The crisis that has suddenly plagued us with the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unknown trial to anyone and every business. There are two types of challenges: the obvious ones we have to deal with today and the future ones that we need to start preparing for today.
There are more significant and more severe problems that undoubtedly require concerted and well thought out action to prevent preventable errors. World leaders in HR solutions offer a list through which you can check your organization’s readiness to handle the situation. Without being exhaustive, the recommendations cover many of the requirements.
Preparation list to survive coronavirus (COVID-19) business and economical impact
1. Do you have a team to coordinate overall communication and feedback from employees, customers, and suppliers?
The main task of this team is to inform your employees quickly, customers and business partners about workflow continuity strategies, health, and safety measures are taken, and possible workplace-related situations. Ineffective internal communication would lead to speculation, distrust, and fear.
2. Have you identified a credible source of medical information to help you increase your employees’ knowledge?
The Internet is full of misleading information, so it would be a good idea for all organizations to decide who to rely on to stay informed and keep up to date. It is best to follow the statements of the World Health Organization or national health services. Once you have found the most up-to-date information, make sure it is regularly updated and easily accessible to your employees.
3. If you operate in multiple markets, are you aware of legal requirements that may affect layoffs, quarantine employees, or the decision to close an entire office?
If you have a business in the United States, it may not be that difficult to start a new business or change your work practices radically if business operations have been affected by the epidemic. However, in some European countries, relations with employees, legal and political obstacles are much larger and take longer. Assign experienced HR managers in all countries where you work to identify possible issues that would prevent you from making quick decisions about adverse workplace measures.
4. Have you ensured the safety of your company’s workflow?
Follow the regulations of the Ministry of Health strictly. Inform your employees on all possible internal channels about the measures you have taken to prevent tension and minimize your employees’ fears. Use clear and simple instructions.
5. Do you have the necessary conditions that allow your employees to work remotely?
Make sure you have all the tools available to help your employees work from home. Do they have a secure VPN available? Have you provided your employees with virtual meetings? Do you have SaaS, including office applications, email, and collaboration tools? If you do not have these listed, you will need to take the necessary steps quickly so that you do not compromise the quality of your service to your customers.
6. Do you have a plan to limit personal contact with customers?
Many companies still rely on face-to-face sales. If you can’t send your people to customer meetings, how will you continue to offer your products/services? Remember that in the emergency we are in, your clients are also looking for remote contact options for you. Make sure that you continue to maintain your business relationships with them easily and effectively.
7. Do you have the full database of personal contacts of your employees?
The question may sound simple, but you will be surprised how many companies do not have an up-to-date database of their employees’ phones. The outbreak of COVID-19 is a threat that requires all employers to gather as much information as possible about their employees and to be able to contact them quickly when not in the workplace. This will help you keep in touch with your employees when they are unable or unwilling to come to work, or when you have created a remote work plan for them.
In the area of crisis management, it is usually said that if you wait for a problem to resolve to address it, then you have waited too long. Look through this list of questions, and if even one of them is answered no, get started to work out a plan to help you deal with the crisis.
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