COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has already had a major impact globally, and this is only set to continue into the foreseeable future. Knowing what to do when a team member contracts COVID-19 is not only important for your workplace, but also to help control the virus.
After reading this article, you’ll be able to:
The transmission of this virus is most likely to occur through one of the following scenarios;
To help ease the transmission of COVID-19, there are three courses of action that can be undertaken as preventative measures.
Keep high-touch surfaces clean and hygienic and make sure there is an effort to clean them regularly with bleach or disinfectant. Rather than solely using hand sanitiser, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds whenever possible. If you feel like you need to sneeze or cough, make sure you do this into the crook of your arm. By keeping your hands free, clean, and not sneezing into them, you’re helping out those who come into contact with surfaces you’ve touched.
Social distancing has quickly become part of the Coronavirus lingo, but what does this term actually mean for everyone? The Department of Health has set out the below guidelines to help implement social distancing in the workplace and clarify recommendations to ease the spread:
If you’re feeling a bit under the weather, and are showing any flu-like symptoms, it’s best if you stay at home. This will not only help you to feel better, but will also allow your co-workers to have some peace free from your possible spluttering!
The symptoms of Coronavirus are being constantly updated, making sure that you’re keeping up to date with the latest information by making time to check in with government resources.
When you first hear that one of your team members potentially has COVID-19, your mind may run in several directions -wondering if they’re ok, who has been close to them, and also, who’s going to do their job?.
Employees should feel comfortable and supported in their decision to self-isolate knowing that this is for their health and the health of their team. It also should be clearly communicated that if an employee decides to take that action, they need to speak immediately with their employer so the necessary steps can be taken and the contingency plan enacted. Where possible, if the employees feel well enough, alternative work arrangements can be discussed around working from home. Check out the ‘Isolation guidance’ information sheets for more information.
Now it’s time to start creating a contingency plan! Trying to approach this on the run is only going to lead to mistakes and steps being missed. Having a plan in place, ready to be actioned is vital, and is an important preventative measure.
Outline how your organisation will address COVID-19 incidents as they arise, including self-isolation, remote work, cleaning and hygienic procedures, communication and the response to someone who contracts COVID-19. This plan needs to address:
Action steps to respond COVID-19
Keeping your team safe
Communication is imperative at this time – make sure team members feel comfortable asking questions and know where to find resources. Take all staff through important elements of the contingency plan, including;
Organisational position on self-isolation
It’s important to understand the limits of your business, and know when you may need to encourage your employees to go into isolation. Different scenarios could include:
When a team member advises you that they are self-isolating or have tested positive to COVID-19, there are several steps you should take, including:
Ensure those who may have worked in close proximity to the individual understand the steps they need to take and make immediate action to seek advice from the National Coronavirus Hotline (1800 020 080).
Keep open lines of communication with them, support them and be enmpath
Regular contact is encouraged, and where possible, conduct face-to-face meetings via video meetings. This is an important step to help beat the challenges the social distancing and isolation may present to your team. There are a few things to consider when communicating with a remote workforce:
Look for fun and easy ways for your people to share their experiences. Encourage sending pictures of pets, home office setups or even checking to see what snacks people are eating. It’s important during these times for managers to be proactive and provide solidarity with their team. Check out our infographic for more tips to create a successful remote workforce.
The Coronavirus can cause anxiety and stress. Businesses need to be creative and innovative to get through one of the most challenging times for an organisation operating today.
One of the most valuable things you can do is to be clear with your team and work with them to provide them with what they need. Being proactive and having a plan in place is one of the best ways to tackle the impact of Coronavirus.