As employees reenter the workforce and the job market opens back up, employers are looking for new ways to keep their offices corona free and their employees safe. Many have begun to implement new rules according to their countries guidelines and are trying to create policies and procedures that will allow their employees to complete their work with as few restrictions as possible. However, because this requires the cooperation of all individuals in the office, employers are contemplating how they can ensure the new rules and regulations are followed and what type of systems and supports they can put in place in order to keep their offices safe from corona while maintaining a smooth workflow.
Put it in the Policy
Employees are excellent at creating workarounds, don't leave room for interpretation by verbally explaining the new rules, but instead make sure that you have a policy in place that clearly articulates what is expected of your employees to ensure everyone's safety with regards to the new regulations in the workplace.. Your health and safety (as well as the health and safety of your workforce) needs to be your number one priority. It is natural that your employees become lax with the rules overtime and it is because of that, that we encourage you to have a policy in place so employees know what the expectations are.Open Conversation
Employees adhere to new procedures when they feel part of the discussion and empowered to provide their input as to how to best implement new processes. Given this, try having open and honest conversations with your employees. By having an open discussion with your employees, you are able to provide them with the rational for the changes. It is a great time to get their feedback as to how to best implement changes while providing them with the 'what's in it for me' motivation to follow the new policy. These actions will encourage your employees to understand the regulations and thereby empowering them to then keep to them of their own regard. Additionally, explain the consequences of not following the new policy. This can include company discipline actions or governmental actions of shutting down the workplace for not adhering to the guidelines.Take Action
As employees settle into the new routine, ensure that you are providing feedback. It takes time to create new habits and individuals will require gentle reminders. Provide positive feedback when an employee is exemplifying the rules and provide private verbal feedback to those who are not. This may seem drastic and is difficult to do, but at some point, you will be required to take action. In order to keep the economy to open, we need to ensure that the spread of the coronavirus is contained. Given this, if you have an employee (or two) who refuse to do their part in keeping the virus from spreading then there needs to be some disciplinary action.Be Flexible
These new regulations require everyone to work together. Recognize that masks do make it difficult to breathe and can make people feel stuffy and claustrophobic. Allow your employees to take small breaks outdoors and recognize the importance of working remotely – if possible. These regulations are new for everyone and while you may find it difficult to be the one to enforce them, recognize that others are finding it difficult just to keep them.
As employers we have responsibilities towards our employees. It is our job to ensure that they all feel safe in their workplace and that they do not need to worry that coming to work can make them sick. Given this, it is vital that we find ways to ensure adherence to the coronavirus regulations and keep the office as a safe environment for everybody. Coming up with ways to get your employees cooperation may require some creativity, but trust us, you will be rewarded for it in the end.