucks workers who chose to stay home will be paid for 30 days, which includes employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or exposed to the virus, or those who need to take extra precautions. Starbucks is helping their employees alleviate the stressful decision of coming to work when they may feel it’s not safe to do so. 

In addition to these measures, Starbucks plans to offer free therapy to all employees starting April 6th. This will grant them access to self-care apps through Lyra Health, which is a software company that connects people with mental health services through their employer. This initiative was underway before the pandemic, but will be a great resource for workers and the anxieties they’re facing during these uncertain times.

4. CVS 

To meet the growing demand for health care, prescriptions and supplies during the coronavirus pandemic, CVS has announced plans to accelerate efforts to hire 50,000 employees across the country. These will be full-time, part-time and temporary positions that include store associates, prescription delivery drivers, distribution center employees and customer service professionals. 

To fill positions while practicing safe social-distancing measures, they will use a technology-driven hiring process that includes virtual job fairs and interviews. They expect many of the positions to be filled by existing CVS Health clients who’ve had to furlough hospitality employees, like Hilton and Marriott. In addition to filling positions by supporting their clients and their employees, they are also taking additional measures to support their own. 

CVS plans to award bonuses to employees who are required to be at facilities to assist patients and customers, as well as make paid sick leave more available to part-time workers. 

Whether it’s a company providing key services and support to the general population during the pandemic or a technology company trying its best to conduct business as usual, there is one constant: the employee experience is more important than ever. 

In order for employees to feel supported and most importantly, safe, companies must adopt new measures or ways to prioritize the employee experience in these uncertain times. For more resources on prioritizing the employee experience, click here. Do you have any examples of companies doing an exceptional job prioritizing their employees? Tweet them at us @MaritzMotivates