Howard’s, Southern California’s premier independent appliance retailer, announced that in an effort to ensure employee and customer health and wellness, and a comfortable workplace for all personnel, they will be implementing several new initiatives over the next few months. These new programs are in response to the company’s concerns for keeping staff, their families, and their communities healthy during the ongoing pandemic and the increasing stress and fatigue caused by COVID.
As an essential business, Howard’s has remained open throughout the duration of the virus, creating all-new safety procedures, implementing technology-enabled shopping experiences, and taking the necessary precautions to protect employees and customers. The additional new practices, including meditation and yoga courses and a vaccine requirement serve the same purpose and will be instituted this fall.
“We have chosen to safeguard the health and safety of staff in our stores, distribution center and at our corporate headquarters because we care deeply about protecting our workforce and shoppers. It is important that our employees and customers feel secure in the office and our stores,” said John Riddle, CEO & President, Howard’s. “We know that the pandemic has been long and has taken a lot out of people, so we are bringing positive mind/body experiences to our team with courses to help manage anxiety and stress, as well as asking all management staff to be fully vaccinated by September 1, 2021, and the rest of our staff by October 1, 2021.”
Many companies, from Disney and Google to Facebook, Goldman Sachs, and even the federal government, have begun implementing similar programs to help their staff manage depression, anxiety, and burnout through self-care. Like these and many other organizations, Howard’s will allow employees to opt-out of the vaccination for medical or religious reasons if they instead elect to take and submit the results of COVID tests every two weeks. Howard’s is also providing free counseling to vaccine-hesitant employees where they can express their concerns and ask any questions that they may have.
“While there are many elements of the virus that remain outside our control, we are proud to contribute in a meaningful way to helping our employees focus on their wellness,” adds Riddle. “This is one of the most significant ways that we can take care of our business and communities.”