Your people and their wellbeing during COVID-19 Crisis

Everyone's primary focus should be on the health and wellbeing of those around us, which is why the Government's advised restricting non-essential business travel and working from home where practical and possible.

 

When this is over, and it will be over, we want to look back at this moment and remember the many small acts of kindness done by us and to us.

We want to look back this time and remember how we thought first of others and acted with decency.

We want to look back on this time and remember how, in the face of a generation-defining moment, we undertook a collective national effort - and we stood together.

It’s on all of us.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak - March 20th 2020

 

So what actions should you be taking?

As the virus continues to spread extensively, it’s posing a significant challenge to many organisations. How should employers respond to the threat and support employees by being prepared? Particularly looking after employees’ health and safety and developing flexible resourcing plans. Check your team and ensure they’re okay. Many will be carers for vulnerable family members, are you aware of who these people are and the support they may need?

 

Staff look to management for clear leadership and guidance in crisis situations, therefore it’s down to leaders and management to ensure their teams have the infrastructure, skillset, knowledge and training to feel like they are well prepared to execute the required actions in difficult situations.

Listen to the Mental resilience and thought leadership Podcast

Listen to the What is good leadership? Podcast

Read Understanding the Psychological Impact of COVID-19

 

Do you have any vulnerable people?

The government has issued guidance that strongly advises people who are at a higher risk of catching coronavirus (‘vulnerable people’) to take strict social distancing measures.

Employers must be especially careful and take extra steps for anyone in their workforce who is in a vulnerable group.

They include, but are not limited to, those who:

  • Have a long-term health condition, for example asthma, diabetes or heart disease, or a weakened immune system as the result of medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • Pregnant
  •  Aged 70 or over
  • Care for someone with a health condition that might put them at a greater risk

 

Social distancing and vulnerable people

Current government advice is for everyone to try and stop unnecessary contact with other people – 'social distancing'. This includes:

  • Working from home where possible
  • Avoiding busy commuting times on public transport
  • Avoiding gatherings of people, whether in public, at work or at home

Employers should support their workforce to take these steps. This might include:

  • Agreeing to more flexible ways of working, for example changing start and finish times to avoid busier commuting times
  • Allowing staff to work from home wherever possible
  • Cancelling face-to-face events and meetings and rearranging to remote calling where possible, for example using video or conference calling technology

 

If an employee does not want to go to work

Some people might feel they do not want to go to work if they're afraid of catching coronavirus. This could particularly be the case for those who are at higher risk.

  • An employer should listen to any concerns staff may have and should take steps to protect everyone.

For example, you could offer extra car parking where possible so that people can avoid using public transport.

  • If an employee still does not want to go in, they may be able to arrange with their employer to take the time off as holiday or unpaid leave. The employer does not have to agree to this.
  • If an employee refuses to attend work without a valid reason, it could result in disciplinary action.

 

Here's the Guidance on Statutary Sick Pay (SSP) and SSP Relief during the COVID-19 Crisis


Stay connected to your team

This crisis will exercise your company communication skills as you will need to think and move fast. Start by checking you have the basic tools at your disposal, like a structured communication system to get your message out. How can you keep your people informed and listen to, and address any concerns?


Here's what can you do to stay connected, if you haven't got a current solution:

These solutions are all FREE

  • Create a Whatsapp group
  • Create a Facebook Group
  • Download Microsoft Teams


It will be easier for communication to slip during this period of remote working, so it will help to instil some process. Who are the gatekeepers of the critical information – how and who are they sharing that with?

 

 

COVID-19 Business Support Hub

These are challenging times for business and although our ethos is to only shout about good news, we've created COVID-19 Business Support Hub on the Love Business the website to support you with expert tips, advice and ideas from your fellow businesses to help you get through this COVID-19 crisis. 
 

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