As much as we would like to think it is, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. All of us miss our family, friends, and coworkers and are just plain tired of having to stay away. And there are so many risks to think about – especially when it comes to the health of your team, customers, and their families, not to mention the community at large. Until this horrible disease hits your business, it’s easy to say that systems, processes, and people can continue with business as usual. Unfortunately, you are at risk to lose everything – your life, your team, and your customers if you are not modifying your systems, or putting systems in place, to combat the virus.
In many states, including Ohio where we are based, there are mandatory mask policies for all businesses. However, we are finding that even in the best businesses, the specific, actionable mask procedures and systems are not being enforced.
We had a business that was wearing masks when they were customer-facing, but like many businesses considered themselves “family” while they were together without customers. They ate together and worked together in close proximity daily. One younger team member had the sniffles, which of course could be a multitude of things, but there was no enforced procedure in place for a symptom check, or testing if there were symptoms. The ongoing result is that there have been at least 8 cases of COVID among the small business team, and several family members are gravely ill. Had the mask policy been enforced, all of those illnesses, and in turn work absences, could have been prevented. The business was at risk for a complete shutdown.
On the other hand, a business owner that is a client tested positive for the virus, and he had been wearing a mask in the business as it stated in their clear policy. No one else on the team contracted the virus, and the spread was stopped. We are seeing this time and time again. The businesses that execute and enforce mask policies are the ones succeeding. Bottom line, masks work.
HOW EMPLOYEES WORK TOGETHER
It might have been a long-standing policy, and one in “normal” times that we think is great for team culture, that trainees or new members of the team work with many different departments and people within that department to get a clear picture of how all of the jobs work together to make a cohesive team. In a Pandemic world, however, this could lead to serious consequences for the health of the business.
In one example that happened recently, trainees were shadowing different tenured members of the team, as was the case B.C., or Before Coronavirus. This was a way for each trainee to be able to learn from many different people how to solve complex customer challenges. In the course of coaching the team, one of the trainees raised the issue of contact tracing. If any of those team members, either the trainees or the tenured members of the team, were to get sick, then every single employee in the business would have to be on a 14-day quarantine, and this essential business would effectively be shut down. Fortunately, with their coach’s help, they developed a system where the trainees would only be with a small team of employees, and those cohorts would not be exposed to each other. Much safer.
Enforcing these mask protocols and looking critically at how your employees interact with each other in close contact, you will have a much better chance at saving your business and the health of your employees in the face of the pandemic. Systems that take into account all local, state, and federal laws are the best, and designating everyone in the business to help enforce it make all the difference in the world.
Need help navigating the current COVID regulations in your area? Developing systems to avoid COVID spread in your business? Our team is here to help. Contact us today to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with our global award-winning coaches.