Helping Employees Feel Safe With Reopening Policies

Cultivating a positive and productive workplace is a multi-faceted effort. And in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, businesses must factor employee sentiment into this equation even more than usual. The fact is, everyone is responding to these recent developments differently, so even if your business is allowed to open back up, there’s no guarantee that all of your employees will feel comfortable returning to work.

Of course, your operations depend on your people’s participation. At the same time, however, you cannot force everyone to come back as soon as you get the go-ahead to reopen. So, what can be done to balance your employees’ concerns with the needs of your business? Let’s go over how you can help employees feel safe with your reopening policies and procedures.

Gauge Employee Sentiment Prior to Reopening

The best way to help your people feel safe about reopening is by understanding their concerns ahead of time. You might conduct one-on-one meetings with individuals and have an open conversation regarding these matters, and/or conduct company-wide surveys to collect more concrete data on general comfort levels and feelings about returning to work. This data can then be used to help you formulate an optimal reopening policy and prepare for possible issues during the early stages of reopening.

Let Your People in on Your Reopening Policies

Your people shouldn’t just play a role in helping you craft a reopening policy -- they should also be kept in the loop after it has been created. Take the time to educate your employees on every aspect of your reopening policy, and, more importantly, explain why different decisions were made. For instance, do not just tell your teams that they must wear masks or face shields during the work day -- also explain the importance of this protective gear in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Likewise, break down your disinfection protocols and explain how properly disinfecting surfaces can keep everyone safe and healthy. The better your people understand the “what” and “why” of each reopening procedure, the more likely they will be to comply with them, and the safer they will feel returning to work.

Have Regular Conversations Regarding Workplace Health and Safety

Communication must be ongoing when it comes to reopening during this pandemic. Even if most or all of your employees come back to work and follow protocol, some employees might internally feel uneasy throughout the day, which can negatively affect their mental health, personal productivity, and business output and morale overall. This is why it’s crucial to provide open mechanisms for employee feedback and suggestions, and to encourage employees to speak out when they have concerns or questions. It’s also important to deliver updates and reminders regarding workplace health and safety to keep your people on the same page.

Unite Your People Around Common Health and Safety Goals

Defending your workplace against contagious diseases like COVID-19 requires a strong group effort. All it takes is one individual slipping up or neglecting protocol to harm everyone around them. So, make a concerted effort to unite each and every employee around a common purpose -- in this case, keeping yourself and everyone around you healthy and safe. Everyone will feel safer knowing that their fellow employees aren’t just looking out for themselves, but also the entire workplace.

Boost Your Cleaning and Disinfection Efforts

A cleaner, more sanitary workplace is a safer one. And even if disinfection services aren’t able to eliminate all traces of harmful microorganisms, the presence and continual performance of these services enhance the safety of your workplace while simultaneously delivering peace of mind to everyone inside. If you cannot afford to hire in-house disinfecting contractors, you can at least invest in EPA-registered disinfectants that kill coronavirus and other microbes. And prior to reopening, consider hiring a reliable contractor to conduct a coronavirus deep clean so your workplace has a fresh start and your people feel comfortable entering once more.

It will take some time for many of us to feel completely safe going back to work. That said, there are many ways to mitigate employee concerns and maximize workplace health and safety. Taking these matters seriously will help your business get back on track quickly and safely. And if you need help creating your reopening policies and/or maintaining a clean and sanctuary facility, The Budd Group has you covered. We offer general facility maintenance, landscaping, and janitorial services, as well as COVID-19-related disinfection misting services, deep cleaning, routine standard disinfection, and more.

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