COVID-19 Playbook: Managing Your Staff
Managing employees can be challenging under the most ordinary of circumstances. Introduce a health danger, like the Coronavirus, and motivating employees and helping them balance their professional and personal lives adds an altogether different level of challenge. Yet, that’s exactly what advisors have faced in the last few months and will continue to face as employees return to the office.
Here are some ideas to help advisors manage through these unprecedented times.
As you bring your staff back to the office, it’s important that you educate your employees on Coronavirus symptoms and prevention. It may seem redundant considering all the attention paid to taking precautions, but you don’t really know where employees may have obtained their information. So, it’s best to start from scratch. And, remember to refer to trusted sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) when building out your policies.
Establish, enforce and regularly remind all employees of your practice’s COVID-19 protocols. These protocols may include:
- Taking of temperatures at the start of the day
- Wiping the conference rooms and public waiting areas on a consistent schedule
- Knowing when masks are to be worn and distancing procedures
- Limiting the number of employees in the break room at any one time
Review your workplace’s environment to consider the following:
- Should barriers be placed between each person’s desk?
- Can you arrange desks to create proper spacing between each person?
- Does your office have a microwave and refrigerator to accommodate brown bag lunches, which will limit public exposure?
- Should you consider lunch deliveries as a positive reward for employees and as a way to reduce risk to outside contact?
Consider more flexible scheduling:
- Stagger work times so that your staff do not arrive and leave work in groups
- Schedule days of the week for working from home to reduce the number of people who will occupy office space
- Restrict non-essential travel as a best practice, until more concrete information is made available from health organizations
Taking these steps to limit the chances of spreading Coronavirus may help your employees feel more comfortable returning to work and, without the stress of wondering what measures will be in place, they will be more productive.
The Human Element
As a leader, you want to ensure the safety of all your employees. Encourage workers to stay home if they feel any symptoms at all, no matter how low level. Adjust your sick policy to ensure that your employees are not disadvantaged by electing to do the responsible thing by staying home.
Prepare yourself for increased absenteeism. It won’t always be about your employee’s health. It may be because school is closed or a daycare provider is ill. Be understanding.
Be positive and upbeat in your communication. Try to be creative in the way you motivate and inspire them: arrange wellness talks, and even plan virtual group lunches, buying food delivery gift cards for stay-at-home employees and sharing a group meal by video.
And lastly, as always, lead by example. You will see the return on your investment.
Please reference disclosures: https://blog.americanportfolios.com/disclosures/