Well, it looks like COVID-19 is only getting worse and worse. Here are a few tips you can utilize to help prep your agency and communicate with your staff during COVID-19.
- Read CDC’s recommendations for how to prepare for COVID-19
- Restrict all non-essential travel
- Stop all in-person meetings
- Provide hand sanitizer throughout your office
- Ensure frequent cleaning of all workspaces and common areas
- Increase space between workspaces
- Reconfigure common areas, like waiting rooms or lunchrooms, so employees can avoid contact with others while they work
- Alter breaks so staff take lunches at different times
- Stagger shifts so employees can avoid congested commutes and crowded lunchrooms
- Communicate, communicate, communicate with your employees:
- Advise any employee who feels sick to stay home
- Clearly state your time-off policy is during this pandemic period
- Remind employees of their health insurance benefits, such as virtual doctor apps
- Reiterate key elements from your Business Continuity Plan, such as your work remote policy and communications protocol.
Not sure where to start when communicating with your staff about COVID-19? Below is an example email ASNOA used when communicating internally about the pandemic.
Dear [First Name]:
There is no higher priority than the health and safety of our employees. As a result, we are putting measures in place to ensure the wellbeing of our employees.
All non-essential travel has been canceled and there is a ban on all outside visitors. If you have a meeting with an outside vendor, carrier, client, or prospect, please coordinate accordingly so the meeting can be conducted online. You can set up a free video-conferencing account for the time being.
We ask that everyone follows the recommended steps from the CDC to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the virus:
- If you feel sick, DO NOT come into work.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. We have placed extra hand sanitizer around the office and encourage you to use them often.
- Frequently clean and sanitize your work stations.
- Avoid close contact with others. Common areas in the building have been closed and we ask that you sit at least 6 feet away from any fellow employee in the break room and/or stagger when you eat lunch.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and immediately throw it in the trash.
- Avoid public transportation and closed communal places when you can. We have flex-time available to help if you need to avoid congested commute times.
We also want to remind everyone that our health insurance plan provides access to “virtual” doctors 24/7. Please see [INSERT NAME] for more information on how you can access these apps to assist you and your family.
If someone in the building tests positive for COVID-19, or a mandatory quarantine goes into effect, the following steps will happen:
- All eligible employees will work from home until the quarantine lifts or the building is cleared for reentry. Bring home your laptop and essential work files every night in case this goes into effect overnight.
- Before you leave, please forward your phone to your cell phone so all customer calls and support goes uninterrupted.
We will continue to meet to discuss any new developments and precautions to take to keep our office safe and healthy. Our hearts go out to all who have been affected thus far.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out.
Situations are changing daily as this pandemic rips through our nation. The key to working through COVID-19 is keeping all communication channels open.
Now that you’ve communicated with your staff regarding COVID-19, it’s time to move on to how you are going to communicate with your clients. Click here to continue reading how to communicate with your clients about COVID-19.