The well-being of employees, colleagues and co-workers should be the first priority of any organization, for us at Adecco ‘people’ are always at the center of our organisation. Of course, we should not overlook the consequences that an uncontrolled pandemic can have on businesses. With this in mind, we are closely watching developments in the spread of coronavirus both globally and locally.
UAE government and many organizations have shown great readiness and have already implemented preventive measures to curb the spread. From our contact with the companies we work with on a daily basis, we find that the majority of them have activated information procedures and safeguards for their employees. This is very positive, as we believe that if the state and organizations work together and that each of us individually responsibly follows the guidelines of the World Health Organisation and the regulatory authorities in Middle East to curb the widespread virus that could endanger the public will be avoided. health and therefore could potentially affect the operation and productivity of companies.
Proper information and calmness are the keys to managing the situation properly.
The first and simplest but very important guidelines for limiting the spread of coronavirus say:
- It is necessary for each of us to protect ourselves and those around us through good personal hygiene. Regular and thorough washing of hands with soap or use of alcohol-based disinfectant, if hand washing is not possible, especially after contact with others or after use of public places.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with people who are ill.
- If we feel unwell or have flu, viral or cold symptoms, we stay at home and contact our doctor for proper guidance.
For their part, companies are important to be prepared and operational under the particular circumstances that will likely bring a widespread spread of the virus and how they will be able to protect their people and maintain their viability.
Properly informing their employees is also the key here. At the same time, measures need to be taken to ensure that they can continue their work under these specific conditions.
Workplace hygiene measures:
- Posting guidelines on good hygiene practices (ESA recommendations).
- Hand disinfectant available for guests and employees.
- Avoid handshake.
- Increased cleanliness of the working environment – offices, public areas, door handles, elevator buttons etc.
- Informing employees (via websites, intranet, emails) of protective measures and advice on hygiene practices.
- Take action to enhance hygiene practices during meetings to raise employee awareness.
Keeping companies running smoothly often requires meetings of employees based in different cities or countries. We know that personal communication can often be considered more effective, but in special cases there are solutions for remote meetings that will allow a company to run smoothly and protect its people.
Business Travel Measures:
- Restricting travel can greatly help to reduce the spread. The World Health Organization provides ongoing information on affected countries, the number of cases diagnosed, etc.
- Rely on technology. Video conferencing applications can allow companies to continue operating even in cases where travel restrictions apply.
- Workers who returned from an area where the Covid-19 has been extensively deployed would be welcome to work from home for the 14 days suggested by EODY.
Companies that want to ensure their smooth operation should of course ensure that their employees, if they need to work from home, have the necessary equipment (computers, remote applications, mobile phones, etc.) to enable them. work remotely for both themselves and the data they manage in their work. It is also important to have an effective framework for “Smart Working”, which ensures that the employee can be efficient at work from home, and that the company can monitor its performance through measurable and agreed KPIs. Many companies have long adopted Smart Working.
- Do you have a team that coordinates and communicates with employees, customers and other stakeholders?
This team should undertake the immediate development of a communication plan to inform your people, customers and business partners about the strategy, plan to ensure continuity of operation of the company, health and safety protocol and possibly other issues related to your workplace. Poor internal communication can cause unnecessary panic and lead to distrust and fear.
- Have you identified a reliable source of medical information to keep your employees informed? Have you developed a communication strategy to update them?
The Internet is full of misinformation, so it would be helpful for all organizations to identify valid sources of information where they can turn to the truth and keep up to date with daily changes. Some organizations have a working doctor. Others may have to contact DHA or ADHA After selecting the best sources of information, make sure that the information is easily accessible to your employees and that they are updated regularly.
- Are you aware of the legislation and emergency measures taken to address the situation?
Developments in the deployment of Covid-19 are ongoing and the state is taking steps to better address them. It is very important that the company is kept up to date and able to adapt immediately to the emergency measures that are announced.
- Have you taken the necessary steps to maintain a safe workplace?
Employers must provide a safe and healthy workplace. Consider how you can minimize situations where large numbers of people are meeting nearby. Make sure clear instructions are posted on the workplace, on the corporate intranet, and shared via email. Make sure everyone has easy access to hand sanitizers. Use clear and simple instructions such as “Wash your hands frequently”, “Avoid touching your face” and “Stay home if you have flu-like symptoms.”
- Have you adopted policies and have tools in place to allow workers to work from home?
It may not be applicable to all types of businesses but, where feasible, remote work is an effective option to avoid spreading the virus. To do this, you need to know if your employees have the tools needed to work from home. Do they have computers and if so, do you have a secure VPN? Are the company’s applications accessible outside the local area network? Do you have access to solutions that allow your people to make video conferences?
- If personal contacts and meetings need to be curtailed, do you have a business continuity plan to ensure that you can cover all the core business activities?
Many businesses still rely on personal sales and support functions. If your employees are unable to meet customers or cannot travel, how will they continue to support your products or services? When planning strategies, remember that your customers are also looking for ways to connect remotely. Make sure you have an effective plan to maintain critical business relationships.
- Do you provide guidance and support to your managers to help them manage stress and deal with prejudice or discrimination effectively?
Unfortunately, emergencies can have a variety of unpleasant consequences such as prejudice and discrimination. A virus knows no borders or nationalities. Your leaders need to deliver a consistent and positive message.
- Do you have complete personal contact information for all your employees?
It may seem like a pretty simple question, but you will be surprised at the number of organizations that do not have sufficient contact information for their employees. If you do not have a list of employee contact information, it is a good idea to create one. If it is available again, it is important to update it immediately to reflect the latest data on possible internal changes. It is very important at this time for employers to be able to quickly get in touch with their employees, especially when they are not at work and working remotely.
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