Whether we like to say it or not, business as usual is going to look different for some period of time. Adherence to COVID-19 guidelines and best practices is going to take center stage, and proving that you’re taking all possible precautions to stay compliant now and into the future will be essential. Done right, you will earn the trust and confidence of your customers, employees, and applicants – leading to a successful reopening and sustained growth.
Q: There are so many things to take into consideration when planning a COVID-safe reopening strategy. Where do I start?
A: Things are certainly fluid and may seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there are lots of resources that you can leverage. Start by reviewing the COVID-19 guidelines and protocols established by Federal (e.g. CDC, FDA, and OSHA) and State, Local, and County (e.g. Phased Reopening Plans) entities. You’ll want to be sure to account for things such as: food safety, personal hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing, checking wellness before shifts, wearing masks, social distancing, take-out and delivery procedures, sick time and paid time off, COVID incident management, etc. You may also want to look at what similar businesses are doing as well as what industry analysts and leaders are recommending.
Q: How can I make sure my employees know and understand all of our COVID-19 policies, procedures, and protocols?
A: The easiest way is to use a talent management platform that enables you to:
- Create new digitized policies and forms on demand – a mix of content fashioned after the governmental crafted protocols such as those listed above and ones that you design yourself;
- Include these in your new-hire onboarding workflow and send to existing employees via digital (contactless) notification – requiring digital signatures;
- Update your employee handbook and send to all employees to digitally acknowledge; and,
- Provide training during onboarding and for all employees, and include short quizzes to ensure they’ve mastered the content.
Q: In a perfect world, what would COVID-19 reporting look like in the realm of talent management?
A: An innovative talent management system will enable you to digitally track employee acknowledgement. By tracking employee acknowledgements of policies, forms, and handbooks as well as training quiz results, you are, in essence, creating digital proof that your business is a safe and healthy environment for employees and customers. Promoting this is more important than posting your modified COVID business hours, new menu selections, salon specials…just about everything.
Q: How do I demonstrate to customers and applicants that my staff is following these policies and best practices?
A: First and foremost, you’ll want to update your corporate website, career pages, and social media sites with all the precautions you’ve taken to ensure you and your employees are following best practices and protocols. In addition, put up signage throughout your store in prominent areas that reinforce these actions. Lastly, send emails and SMS text messages to your applicants, employees, and customers detailing all of these measures.
Proving you are COVID-ready will go a long way in encouraging individuals to apply for your jobs, making employees feel comfortable coming to work and serving as confident ambassadors of positive experiences, and attracting/re-attracting customers to frequent your place of business and advocate for your brand.