This week states and cities are implementing plans on re-opening businesses after what many health officials say was only the “first wave” of the COVID-19 virus. Employers are tasked with making plans to bring the employees who were furloughed, repositioned or working from home back to job sites, and field employees to their routes. The COVID-19 virus was an unplanned event. Returning employees to their normal work environment should not be unplanned.
As an employee advocate, I have been engaged with a broad spectrum of employees during this pandemic. I have heard firsthand employees’ concerns regarding family well-being, potential COVID-19 exposure, childcare needs, and “what are the steps my employer is taking to provide me with a safe return to work”. Understandably, employees are afraid of the impact COVID-19 is having on their lives and fear what will happen when they return to the workplace. Re-engaging your employees is key to a successful transition to our new normal. Keep in mind the “three A’s” when developing your re-entry plan.
Awareness – Identify your plan to include temperature screening, physical distancing, cleanliness procedures, provision of necessary personal protection equipment (PPE) and testing locations. Provide your employees with the plan – make them aware of the provisions in place for them as they return to the workplace.
Action – Maintain the plan. Simply, do what you say. Employees need to experience consistency which provides assurance.
Advocacy – Be an advocate for your employees. Gain their trust. During these uncertain times hearing and understanding your employees’ concerns continues the positive re-entry process.
CarivaCare’s 24/7 Workers’ Compensation Nurse Triage Program supports employees and employers as they maneuver through the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have enhanced the program to include a support team directed to address employer and employee concerns related to COVID-19. Our highly skilled team is available 24/7, answering calls regarding potential exposure/symptoms including directing to employer designated appropriate testing locations. CarivaCare services include aiding employers with the return to work pre-screening processes and employee advocacy services.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot. Nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax.