With the pandemic upending the way we live and the way we operate, certain things have changed for good. One of the biggest changes in the way we conduct business.
As Managing Director of Total Clean, Carlos Garcia put it, it’s important to know that whilst vaccine administration is underway, businesses still need to make sure their workplace is ready for staff to return, whenever that may be. The safety of the workforce during – and beyond – this pandemic should be at the forefront of any business owner’s mind.
Here are some of the best safety measures for today’s businesses:
Empower Employees to Report Safety Concerns
Cybersecurity Expert at VPNOverview, Veronica Miller says that employees should always feel free to report a potential safety concern and not think about the negative consequences (termination, lack of upward movement, etc). Some companies even offer incentives to workers to inform potential safety concerns. But, it is also crucial to act on these concerns, or else the well runs dry. Even if no action is taken, it is important to make the employees aware of the fact that they were heard and that their recommendation is being considered.
Conduct Dedicated Safety Training
All employees need proper training, particularly if there is a risk of injury associated with the work, advises Eric McGee, Senior Network Engineer at TRGDatacenters. Provide detailed instructions and safe work practices so they can double-check if they’re unsure about a task or have overlooked anything from their training. Supervise your staff to make sure they’re using their training to do their jobs correctly and safely. By failing to provide proper instruction to your staff, you are not only endangering their protection, but you could also be held responsible for the incident, which may result in serious consequences.
Perform Daily Rounds
“You don’t get what you expect; you get what you inspect,” as the saying goes. Dusan Stanar, Founder & CEO of VSS Monitoring believes that leaders must use a checklist to do rounding and calculate compliance outcomes, much like they would in a hospital. They can walk around the work environment to assess if the proper conduct is being practiced. For the first 30 days, they can rate it every day and conduct their observations at random times of the day. Following that, rounding can take place every other day.
Develop Employee-Centric Policies
Lee Grant, CEO at Wrangu recommends that you develop policies that allow sick employees to remain at home without having a fear of retaliation, and make sure all employees are aware of these policies. Establish flexible scheduling and telework policies (if possible), as well as leave policies that encourage workers to stay at home to care for sick family members or children if schools or childcare facilities are closed.
Take Things One Step at a Time
Businesses need to keep in mind that many employees will still be a little hesitant to come back into the office. Carrie Derocher, CMO of TextSanity claims that although making the vaccine mandatory would be too difficult in many cases, allowing for a slow move back to in-person working would make any workplace feel safer. If one day every employee rejoins the office and gets back to work, then it will feel cramped and claustrophobic, especially after a year of shelter in place.
There should be a system that slowly puts people back into their offices in small groups. Each week put in a few more employees. This not only allows people to only enter into a semi-filled workplace, but also allows others time to get vaccinated or get COVID tests before returning to work.
Be Transparent About Your Efforts
The best way to keep your team and your customers safe is by ensuring consistent cleaning routines, says Tom Mumford, Co-Founder of Undergrads LLC. Make sure you are being transparent with your customers about how you are adhering to local safety guidelines. Not only does it hold you and your team accountable for ensuring sanitation, but it also gives the customer a sense of security knowing that you are protecting everyone’s health.
For example, make an effort to let the customer see your sanitation efforts, and don’t be afraid to kindly remind them about wearing a mask or sanitizing their hands at appropriate stations. You could also post on social media the different ways that you’re implementing safety and health guidelines. Beyond that, don’t just implement sanitation guidelines to put on a show – make sure that your team really understands and is adhering to these standards. Ultimately, your team needs to feel safe, as well, and making sure they are protected should be a priority.
Today, safety measures take on a whole new meaning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are living in a new normal, therefore businesses need to do what they can to keep their employees and customers safe. While these adjustments are both big and small, they will be well worth the effort for everyone’s peace of mind.