How to Respond to COVID-19 Concerns in the Workplace
COVID-19, or the Coronavirus, is sweeping across the globe. From China to Iran to the United States, the transmittable disease is rendering thousands of people sick and disturbing daily life. Schools are shutting down, the stock market is plummeting, and businesses are drastically reducing unnecessary air travel. Still, though, the chances of catching the virus are low, and its fatality rate is even lower. By following best practices, you can reduce your chance of getting the Coronavirus.
Information is spreading quicker than the Coronavirus. With a slew of information and a lack of reliable sources, though, not all the information you see is accurate. Therefore, companies need to have a credible communication plan about the facts of the virus and how to prevent transmission.
What to Include in Your Communication Plan
Your company should make its employees aware of the expert medical information on the Coronavirus. Since the virus is recent, the informational pool on the illness is continuously evolving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has one of the most reliable and updated internet pages about COVID-19. There, your employees can learn about the virus, how it spreads, how to prevent it, and other critical facts about the virus.
The CDC website includes information about the Coronavirus written explicitly for businesses. On this webpage, you can learn about recommended strategies for handling sick employees and your workplace. Of note, you should:
- Encourage sick employees to stay at home. One ill employee is terrible enough—you don’t want to risk your whole workplace becoming sick. Make sure your sick leave policy is flexible or has exceptions for the Coronavirus.
- Promote the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol. Hand washing is useful and sometimes preferential to hand sanitizer, especially if an employee’s hands are dirty. Be sure to provide hand sanitizer and soap for your workplace.
- Encourage the best sanitary practices. Some people live their lives without knowing how to properly and hygienically cough and sneeze. Because coughing and sneezing can transmit the virus, it’s crucial to teach and enforce the best sanitary practices.
- Perform routine cleaning with known cleaning agents. Because the virus can lie stagnant, you should routinely clean frequently used surfaces like sinks, toilets, doorknobs, countertops, and workstations.
- Reduce work travel. Given the contagious nature of the virus, work travel, especially to countries with high rates of COVID-19, should be drastically reduced during this time.
While news about the virus is headlining every major media site, most people don’t have organized and comprehensive information about the virus. By setting up a communication plan and disseminating credible information, you and your business can play a crucial part in slowing the spread of the Coronavirus. Meeting daily with key leaders in your organization to re-visit these communications is key.
To gain more insight into COVID-19 and how it is affecting the economy, click here to download this 19-page report from McKinsey & Company.