As the confirmed cases and death toll rises, employees are becoming increasingly paranoid. Morale is rapidly declining as many fear for their lives. In addition, they’re overwhelmed with the change to their normal routine The amount of fake news rivals the real and even the real news is more than enough to cause concern. The reality is, businesses can’t simply stop operating because of the coronavirus and remote work for many is not a possibility.
Communicate frequently with your employees
It’s crucial that leaders don’t get sucked into the panic. Employees look to their leaders and model their behavior especially in times of crisis. Therefore, it’s important they remain calm and manage their emotions.
During stressful situations, it’s important to have a plan in place for how you’ll communicate with your employees. You need to have a way to update your employees on any coronavirus updates that affect the business and their work schedules.
Take steps to keep your employees safe
As an employer, the most important thing you can do is to ensure that your employees are safe. The best way to do this is by practicing good hygiene and avoiding physical contact, like shaking hands with others.
Have cleaning procedures in place and regularly wipe down all surface areas with antiseptic. Disinfect commonly used surfaces, like doorknobs, tables, desks and handrails, and encourage your employees to wash their hands immediately upon entering the room.
All of this will lower your employees’ risk of exposure to the virus. And if one of your employees starts feeling under the weather, you should let them stay home with no questions asked.
Establish flexible workplace policies
Try to be as accommodating as possible when it comes to working arrangements. Schools across the country are closing and some of your employees may need to stay home with their children.
If possible, try to find a way for your employees to get their work done remotely. Many workplaces are doing this by utilizing cloud facilities
If working remotely isn’t possible for your company, there are still ways to accommodate your employees at work. Consider staggering shifts so that all your employees aren’t in the same place at one time.
Limit travel as much as possible
Your employees want to know that you’re making their health and safety a priority, so don’t require employees to attend meetings, even if it’s only with a limited number of people. At this point, it’s probably a good idea to cancel in-person meetings or work events.
Also, allow employees to cancel business travel, even if it’s usually a part of their job. Even if they travel and don’t get sick, this could lead to low workplace morale.
Coordinate with state and local health officials
Finally, the intensity of the coronavirus outbreak will vary depending on the state and community you live in. State and local guidance will likely be changing frequently, and these changes could have an impact on your business.
Stay informed about any new information that comes out from the Health Ministry your local government and local health department. Communicate with your employees regularly and share with them what you’re learning and how you’re responding to it.
Please note that this are inspirations from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.