By Karyn Jensen, Owner of HRC, Ltd. (The Human Resource Connection)
As business owners, it is our responsibility to communicate effectively with our employees, and that has never been more crucial than during this pandemic. Returning employees to work and providing a safe and healthy work environment, and communicating your plan for that effectively, amidst COVID19 is a challenge for almost every employer. The following list is my best recommendations to not only my clients, but all businesses to limit the spread of germs, keep employees safe and communicate with your employees:
- Provide masks and disinfectant wipes for each person at their desk or work station. Require that they wipe down their area and equipment before leaving each day. Make custom masks with the company logo or an inspiring quote as a way to show unity.
- Rather than have food in a common refrigerator, perhaps buy each employee a lunch bag/box with a cooler in it.
- Spread out workstations and desks if you are able to do that. If you don’t already, have designated spots for employees to have individual workstations.
- Make it extremely clear that no one comes in sick. Use temperature checks when possible and make sure you follow the legal guidelines to do so.
- Require that all employees wash their hands before entering the workplace.
- Have a plan for those that say they do not want to return and document it in writing.
- If you are pulling people back at different times, make sure you are not being discriminatory in that process. You need to base the decision on business needs and/or performance and/or seniority. It is likely that lawsuits for discrimination and wage claims will arise out of this pandemic. Get advice on how to properly return employees to work and to minimize your risk of litigation.
- Have shift work in am and pm waves. Another option is to have half your employees work from home and the other half to go into the workplace. First, ask for volunteers and get it in writing that it was their choice.
- Have Zoom meetings for any meetings that need to occur. Require employees to have their video on and provide headsets.
The most important thing is that you do all you can to provide a safe workplace and ensure your employees are comfortable at work. It is important to remember that it is better to overcommunicate than to under communicate. Times are changing and adjusting your workplace to function in the new normal is crucial to the success of your business.
About The Human Resource Connection, Ltd. (HRC, Ltd.)
HRC, Ltd. provides custom Human Resource solutions to provide peace of mind and vital business resources. Their work is completely customized, from start date and scope of project, to the speed of work and choice of billing arrangements. While others offer turnkey solutions, their Human Resource Management caters to unique business needs and position their clients for maximum productivity. To learn more about HRC, Ltd., please visit their website at thehumanresourceconnection.com