Maintaining a healthy workplace in the waning days of the pandemic
As the economy begins to recover, your business may need to bring in more staff. But the risk of illness is still real, and it’s important to show strong and principled leadership to keep your workforce healthy. Here are some steps to lead on workplace safety.
1. Follow CDC guidelines and local mandates
Even though vaccinations are underway, it will be quite some time before we reach a strong immunity level for the general population. Until then, it’s as important as ever to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and state and federal laws on masking and social distancing. Keep your workplace policies consistent with these rules to prevent illness and the spread of new COVID-19 variants.
2. Consider staffing options
While your business may need more help as the economy returns to normal, that help might be configured in new ways. If you have jobs that could be completed remotely, consider work-from-home options. If your staffing requires people to be on-site, think about spreading out work stations or adding barriers. You may want to stagger work schedules to have fewer workers at your facility at one time. Work collaboratively with your employees to find safe solutions.
3. Communicate your priorities
In the United States, many consider working through an illness a badge of honor. But that perseverance should yield to the common good. Let your employees know that everyone’s health is at stake. Be clear that anyone with symptoms or who has been exposed should not come in, even if they feel well enough to work. Lead by example — if you are unwell or have been exposed, stay home for your staff’s safety.
4. Stand up for your people
If your staff must interact with customers or vendors in person, be clear that you have their back. Insist on the mask use and other protocols that you require internally for third parties. Let your employees know that you have their back on this issue, so they know they can come to you for help if an issue arises.
As we near the end of this marathon, we should avoid tripping short of the finish line. Stay the course in order to keep your team healthy and productive.