I’m sure by now you’ve all heard of the swine flu. This newest viral strain has infected up to 70 individuals in Mexico, New Zealand, and the United States. While the World Health Organization is taking precautions to contain the virus, there are still fears that the swine flu will turn into a global pandemic.
So what does this mean to you as an employer?
First, it means you need to have a contingency plan. You really should have one already, but if you don’t it’s time to put one together. What offsite locations, work at home programs, and other resources will you implement to keep your operations functioning if for some reason you are unable to leave your home?
Next you need to make plans for dealing with changes in the economy. Pandemic waves will cause employee absenteeism and may mean that supplies may or may not arrive at your workplace on time – if at all. Are you in a business that deals in medical products? Chances are you’ll see an increase in business if there is a pandemic outbreak.
Finally, what procedures will you implement within the workplace ot keep everyone safe? Will you suspend your “sick-day” policies to ensure that people don’t lose their jobs if they have to stay home due to illness – either their own or that of a child? Will you encourage employees to stay at home for the full 7 days recommended by the World Health Organization and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US). Will you ensure that there are extra sanitizing hand gels on site for everyone to use frequently?
I don’t want to cause alarm but planning in advance is crucial to the success of your business. Surviving a pandemic isn’t just about making sure your business stays afloat, but it is about making sure your employees know you care about and support them as well.
Do you have a plan?