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What’s our new normal?
May 21, 2020
As the state of Texas comes back online, there has been a lot of confusion from federal, state and local authorities on businesses that can and should open, as well as guidelines for conducting business. To add even further confusion, businesses are also taking it upon themselves to establish policies and procedures to protect their own workers as best they can. So, what should companies be doing as we enter our new reality? What will business look like for the rest of 2020 and beyond? Here are a few communication tips as companies enter an unprecedented new era:
Establish internal/external policies/procedures
Before your employees enter the workplace, establish what your policies and procedures are. What are the protocols for cleaning desks? Are desks now the appropriate six feet apart? What about restrooms, kitchen area, waiting areas, etc.? Are masks and hand sanitizer readily available? By having clearly thought out protocols, employees, clients and customers can feel a sense of confidence that their business leaders are taking COVID-19 seriously and that work will be conducted in the safest manner possible. Remember, it may not be you that’s at risk for catching anything, but for those more vulnerable, this will give them peace of mind as they return to the workplace.
Business leaders should also consider who should or should not work from home going forward (if someone is at high risk or experiencing symptoms). A quick response procedure asking employees to shelter in place at home should be readily available, especially since experts are warning of a spike in cases as people both return to work and as seasons change.
Whether everyone works in an office, or are divided between multiple locations, communication is vital. Executives should consider routine webinars or weekly emails, employee newsletters, etc. to update its employees on the status of the workplace; what’s being done on a micro level to ensure a safe workplace and how new business operations will look. Remember, employees are a brand’s biggest ambassadors. If everyone from the top down is aligned and aware of a company’s efforts, employees will feel safer returning to work.
In addition to communicating company-wide information, it’s important to outline procedures for a daily working routine. We’re all adults, but when working in isolation, simple parameters on communication should be set and met by everyone on the team.
Look for opportunities
Although COVID-19 has done a number on our economy, there are silver linings. Maybe there are better ways to serve existing customers, or new products to launch, but looking internal to streamline efficiencies is a great thing to do while business is slow. Take the time to invest in the company now, knowing that business will return business as usual.
Experiencing a pandemic is new for everyone. We’re all learning and adjusting as we go. But the best way to exit this downturn and prepare for the uptick is to invest in your team and employees now and prep for what our new normal will look like. Hopefully we never experience anything like this again, but if we do, we’ll be ready for it.