Getting your business operations up and running again as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic can be tricky. But there’s one very important element that should not be overlooked: making sure your employees feel safe. Many employees feel what has been termed ” re-entry anxiety from fears of contracting the virus to worry about run-ins with disrespectful customers, and many employees feel what has been termed “re-entry anxiety.” Here are some tips to address your workers’ concerns.
Create a Written Plan
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put out a great deal of workplace guidance for safer reopening, including quarantine periods for exposed employees, masking recommendations, and more. Some employers are taking it a step further and requiring vaccinations for everyone returning to the office.
Whatever choices you make to prioritize safety, put them in writing. Create a straightforward, easy-to-follow safety plan, communicate it to your employees, and keep it updated as guidelines change.
Monitor Employee Concerns
Unfortunately, there are some sharp divides in how people feel about the virus. Some believe that worries are overblown and may bristle at the idea of getting vaccinated or wearing a mask. Others are extremely afraid of the virus (especially if they or their loved ones are immunocompromised, rendering vaccines less effective). It’s important to keep the lines of communication open and figure out ways to juggle often competing individual concerns.
Look for Signs of Mental Health Challenges
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis exacerbated the mental health crisis that was already brewing. Many, perhaps even most, people have experienced some anxiety and depression over the past year. But some of your employees may be facing clinical mental health challenges that require expert help. Be ready to offer resources, such as your employee assistance program (EAP), to those who are coping with serious mental health issues.
Be Transparent and Flexible
It’s generally not possible to provide an office full of employees with everything on their wish lists. But try to offer as much as you can and be transparent about what you can and can’t do. For example, remote work might be the best solution for both employees who don’t believe in masks or vaccinations and the fully vaccinated but immunocompromised employee who remains at higher risk. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to buy them each a new computer and pay for their family’s Wi-Fi. Instead, strive to strike a balance that meets the needs of both the company and the worker.
Need some new hires?
Contact Total Staffing Solutions for the light industrial or clerical employees you need. With more than 20 years of staffing experience, we know how to help you recruit and hire your next temporary or permanent team member.