Its 2021 and the Coronavirus (Covid-19) is still impacting the travel and hotel industry, restaurants, events, and many other services to varying degrees — with ripple effects to virtually every other industry. Will these effects be short-term or long-term? No one knows.
Before Coronavirus, the market was in excellent shape, so we can expect a faster recovery once the Coronavirus starts falling off or a vaccine is created. The question remains, what do you do in the short term if your business is impacted?
First, avoid panicking and making rash decisions. Given the condition of the stock market and low unemployment rate before recent impacts, responding with reductions in force may not be the best solution at this time. You will need your team once things get moving again. Second, keep in mind that federal and/or state assistance in the form of paid leave and other financial aid may be forthcoming, which could impact your decision.
Make sure you have an up-to-date human resources (HR) plan. Use your plan to detail your staffing costs, which in turn will allow you to accurately cost your products or services. Build morale and motivation by clearly communicating with your staff what is happening within the business. Try to involve them in decision-making and finding solutions.
Telecommuting is happening across the country, as many employers take steps to protect their employees from the virus. We created two excellent resources: Finding Success While Working Remotely and Telecommuting Agreement to help with these efforts. If your business has slowed due to the virus, consider the following options to keep staff engaged, busy, productive, and impact to your organization, before making a rushed layoff decision.
Coronavirus Safety Measures
- Catch up on lower priority task items that never seem to get done. They can potentially boost your business offerings and
- Create “growth plans” and “how to grow” in a market impacted by the virus.
- Involve your employees–which helps them stay connected and improve the morale of the business.
- Allow or request reduced, temporary work hours for some
- Include safety measures as implemented by OSHA including keeping distance from employees, hand sanitizer and Lysol in each area and plexiglass if needed.
- Implement a policy to get temperature checks each day before employee starts their day.
- Instruct employees to stay home if feeling sick and send home those with a fever.
- If employee tests positive for Covid-19, have a policy in place that includes: Fever-free for 24 hours, and respiratory symptoms have improved for 24 hours, and has been at least 10 days since you first got sick.
- Have a buddy system that checks on sick coworkers by email, telephone, or chat.
- Consider short-term non-matching retirement plans, if cash flow is an issue.
- Come up with new and creative ideas, such as:
- how to compete more effectively
- create new strategies on efficiency
- brainstorm how to set your company apart from your competition.
- Volunteer your extra time; it feels great to give back.
- Consider a temporary shutdown or furlough where employees can use their saved paid time off and apply for unemployment while keeping their job
The suggested solutions may not work in every case, and some of you may need to consider a reduction of force. If you elect to go this route, consider severance assistance, separation agreements, and outplacement assistance to help team members make a positive transition.
By Ken Spencer, President & CEO, HR Service, Inc. https://hrserviceinc.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | 833.685.8400
All documentation is the Copyright of HR Service, Inc. 2020 and to be used by permission only.