July 19, 2022
Megan Grady

10 Ways to protect your team from the pandemic

Run your business with a focus on people

When everything is in chaos, it’s easy to focus on the wrong things. In the pandemic, businesses have been focused on protecting their assets, containing the outbreak, and bringing employees and customers back into the fold. But as the dust settles, now is the perfect time to refocus on the things that matter most in business – your customers, employees, and the quality of your products and services. Businesses that win in the post-pandemic environment will do so because they focused on the right things during the worst of the crisis.


Decide on your core values and build your culture around them

During the pandemic, businesses have had to hastily revise their pandemic plans in response to the latest developments. Some companies have had to revise and update their pandemic plans multiple times. As the pandemic has escalated, pandemic plans have become increasingly complex. But pandemic planning is about much more than the technicalities of infection control. It’s about people. Pandemic planning is about enabling your employees to effectively and safely do what they do best. It’s about supporting your customers so they can continue to get the products and services they need. It’s about helping your community and partners to thrive. A strong pandemic plan will enable your employees to come to work even when they are sick. It will enable your customers to access your products and services despite the widespread disruptions in transportation and supply chains. And it will enable your community and partners to access the care and support they need during the pandemic.


Train your employees and have effective HR practices in place

Corporate training is a key component of any business. But during the pandemic, the focus has been on pandemic training. And rightfully so – the pandemic can affect any member of your organization. But pandemic training is not a one-time event. It’s a dynamic process that requires ongoing training, updates, and refreshers. It requires clear communication of the latest standards and practices and regular testing and evaluation to ensure your organization can effectively respond to the ever-changing threat of the pandemic. Your HR and pandemic planning departments will play a key role in this process. With frequent exposure to the pandemic, they are at the highest risk for infection. They should be first in line for training and refresher courses.


Don’t rely solely on technology to protect your team

While technology has played a significant role in the fight against the covid pandemic, it’s no substitute for human action. The best pandemic response plans include clear protocols for dealing with infected employees. The best pandemic response plans also include clear protocols for dealing with employees who are at risk of infection. After all, there is no cure for the covid pandemic. There is only prevention. The strengths of technology are obvious. It can automate and streamline processes to reduce the risk of human error. It can enable remote work, even allowing employees to work from home when they are unable to travel to work. But technology is not a panacea. It will fail at some point, requiring human intervention. It can’t replace good old fashioned protocol and procedure.


Protect the potential of your employees

There are many ways your organization can protect the potential of your employees during the pandemic. As you amend your pandemic plans, consider how you can reduce the risk of infection among your employees: - Limit employee exposure. Keep your employees away from places where the pandemic is spreading. - Provide protective equipment. Provide your employees with the PPE they need to reduce their risk of infection. - Provide training and refresher courses. Your employees need to know how to use the PPE they are issued. - Provide medical attention. Your employees need medical attention when they are at risk of infection. - Provide psychological support. Your employees need psychological support to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.


Continuously evaluate and improve your products and services

The pandemic will reshape the way businesses operate in the future. Businesses that are able to respond to the pandemic are more likely to succeed in the post-pandemic environment. There are many ways your organization can respond to the pandemic to build a more resilient company in the future. You can: - Revisit your pandemic plans. - Review your supply chain. - Conduct market research to identify potential areas for growth. - Reduce your reliance on employees who are at risk of infection.


Offer flexible working conditions for an increasingly remote workforce

The pandemic has revealed the extent to which businesses are dependent on a centralized workforce. This has placed an additional burden on an already overstretched healthcare system. And it has had a significant impact on businesses that rely on this workforce. A large portion of the workforce has been effectively shut down due to travel restrictions and health and safety concerns. This has forced companies to close, scale back operations, or outsource work to other countries with less stringent health and safety restrictions. It has also forced companies to hire remote employees to replace those who are at risk of infection and those who have been quarantined.


Commit to diversity, inclusion, and transparency

As the pandemic has progressed, we’ve seen the best of humanity and the worst of humanity. The pandemic is a devastating event that impacts everyone, even those who don’t contract the covid virus. As the pandemic has progressed, some communities have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. These communities may have less access to the pandemic response services that businesses provide to their employees. This has put some communities at greater risk of the pandemic and decreased their access to critical pandemic response services. In addition to providing pandemic response services, businesses can respond by committing to diversity, inclusion, and transparency. This means actively supporting and engaging with communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.


Conclusion

The pandemic has taken a devastating financial and human toll on businesses. But as the pandemic winds down, businesses have an opportunity to rebuild stronger than before. One way to do this is by running your business with a focus on people. This means prioritizing your employees above all else and making sure they have the support they need to do their jobs safely and effectively. It also means making sure you are hiring and retaining the right employees. Next, you can decide on your core values and build your culture around them. Then it is important to train your employees and have effective HR practices in place to protect the potential of your employees. And lastly, you can protect the potential of your employees by offering flexible working conditions for an increasingly remote workforce.

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