Every business needs a road map for surviving with slimmer staffs when employees stay home because of the coronavirus.
“The most important thing is to have a plan and communicate it to employees and customers,” says Brian Baker, vice president of Hagerty Consulting, an emergency management consulting firm based in Evanston, Ill. The plan should answer two questions: What functions does the organization need to perform to stay in business? And how can those essential functions continue, given a possible uptick in employee absenteeism and a decrease in the customer base?”
Employers may consider these steps:
* Allow teleworking for those employees able to perform their duties from home.
* Establish flexible work hours for employees who must stay at home at certain times to care for family members.
* Share best practices with other businesses in the region and with the local chamber of commerce.
Additional ideas are available in the document “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers” located at www.cdc.gov.
No plan will work if it remains unheeded.
“We recommend that employers clearly communicate their rules and policies regarding the coronavirus,” says Susan Gross Sholinsky, vice chair of the employment, labor and workforce management practice of Epstein, Becker Green in New York, N.Y. “Companies with intranet sites should link them to all virus-related communications and tell employees to check the site frequently for updates and guidance.”