How HR can keep people safe from Corona virus

The outbreak of Corona virus, a pandemic as declared by The World Health Organization, has been disastrous so far. To fairly deal with this COVID-19 virus, impulsive reactions won’t work and instead can create more harm. As people leaders, we have to respond mindfully but at the same time consider the consequences on the employees as well.
It isn’t the first time the whole world is dealing with such a crisis. Between SARS, MERS and Influenza, there are plenty of things to look back upon. What was done then, which initiatives helped out and which created havoc at that time.

The following story line is two thousand fifty years old, yet it can help us today to guide for the current situation:

During the Ancient Greece period, in 432 BC the representatives of Sparta came to Athens urging them for war. It was a loud and harsh commotion around the street. A huge crowd of Athens gathered to discuss the action to be taken. Observing the situation the Athenian leader Pericles, withdrew to his house and stayed away for about six hours. After a while, he stepped out and he proposed a calculative strategy to defeat Spartans. And as history says, that strategy worked out and Athens won the war.

The current situation is similar to the ancient scenario and how the organisations are going to respond during such tragic moments regarding their concerns about the employees.

Corona virus HR response strategy

The initiatives which companies are coming up with are more of a reaction centric one than a responsive one. Reactions are quick and sporty, while responses are thoughtful, calm and consequence centric which often flourish with best results. HR intranet software allows access to the polls and surveys via questioning the employees about various strategy options and then accordingly implementing them. What the majority of people prefer and what could be the consequences of the same. Also, it enables to make announcements about further measures to be taken in this tragic situation through the application itself

AS responses are time-consuming at one place while building your response strategy, but it's a good idea to communicate with your employees and keep them informed about the ongoing process. Giving them a satisfying answer than to be quiet is always okay and better before allowing them to spread misinformation about the same. This basic process leads in keeping employees in the loop which intranet software allows to and which won't create any further chaos.

How to deal with Corona virus being an HR leader

As the symptoms of Corona virus are likely transmitted through droplets from cough and sneeze those in close proximity, it's advisable to avoid person to person interactions whenever it's possible. So at this stage how to limit the spread of viruses? The work dealings can be carried out through intranet software effectively with being remote at different locations. The work reports, tasks could be easily tracked. It enables a clear cut two-way communication network.

Most times in this chaotic situation, false messages and information get passed on which often create fear among the workforce, Inorder to avoid this, verify the information on websites such as Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) who serve the actual facts. To showcase this fact utilise the intranet portal to inform the employees of various protocols during the outbreak of Corona virus. Safety measures need to be jotted down for the safety of the employees and the organisation. Huge conferences should be postponed and regular meetings can be conducted via web servers etc. Arge them for a health checkup at the earliest to avoid further consequences if any. Keep the employees informed and in the loop during this tragic situation of Corona virus pandemic through intranet software.

If there is a need to travel, be prepared with a home quarantine plan to deal with Corona virus.

When it's necessary to travel it's also important to know the risk level attached to the spread of Corona virus. If in case employees need to travel abroad for work dealings, it’s recommendable to prepare a home quarantine plan for them to ensure their safety. The suggested plan out lasts for about two weeks (incubation period of Corona virus). It includes three steps:

  • To Educate: Explain every single aspect of why the employees need to be in home-quarantine and what are the various risks they have to deal with.
  • Maintain Transparency: At this very stage of tension and urgency, it's important for the company to maintain a clear cut conversation with the workforce so to be on the same page with the employees.

What actions are required to be taken and what is everyone accountable for?

Be Responsive: Compelling the employee's point of view and feedback is very appropriate at this moment. Answering their queries regarding the situation by keeping in mind the safety of both, the employees as well as the organisation.
Along with this avoid non-essential travel as well, such as visits to clients or partners shouldn’t be lined up because prevention needs to be given more stress during this pandemic situation.

What measures must be taken to keep your employees and the organisation safe from Corona virus?

As the eruption of Corona virus in many countries is quite lower, being an HR personnel you have to work through to maintain this state. To keep your employees and the organisations safe must be the prime affair in this disastrous outbreak of the virus. The prominent steps that could be taken at this moment are primarily the workplace safety precautions, reduce meetings and travel, mandatory medical checkups, provide flexibility to employees, keep transparency in your communication about any further announcements etc. These measures will gradually help down the employees to be safe also the organisational work dealings go on smoothly with each and everyone’s cooperation.

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