By Acara Client Services Director Damian Scandiffio
Since the Coronavirus outbreak began, I’m sure many companies have held countless meetings with about what to do to keep business running and employees safe. Undoubtedly, these are difficult times, and difficult decisions have to be made. But, there are always additional items that can be considered to preserve employee health and satisfaction.
Below are just a few things that your business might not yet have considered that can help you successfully navigate Coronavirus.
- Schedule Designated Cleaning Times
Create 30-60 minutes breaks in between shifts (day/swing/night) or have the office/production floor cleaned during lunch break to have everything sanitized. If this affects working hours, consider paying employees for the down time. In addition to the sanitation benefits, workers who are anxious about remaining in the workplace will be put at ease by the additional safety measure. When employees look back on how you handled the COVID-19 situation, actions like these will go a long way.
- Extend Your Safety Efforts Outside of the Workplace
If your organization can afford it, think about how you can help employees stay safe outside the workplace. Consider sending home hand sanitizer, latex gloves, masks, and disinfectant wipes (as long as these items are available). Inform employees how they can make their own masks at home. Safeguarding your workplace only goes so far when the real concern is contamination from outside sources.
- Provide Employees With Opportunities to Connect
Create a digital space for employees to connect. Employees who are coming in to work are still keeping their distance, so they might feel disengaged from their teams and coworkers. Establish a forum (a digital chat space like Slack, or a video chat platform like Zoom) where employees can communicate. Organize online team meetings to catch up, or even plan a digital happy hour where everyone enjoys their favorite beverage from the comfort of their homes. Most meetings during this time, digital or in person, are serious in nature, so plan something light hearted to keep spirits high.
- Strategically Limit Employee Contact
Do you best to keep group activity as limited as possible. Create barriers throughout the work space that keep groups or pods of people together and do not allow co-mingling. This way, if a worker tests positive for COVID-19, you’ve limited exposure and you can more easily identify the individuals who had contact with the sick worker. With less of the population affected for every case of COVID-19 identified, your ability to continue production is increased and you won’t have to cover as much sick time.
It’s important to maintain the trust and respect of our employees during this difficult situation. Doing so will help us emerge stronger and more resilient when all of this is over. This is a trying scenario, but showing empathy towards the workers who keep us moving forward will give us the best chance of long-term success.
If you have questions about what else your business can do to get through the COVID-19 epidemic, don’t hesitate to connect with Damian on LinkedIn.