There is no playbook on how to respond to COVID-19. Social distancing, self-quarantines, and stockpiling supplies have become common responses. With many employees working from home, conferences have been postponed, canceled, or happening virtually. Due to the rapidly evolving concerns about the virus, leaders like you need to find a balance between being extremely cautious and conducting necessary business operations.
Here are some suggestions to help you navigate your team through COVID-19.
Deploy Your Crisis Management Committees
Put your crisis management teams into action. They need to provide information about COVID-19 awareness, prevention, management, and hygiene practices to leaders, managers, and front-line employees. The teams also must enact management protocols, and business continuity plans to lead current actions and potential responses to future events. These activities may include reducing to business-critical operations only, cross-training team members to fulfill critical responsibilities in case another teammate is quarantined, and restricting business travel. If an employee or family member is diagnosed with COVID-19, ensure they follow protocol. This may involve reporting confirmed cases to HR or management, disinfecting anything they may have touched, and informing coworkers, customers, and clients they may have had contact with.
Monitor Employees’ Wellbeing
Stay informed on team members’ overall wellbeing. Since most should be working from home, ask for regular updates on their physical and mental health. Remind staff members of the employee assistance programs available to them, including mental health services available for stress management. Provide information on employees’ compensation and benefits, such as employer-sponsored health insurance. Allow paid time off for team members who become symptomatic or need to care for a family member. Encourage the use of short-term disability insurance, time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act, childcare subsidies, or other existing benefits.
Communicate with staff daily, weekly, or when new information becomes available. Everyone must remain updated on your company’s response to COVID-19 advice, policies, and protocols. Be sure to tailor email, text messages, hotlines, and internal systems communications to the recipients, such as leaders, managers, and employees. You may include FAQs or links to authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The World Health Organization, or local governments. Remind everyone to obtain information from credible sources, stay calm, and not spread misinformation. Emphasize the importance of obtaining adequate food, water, medicine, and other essentials in case of quarantine.
Lead Your Workplace Through COVID-19
As a leader during COVID-19, your example to employees is more important now than ever. Overcommunicating with team members keeps everyone informed about changes within the company and professional organizations providing updates on the virus. Showing ongoing concern for staff members’ overall wellbeing reminds them you care about them. Demonstrating calm behavior encourages others to follow your lead while moving forward through uncertain times.
If you need temporary accounting and finance professionals to fill in for absent employees, contact Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Our experienced candidates can jump right in and get started working remotely for you. Find out more today.