Last week, we talked about 5 easy tips you can change today as an essential small business to keep things running smoothly. This week, we’ll give you five more tips that the CDC recommends can keep you internally staying strong!
1. Identity a Workplace Coordinator
While that title sounds very official, it’s not complicated to integrate! Your Workplace Coordinator is a person responsible for keeping up with everything COVID-related like relevant changes shared on the news and new internal policies you may be adopting. Friendly reminder that this time is traumatic for everyone, so keep communication lines open with your Workplace Coordinator to ensure they aren’t feeling overwhelmed by the changes in the news.
Your workplace coordinator could also be responsible for implementing any new policies you have such as:
Social Distancing Plans
Keeping in Contact with Nonessential Employees or Employees on leave
2. Review Policies for Leave and Compensation
We understand this isn’t possible for every business, but try to create flexible policies for employees who may need to take short- or long-term leaves of absence. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides details regarding sick time, employee absenteeism, and long-term leave that have been implemented in certain situations relating to COVID-19. You can read more about it here.
3. Establish Plans of Action Should You Need to Close Temporarily
Even as an essential business, it’s crucial to think ahead as the current situation may change. Now is the time to create a plan of action should you need to close. Gather your financial documents, insurance policies, and other paperwork all in one place so they are easy to find.
4. Make a Plan in Case an Employee Gets Sick
We hate to suggest you think of the worst, but we want to help you prepare for any possibility. There is still much to learn about COVID-19, so we recommend you take extra precautions where possible when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting.
The CDC put out a list of guidelines for regular cleaning, and they update this list often as they learn new information. Such guidelines include regularly disinfecting all common areas, shared areas, and frequently touched surfaces. Use EPA-approved products where you can, too! Take time to train and educate employees of any new cleaning expectations, and utilize your newly appointed Workplace Coordinator to help follow the new policies.
5. Encourage Communication
Communication is one of the most important things to maintain during this time. As customers may express their anxiety in anger, it’s more important than ever to train staff to deliver customer service while protecting their own mental health. According to Psychology Today, increasing communication can reduce anxiety by reducing uncertainty. There’s likely an additional pressure on your business to serve customers quickly and safely.
To alleviate additional stress employees may be feeling at this time, consider empowering your workers through greater decision-making authority. Examples of this include allowing them to create new workplace policies or letting them vote for a Workplace Coordinator. One of the common feelings circulating is the feeling of little to no control over the situation at large; allowing them to make decisions will help them regain some sense of control and reduce the anxiety they may be feeling.
In addition, come together as a team and set goals together! Goals were important before this crisis, but now they can help establish feelings of accomplishment and hope in a time when they are most needed. These can be individual goals, small group goals, or overall team goals that everyone can strive for!
We’re all in this together, and your leadership is imperative during this time. Together with your team, you can continue to serve your customers and persevere. Thank you for being here during this time - we are grateful for your continued hard work!
Prepare your Small Business and Employees for the Effects of COVID-19
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
Sample COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures to Demand from Management
Managing Employee Stress and Anxiety During the Coronavirus
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Disclaimer: This article contains information and opinions from Adam Kae & Associates, and the information and opinions should not necessarily be seen as the best possible solutions for your business. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to help you find the best solutions for your business.