As the COVID 19 (aka coronavirus) continues to spread, employers should develop a plan in the event it is needed to protect employees and customers. This article relies on our employment experience and CDC recommendations. We encourage you to begin preparing with the following recommendations. Hopefully, drastic measures will not be needed but preparation now could keep your business running smoothly. Planning may also keep employee morale high knowing that you are taking this threat seriously and protecting your employees.
Teleworking. Prepare for and encourage remote working. Identify the positions that can work remotely and begin preparing in advance to accommodate. You may need to utilize new software or technology that allows employees to stay home.
Cross-Train Employees. Some employees may be cross-trained to help with other tasks in the event employees need to stay home. This would allow your bookkeeper, for example, to help keep marketing deadlines met.
Sick Employees Stay Home. Strongly encourage employees to stay home. This is a leadership narrative to make employees feel comfortable staying home if they are showing signs of sickness.
Reduce Confined Work Spaces When Possible. Consider possibilities to reduce small space interactions of employees such as working outside or working in other areas of your office building.
Cleaning and Sanitizing. Regular cleaning of your office space. Be sure all employees follow recommendations such as washing for a full 20 seconds (eg sing the happy birthday song). Minimize handshaking for the time being.
Review Policies. Review your PTO and/or vacation/sick policies to ensure you are following them correctly.
Communication. It’s always important on any matter to show leadership to your employees by effectively communicating with them. Done well, this instills confidence in you and prevents panic among employees. You can begin disseminating information to employees in a clear and effective way to show you are prepared to address the employees’ needs and protect them. Contact Wesley Henderson with help making preparations and drafting policies or other employment needs.
For up to date information and guidance, follow the CDC.