10 Steps to Return to the Workplace
The below information was created by our friends at Ursa Group, LLC
It’s going to be a gradual process getting back to 100% operation after being locked down and social distancing for so long. Your business along with thousands of others are now thinking about how to get back to work, protect your workforce your customers and ultimately your business. Here are 10 beginning steps to take when starting to prepare to return to business and your work place.
- Create a Covid-19 team or assign clear leadership
Having a clear and concise leadership to implement your return to work plan is important. This team or individual will be critical in executing your plan. It needs to be decisive, communicated, and you need to obtain buy in. Set goals for this function that promote a positive anti Covid-19 strategy and that has the full support of management.
- Assess where you need to take action in your business operations
Review all aspects of your business operations and understand where you need to take action. Make a list or a matrix of work areas both public and private to your business and list how you might manage the possibility of contamination in these areas. This will guide your overall policies and procedures for minimizing potential infections.
- Determine what supplies, equipment, partners and vendors you may need to assist you
Once you know your possible exposures you will know what resources you may need to aid in prevention. Identify potential suppliers of PPE, cleaning supplies, vendors for site sanitization and even testing of employees for Covid-19. It’s going to be a competitive landscape and a sellers market for these items so get a jump on it and have multiple options. Beyond the obvious what vendors and suppliers are critical to your business and it’s success? What local government and other partners do you need to engage with to support your position and business?
- Make sure you understand the HR landscape in the context of the pandemic
There are special circumstances related to Covid-19 and how to manage your employees during this time. Ensure that your HR team or leadership know the scope of this to avoid making errors. Conversely understand these changes so that you can work within them to protect your business. Don’t wait to understand how you can manage your HR to protect your business.
- Create a communication strategy for your employees, customers and suppliers
Leaders communicate. In this time of significant uncertainty it’s never been more important to communicate clearly, authoritatively and effectively. Consider how you will do this, what you will say and when you will say it. If an employee gets Covid-19 then what do you tell the rest of your team, your customers and partners? How you respond will set the tone for the confidence your stakeholders have in moving forward with you and getting back to business as “usual”.
- Manage your day to day employee actions, every day to minimize future infection
Set the tone, lead by example and set consistent expectations for hygiene and habits. Make sure everyone knows what’s expected of them. Communicate it and train if necessary on what needs to be done. Encourage employees to keep track of any meetings and interactions they have outside of immediate coworkers. Create and encourage that anti Covid-19 culture and seek input on making improvements to your plans. Use survey tools and other means to gauge employee engagement on Covid-19.
- Pay close attention to access control, meetings and internal and external contacts
In the event that you have an infection within your business and team it’s going to be critical for you to get back to normal quickly. A pathway to this will be to understand who else may have been exposed in someway. Maintain logs and records of all visitors, promote appointments as a means to engage with your organization and discourage casual interactions. If you deal with customers ensure that you are implementing social distancing and protection strategies. Consider how temperature checks and enhanced visitor screening can help you.
- Make plans to serve your external stakeholders and customers
Depending on the nature of your business you will need to adapt. If you have significant customer facing time then physical distancing, separation and hygiene will be imperative. What can you do through traffic management, temporary architectural design and other means to prevent infection. How about giving away branded cloth masks to protect employees and customers!
- Understand and stay abreast of government support for your business or sector
Many businesses missed out on the first iteration of the Payroll Protection Plan. Be sure to prepare all your financials and have your tax and payroll data available so that you can respond quickly. These incentives and support packages are designed to help vulnerable businesses but ultimately those that are prepared and ready may be the ones who benefit. It only took 7 days to distribute the last round and many businesses were left high and dry due to a delay in preparing their packages or issues with their banks.
- Learn best practices
Engage with your network, talk to other business owners and find out what’s working for them. Pay attention to the pandemic and how it is evolving. Is it having a resurgence of cases in your state and how will you respond so that you can easily react with minimal disruption.
As experts in Risk Management we have exceptional pedigree in advising and working alongside clients to assess, plan and implement plans. Ursa can help mitigate potential risk from Covid-19 , provide employee and customer confidence, and help prevent and respond to any outbreak. We have over 12 years experience supporting businesses with unique challenges to their operations.
We have a team of experts and professionals in Public Health, Environmental Services, Risk Management, Legal and HR that are available to assist in reviewing plans and assisting you with developing an effective strategy.
Let us help you get back to work. We’d be happy to set up a Zoom, Skype, Teams or other video consultation (with no obligation) to see if there’s any way we can assist you. Or give me a call directly at 205-601-2399.