Despite all the measures taken by different countries to stop the outbreak of the COVID-19, the number of infected people keeps increasing by the hour. Our entire world has come to a halt because of the pandemic, and many countries’ economies have suffered severely.
For example, in countries like the United States and Italy, the number of infected people is increasing at an alarming rate, and the death count is also rising. And if the numbers continue to grow at such speeds, there will come a time when public health care systems will have a tough time fighting the COVID-19 menace.
As with the case of everyone else, companies and businesses around the world were caught off guard by the sudden imposition of lockdowns and social distancing. They have had to adjust to the present situation of crisis to make sure that their business operations run smoothly.
Many companies, for instance, are facing reduced investment, lower productivity, supply chain delays, and more. Moreover, this pandemic is negatively affecting employee health and wellbeing as well.
The Importance of a Coronavirus Checklist
COVID-19 spread around the world so fast that it provided little to no time at all to companies to manage the situation appropriately. But slowly and steadily, employers are taking steps to make sure that their business operations are not interrupted.
For instance, a lot of employers have already implemented strategies like work-from-home policies to safeguard their employees and their operations in these difficult times.
From keeping their employees informed about updates to make sure that they are healthy, there are a few things that every employer must do in this time of crisis. Taking care of these things will help ensure the maintenance of business operations and minimize losses. Also, they will ensure that employees are safe and productive.
Here is the Coronavirus Checklist for employers -
- Create a Disaster Preparedness Plan.
- Keep Employees Informed and Connected.
- Advise employees on Preventive measures.
- Implement and facilitate remote working.
- Encourage online collaboration.
- Use proper tools for communication.
- Ensure your employees are healthy.
- Answer queries that employees might have.
- Prevent the spread of misinformation.
- Evaluate all your efforts in the previous steps.
1. Create a Disaster Preparedness Plan.
If you are an employer, the first thing you should do in this time of crisis is to create a disaster preparedness plan. Create a flexible plan and share it with your employees. Explain what kind of pay and employee benefits will be available to them in the event of a shutdown.
Mapping out a disaster preparedness plan and sharing it with employees can be extremely helpful in preventing disruptions in such situations of uncertainty.
2. Keep Employees Informed and Updated.
Communicate with your employees frequently, keeping them updated with news and information that may develop regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Inform your employees about whatever measures you are taking in response to the outbreak. Proper communication is crucial for preventing stress and anxiety among employees at such times.
3. Advise employees on Preventive measures.
Advise your employees to follow the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended guidelines. Encourage them to follow proper respiratory etiquette and maintain proper hygiene, such as using hand sanitizers. Most importantly, encourage employees to stay home at all times to maintain social distancing.
4. Implement and facilitate remote working.
Even if your country has not imposed a full lockdown, it is a good idea to implement work-from-home policies among your workforce immediately. Social distancing is of utmost importance at this point of time, and it is the only thing that can prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.
While remote working might cause challenges for your employees in the beginning, listen to their feedback and make sure that they have the resources to work from home. No one knows how long this pandemic will last, and as such companies might have to work remotely for a long time to come.
5. Encourage online collaboration.
Encourage your employees to use appropriate communication and collaboration tools to remain connected with each other during this period of isolation. Foster an environment of collaboration among your employees and encourage them to work together as they would do in regular times. By staying in touch and working together, employees will be able to complete their tasks productively and efficiently.
6. Use proper tools for communication.
As mentioned in the previous point, communication among employees is crucial during these times and to facilitate it using the right tools is essential. By using appropriate tools to communicate and collaborate, employers can ensure the proper flow of information among their workforce.
There are various tools and applications available that can facilitate proper communication. Ask your employees about what kind of tools they require and provide the same so that their work is more straightforward.
7. Ensure your employees are healthy.
As your employees are isolated from the rest of the world and stuck at home, they are highly susceptible to depression, stress, and lack of activity, all of which can severely impact their wellbeing and productivity. Thus, you need to ensure that they are of good health, both physically and mentally.
Encourage your employees to avoid being sedentary, do some exercise regularly, and eat healthily. Highlight the importance of proper sitting posture and discourage them from working while sitting in couches or beds. Also, assign an HR executive to regularly call and check on them for any signs of mental stress or anxiety.
8. Answer queries that employees might have.
One thing is inevitable in such a situation of crisis, i.e., people become scared and have a lot of doubts and questions about the safety of their lives and the lives of their family members. What employers can do about this is that they should properly communicate with their employees and answer any questions that they may have.
By answering employees’ questions with correct information, you can help them feel secure and eliminate their doubts.
9. Prevent the spread of misinformation.
The most talked about topic of the moment is COVID-19, and accordingly, there are lots of rumours and false information that are being spread throughout the internet. The spread of such misinformation among employees can create stress and disrupt work operations.
Advise your employees to keep a calm and pragmatic attitude whenever dealing with false rumours. Make sure to provide accurate information to them and discourage them from circulating incorrect information further.
10. Evaluate all your efforts in the previous steps.
The final step is evaluating all the previous actions to determine how effective your efforts have been till now. By doing so, you will be able to identify what you need to improve and also what has been effective. You will be able to determine how successful your implementation of remote working has been, how collaborative and communicative your employees have been, how have they coped, etc.
This step can provide you with answers that can help you long after COVID-19 is over. It can help you prepare a tried and tested proper crisis management plan in times of future crisis events.
Using this checklist can help you to ensure that your organization responds to the COVID-19 crisis in the best way possible. Also, you will be able to make sure that your employees are safe and your business operations are running smoothly.