Here are top 3 guidelines which companies can follow to keep their workforce safe despite the uncertainties posed by crisis such as Covid-19:
- Protect the workforce.
- Engage the workforce.
- Manage risks effectively to ensure uninterrupted workflow.
Formalize / revise SOP (standard operating procedure) and tools that keep your workforce safe. This includes man and/or material flow, air flow patterns, building maintenance, housekeeping etc. Conduct regular swab tests and volumetric air sampling to monitor clean air and surface conditions at your facility.
Leaders and superiors must exhibit high emotional quotient and tolerance. Let there be a two-way communication with your workforce than just top down. To achieve this, ramping up your company’s communications strategy is a sure winner. Regularly share information about your company’s evolving knowledge of the crisis and how it is using that knowledge to protect its employees and organization.
Clarity, simplicity, transparency, positivity, framework, and frequency of message together play an important role in effective communication.
Manage risks effectively to ensure uninterrupted workflow :
Just as it is important to receive correct information, it is also equally important to stay away from fake news and rumors. This implies consistent content, reflecting a single source of information at the corporate center.
Open offices are shrinking; soon they will be a thing of the past. Remember we went for open offices because it allowed better people contact and created mini bonds between members of the workforce which ultimately boosted productivity.
Now with social distancing, work-pods and remote working in place, we have moved a notch farther away. In such a scenario circulating fake news or rumors can cause a state of chaos and confusion among employees thus resulting in apprehension and conflicts.
3Cs- Clear, Correct and Concise communication plays a vital role in ensuring uninterrupted workflow, high employee morale and productivity.
So how do we head-on to it?
Managers and supervisors must maintain open and two-way dialogue with their workforce. Collect queries and concerns from front-line team members each morning.
The company’s HR/ PR division can publish an updated daily list of Q&A which are displayed on the company’s intranet, staff notice boards or sent out as email or text messages to employee cell phones. This will help drop absenteeism and increase productivity.
As an additional benefit this approach will uncover several previously un-asked questions perhaps unrelated to the pandemic, but these questions may have been brewing in the minds of front-line workforce for a while.
Answering such questions and dealing with whatever needs to be done to sort out any issues will boost productivity and workforce satisfaction.
A parting note- Capitalize on these improvements by standardizing the enhanced communication approach, periodically improve communication SOP in order to prevent letting things regress to pre-crisis norms as the situation stabilizes.
Begin Kaizen-ing your communication SOP. It does not cost much. Just 10-15 minutes daily and you can reap exponential rewards.
Kaizen is a time-tested Japanese technique of continual improvement. Kaizen professes small incremental changes to business processes and brings-in faster returns.
Want to initiate Kaizen at your workplace?