Around the world, businesses and individuals alike are still trying to figure out how to strike a balance between safety and normal life amid the coronavirus pandemic - and it's certainly not simple. For companies in the supply chain, it's not as though they can simply shut their doors for a few months, especially because they may be a vital link in the process of getting people the materials they need to live as comfortably as possible.
With that in mind, you may be wondering how you can keep your employees safe from infection while also running at something resembling full capacity, and it's not always easy. The first thing to do when trying to keep your workplace safe is know how to reduce the potential for coronavirus transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That starts with having a plan to keep your workplace clean and disinfected, as well as training employees in the proper social distancing and hygiene methods.
Where to begin
First and foremost, it's critical to encourage employees who are exhibiting any kind of coronavirus symptoms to stay home, the report said. Making sure they are financially supported as they do is also a must, as it will reduce the temptation for them to return to work before they are fully healthy. It will also be important for those workers to notify supervisors about their symptoms, because that would likely require managers to check in with other workers to make sure they are not feeling similarly ill in any way.
What to think about
Another critical part of helping avoid the spread of disease is to think about which aspects of your operations simply cannot be done anywhere else besides your facilities, according to the Harvard Business Review. In other words, employees whose jobs would allow them to work effectively from home should be told to avoid coming into the office for some time, as remote work will help reduce infection risk for all involved.
Similarly, it's going to be critical to provide updates on your business to all employees on an ongoing basis, and having a solid system to do so - whether by email, text or some other method, the report said. That way, no one is in the dark about their duties and can take all appropriate measures to protect themselves even as they keep the business going strong.
Finally, as a supply chain manager or executive, you also have a duty to remain on top of the latest developments and recommendations from local, state and national government agencies, to ensure you are doing what experts and officials say is required to fight the spread of the pandemic, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Not only is this good practice from a health and safety standpoint, but it can also reduce your business risk going forward.
Perhaps the most important aspect of dealing with the pandemic is to stay flexible. Without locking yourself into hard and fast practices, you will be able to remain responsive - no matter what comes next.