The rapid spread of COVID-19 has led to unprecedented business disruption around the world. The fast pace and huge scale of changes to everyday personal lives and work lives are a recipe for chaos if not properly managed. An effective training department can be critical to stemming such chaos. Here, we talk about key elements of a COVID-19 training response.
Health and Hygiene
The most obvious, and most important, consideration with this pandemic is the health and safety of employees and customers. Improper hygiene can not only increase the spread of the disease within an organization, leading to more absences and reduced productivity, but also literally put lives at risk.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers some guidance on workplace hygiene rules. These rules really aren’t that different from what is broadly applicable to everyday life with or without an active pandemic.
Proper hand-washing, covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and staying home when sick are the cornerstones.
Identifying and Isolating Suspected Cases
It’s often tempting for staff feeling under the weather to come into work anyway and tough it out. Maybe they don’t want the boss to think they’re faking an illness. Maybe they don’t want to use sick time or paid time off (PTO). Or, maybe they feel they can be as productive as they usually are.
But in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies need to be more proactive and vigilant than ever in identifying and isolating potential cases of infectious disease. This can take different forms in different organizations. And, many companies have now moved to being completely remote.
But generally, common preventive measures include sending home employees who are coughing or exhibiting other signs to avoid infecting other employees who are currently well.
Work-from-Home and Sick Leave Policies
Companies need to ensure all staff are well versed in their work-from-home and sick leave policies, especially because many policies are rapidly changing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Make sure employees know what to do; who and when to call when they’re not feeling well; and, most importantly, how critical it is that they not come into work when sick.
Transitioning all staff from on-site to remote work is not a trivial exercise. The training department can be a key asset in helping communicate policies to all staff to ensure that transition is as smooth as possible.
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended everyday workplace life around the world. In such a dynamic situation, it’s essential that new policies and procedures be effectively communicated from decision-makers to those expected to abide by them. Training departments are key parts of that equation.