As America faces a winter surge of Covid-19, businesses need to prepare for flare-ups in their communities. With the benefit of experience, this time around you can look for ways to minimize disruption. Of course, it’s a global pandemic—maintaining normality just isn’t an option. At the very least, though, there’s no excuse for not being prepared.
Put Long Term Business Continuity Plans In Place
Many businesses are in a fight for their lives and though focus will understandably be on short-term survival, it’s also crucial to plan for the future. A study by Gartner found that 42% of CFOs have no contingency plan for a second wave of COVID-19. However, even as America recovers there may well be localized flare ups, and all parts of the business need to be prepared for if this happens to their community.
Of course, in many areas the first wave isn’t over and businesses are still in crisis mode. Business continuity plans will likely still be in place. However, the onset of the crisis came so suddenly that many initial response plans had to be rushed. Now is the time to adapt these to the longer term.
Identifying Business Improvements
A key part of creating any Coronavirus 2nd wave contingency plan will be to assess how you responded to the first wave. Of course, the public health emergency is far from over—but you should have had time to identify what went well and what could’ve been improved when it came to crisis leadership, decision making and communication.
Did your business have the right structures in place to ensure that decisions were made quickly and with all the important voices being heard? Did your team utilize data effectively or simply rely on gut instinct? And when keeping employees informed, were you able to reach out to your whole workforce instantly and deliver concise, accurate and reassuring messaging?
The Role of HR in Keeping Employees Safe
A second wave—and any action required to fight it—will inevitably have big business implications. While CFOs focus on the financial implications of a second wave (in particular managing costs), HR teams need to prioritize employee safety. With the time to plan, what action can be taken to protect employee health? Can you rely on supplies of PPE? Have you enforced a workplace mask policy?
Enabling Better Remote Working
A second wave of the virus will inevitably lead to social distancing measures and prolong remote working. HR will also have to double down on making working from home a success. The first wave has led to a rush to remote work, but this has often been considered a temporary solution. If a second wave occurs, business may have to provide more equipment to increase the long-term sustainability of WFH.
Supporting Employees’ Mental Health
A Coronavirus 2nd wave contingency plan also needs to account for employee mental health. If it seems like we’re all taking a step backward in the fight against the virus, it’ll be easy for many to be demoralized and fearful. You’ll need to have the processes in place to check up on employee’s wellbeing and to craft company messaging to emphasize that you’ll get through this together.
Paycor Can Help
Paycor builds HR software for leaders of medium & small business. For 30 years, we’ve been listening to and partnering with leaders, so we know what they need: HCM technology that saves time, powerful analytics and expert HR advice to help them solve problems and achieve their goals.
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