With COVID spikes occurring across several states and the catastrophic events occurring in Victoria, it’s time to review how we approach COVID-19 in our business. The trouble is, we’re over it!
COVID fatigue and complacency are the best friends of a pandemic so what can we do to re-ignite the fight to protect ourselves, our staff and our business?
Build A QuaranTEAM
As the infection numbers roll out, we are learning that everyone is at risk of contracting COVID-19, irrespective of age. We’re also learning that even people who are asymptomatic are experiencing damage to vital organs such as heart, lungs and liver. At this point, we don’t know if the damage to these organs is permanent. But the current scientific evidence is showing the recovery time can be significant – regardless of the severity of the illness on individuals.
That should be a major motivation to prevent exposure to the disease which means remembering to:
- Social distance
- Follow good hand hygiene
- Sneeze into our elbow
- Using tissues once and throwing them into the bin
- And increasingly, wearing a mask when it’s difficult to social distance
But after all of these months, it’s still very hard to remember to do this ALL the time, and that’s where QuaranTEAM comes in.
We each have a responsibility to look after ourselves and those around us. In the workplace, that means staff, management, suppliers, customers and visitors. But what does that mean in a busy workplace?
Building A QuaranTEAM Involves:
- Reviewing all the hygiene practices your business has introduced so far and asking each other:
- Can we do it better?
- Is there anything we’ve missed?
- What is our internal culture and are we working as a team to protect each other’s health?
- Are staff still sharing each other’s pens and other office stationery?
- Are high-touch areas such as photocopiers, kettles, door handles and breakout areas cleaned as often or as thoroughly as they should?
- Are staff encouraging each other to maintain an appropriate social distance or is there a stigma attached to keeping a respectful distance?
- What about the use of hand sanitisers? Is everyone using them as frequently as they should?
- Expand your team culture to include gentle reminders when someone sees a memory lapse such as getting too close or borrowing someone’s pen. To be effective, these gentle reminders need to be received with grace rather than defensiveness. Again, this comes down to how you, as the business owner or manager, communicate what’s expected as part of your team culture.
We can help you expand your team culture to include a collective responsibility to protect each other from COVID-19.
- Respecting the fears and uncertainty of your staff is another way to promote a QuaranTEAM culture in your business. It’s all about leading by example. It begins by identifying any staff who may be showing anxiety or a reluctance to return to onsite working.
By understanding their concerns, (such as the need to care for a high-risk family member), you’ll be able to work with them to address those fears.
If you have any staff who are concerned about returning to onsite working arrangements, get in touch with us. We can provide you with guidance and support on how to approach the topic. Or, we can act as your external liaison if you would like to avoid a tricky conversation with staff.
- Register as a COVID Safe Business. This will help to ease the fears of your staff and could become a vital marketing tool. For more information, visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe-businesses. Registering as a COVID Safe Business is free and begins with developing a COVID-19 Safety Plan. You’ll find information and resources by clicking on the above link.
We can also assist you with putting together your COVID-19 Safety Plan to ensure it’s documented, distributed and understood by all staff members.
Protecting The Morale And Operations Of Your Business Requires Imagination And Effort
Getting through the effects of COVID-19 will be a marathon – not a sprint! Many businesses have already reinvented their operations in a variety of ways. But we can’t stop now.
As staff begin to return to the workplace, you need to be conscious of what might happen to your business if they need to self-isolate for any reason. You also need to plan for the possibility that someone may introduce COVID-19 into your business.
As with anything COVID-related, prevention and mitigation are key. So look at splitting staff into smaller teams with some working from home and others working on site.
Of course, this hybrid approach will challenge your ability to maintain a cohesive team culture so involve the whole team is looking for fun ways to combine remote and onsite workers in meetings and get-togethers.
Again, it’s all about building a resilient QuaranTEAM culture. Possible examples include lunch break chats or morning tea via Zoom. You might even like to run a competition around who is eating the healthiest or most decadent treat at these meetings.
There aren’t many certainties about COVID-19. But one thing you can be certain of is the way it is challenging every aspect of your business.
That’s why we believe building a QuaranTEAM to support each other, and your business as a whole is essential. It’s a way to share the burden and make everyone accountable.
If you would like to explore how you could create a QuaranTEAM in your business, get in touch with End2End Business Solutions. We provide practical HR solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. To start the conversation, call 02 8977 4002.