Employer’s Guide to Best Practice in handling the COVID-19 Outbreak
This epidemic is definitely a wake-up call for companies across the globe to carefully reviews and procedures and policies they have in place to protect employees, customers and stakeholders at a times like these.
Now, in times like these when the only topic of discussion is the infamous coronavirus and its precautionary measures, The Question arises, how can we best protect our employees specially if you are in an industry that needs your employees at work during emergency situations like these?
It becomes essential for you, being an employer to understand that your role is ultra crucial in the safety of your employees. Where in these pandemic times, one's safety is everyone's safety, while you ensure you are taking all precautionary measures as laid down by CDC, WHO and BC Health Regulatory, let’s not forget, an employee’s mental well being is equally important. They are bound to feel vulnerable. As an employer, it is important we step up and assure and reassure them that you are with them, for them and are always there for any help needed.
Here are some necessary, simple measures every organization must adopt for their employee's mental well-being:
Educating is the key.
Make every employee aware of the current situation and rely only on government accredited bodies for resource information like CDC or WHO. the employees must be made well aware of the fact that there's no need to panic based on the fake news or myths those are floating everywhere (they are bound to pop up like mushrooms on bare land in a situation like this). However, there's a high priority need to understand and take the necessary precautionary measures. Most importantly, whether they wear a mask or not, educate them to maintain a safe distance of at least three feet from each other.
Keep them informed
This is time when most of us around the globe feel vulnerable, which is normal at a times like these. To keep calm and ease the tension, enlighten your employees about the strategies the company is adopting to stop the virus from spreading. Involve everyone in a ‘stop-corona’ drive and help them to feel safe and feel comfortable in your office environment. Use sticky notes, posters that will help your employees to know the measures you are taking to give them a safe working environment. Although you don’t want to overdo it and scare them away with too much of information and hype around. (They deserve to feel that everything is okay, and they are being well taken care of)
Allow them to raise their concerns
Provide them with a safe environment to speak up or raise their concerns. Some live away from the family and some must just be very concerned about their family members back home. Dedicate some space and time for consultation sessions at work. And don’t fear to make exceptions in your leave policies if you have to. They need your support at this time. Ensure an employee can freely tell you if they are keeping unwell. Very respectfully help them towards self-isolation and inform the local doctor, seek medical help immediately. Have a response team in place with appropriate procedures well laid out to handle situations like these.
Some of the other measures you can adopt:
Stick notices/ posters in offices of awareness about the symptoms of the disease, its precautionary measures, what to do if one is suspicious of being affected by the disease, the need of washing hands regularly and using hand sanitizers.
Make sure that the office premise is completely hygienic and that the tables, desks, telephones, keyboards, etc. are wiped clean with alcohol-based sanitizers every couple of hours.
Liquid handwash in the washrooms, sanitizer bottles in offices must be filled time by time. Every employee must compulsorily be advised to use them.
Appreciate and encourage staff members on following all the necessary precautionary measures. It boosts up their morale and makes the teamwork going.
Over to You
Together we can fight this. Get back to work, follow these simple guidelines for everyone's safety and kill all the negativity around. Help build a positive mind. Today's a beautiful day to make some much-needed change in the world. Isn't it?