The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic raises concerns for organizations, clients, employees, and services. While data surrounding COVID-19 is still developing and changing often, precautions can be taken within your organization to ensure effective production, communication and preparedness. This checklist will assist in developing your own preparedness plan or updating your current one.
- Ensure employees experiencing any symptoms don’t come to work. COVID-19 symptoms include sore throat, fever, runny nose, shortness of breath, body aches, headache, and dry cough. Employees experiencing any one of these symptoms should not come to work. Note this may lead to absenteeism and will affect staffing levels;, however, the impact of transmission of an infectious disease through the workplace could be just as unfavorable for staffing levels, or worse.
- Encourage hand washing. Have soap, clean toweling, and hand sanitizer readily available for employees to use throughout the day. Recommend employees wash their hands for at least 20 seconds and often.
- Encourage regular cleaning of common surfaces. Ensure commonly used areas and personal offices (i.e. conference rooms, break room tables, and door handles) are sanitized often using proper cleaning materials. Do not offer any shared food in your workplace.
- Encourage self-reporting. Encourage employees to self-report if they have traveled to high-risk locations or are displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Assist supervisors to be prepared to reassign employees’ responsibilities or support performing the duties from home.
- Identify essential employees and critical services. Review your current services to determine which must be maintained on-site or in-person. Essential employees include those who must be on-site in order to maintain the critical services. Follow the current guidelines for in-person work, including social distancing and maximum of 10 people in one building. If any job roles or services can be completed remotely, make the proper adjustments. This may include allowing remote work and/or providing services via phone, email, video, teleconference, etc.
- Respond to health insurance questions. Communicate details regarding health insurance and offer assistance to those with questions or those who have been affected by a layoff, furlough, loss of job, etc. due to Coronavirus personally or within their family.
- Information Technology. Work closely with your IT team or provider to ensure adequate applications, software, and assistance are provided to employees and clients, and discuss IT support needs for the future. Have an IT plan in place that is fluid to align with government guidance and frequent changes.
- Limit travel and conference attendance. Have employees verify any business or conference-related travel with a delegated individual who denies or approves requests. Consider the locations employees would be traveling to and the current restrictions in that area due to Coronavirus.
- Centralize communications. Post staff and client communications in a centralized location with easy access, such as an intranet site, public website, and/or other internal or external communications board. Utilize email or other means of electronic communication to reduce in-person contact.
- Delegate one or a few lead communicators. Assign a specific individual to share all communications surrounding Coronavirus internally. Assign one or a few individuals to maintain contact with clients. Any client communications should be developed by the lead communications team to ensure accuracy and timeliness of all outgoing communications.
- Determine communication expectations of all staff. Have adequate technology prepared for phone or video calls, emails, and other forms of electronic communication. Maintain regular communication with your employees and ensure they understand what is expected of them.
Should you have questions regarding how to implement a preparedness plan or other HR best practices at your business, reach out to one of our trusted business advisors who will be happy to provide guidance. Contact your KerberRose trusted advisor today.