As the situations surrounding the COVID-19 virus continue to evolve, maintaining the safety and well-being of our workforces is of utmost importance. This is a difficult time, but having plans and protocols in place will help maintain the health of your employees and your business.
There are many steps employers should take to safeguard the health of your employees and uphold productive business operations. Below, we have compiled a handful of questions you should be asking yourself to best prepare for this evolving situation.
Do any of your workers have the capability to complete work remotely?
Limiting social interaction is being strongly encouraged (if not mandated) as an effective method to mitigate COVID-19 exposure risk. If your workforce contains workers who can perform their jobs remotely, please allow them to work from home. You can arrange frequent check-ins with remote employees and their managers to ensure responsibilities are tended to. There are also a number of free video-conferencing apps that enable you to hold meetings with remote workers.
Are you taking all necessary precautions for employees who cannot work remotely?
Some employees may not be able to work remotely. For those individuals, taking extensive precautions will help substantially in curbing the spread of COVID-19. Common and high-traffic areas should be regularly cleaned and sanitized. Encourage employees to significantly limit or avoid close contact with coworkers to the best of their abilities. Limit in-house meetings or gatherings wherever possible. Ensure bathrooms and kitchens are well stocked with soap and hand sanitizer.
Do you have internal and external communications plan prepared should one of your employees contract COVID-19?
If one of your employees contracts COVID-19, communicating with internal and external stakeholders will be important. If a case arises with a worker, let your employees know. Reassure them that all proper procedures and precautions have been taken to prevent further spread, and inform them of any changes to their assignments. Should you need to issue a statement to a customer about a COVID-19 case, having messaging prepared will maintain transparency and business continuity.
Have you adequately trained supervisor employees?
Supervisors can help disseminate information to your employees. Ensuring that supervisors are trained on all contingency plans, workplace procedures, and reporting protocols will keep your workforce updated on everything they need to know. Additionally, making sure supervisors are aware of proper escalation protocols for reporting a case of COVID-19 will allow response measures to be taken as quickly as possible.
Of course, following all mandates from federal, state, and local governing bodies is a must during this difficult time.