With more Canadians returning to work after the easing of coronavirus restrictions, employers must keep a few things in mind to keep employees safe and healthy. Consider this step-by-step guide for communicating with employees returning to the office.
Before employees come back, coordinate with HR to implement new policies and procedures on how to protect workers. Send out emails to every individual, and encourage questions. Make your employees' physical and mental well-being a priority. Each person has specific rights when returning to work, so make sure your company abides by them This includes reasonable expectations and notifying others when someone has had or gets the virus.
Safety signs make it easy for employees to follow new procedures. Place all signs in a prominent location. Hang a sign in the bathroom on the correct procedures for washing hands, and place signs in the company break room to encourage proper and adequate cleanup.
Ask department managers to schedule one-on-one meetings with team members to help answer any questions or concerns about the new procedures. The most important thing is to make everyone feel comfortable, knowing the company is doing everything possible to prevent the spread of illness.
Utilize different lines of communication as needed in order to reach everyone. For companies with a large number of employees, keep contact numbers small with the use of virtual or hybrid meetings.
Divide employees into teams and make sure individuals can be at least 2 metres (6 feet) from one another. For example, the actual meeting is held in a central location, while the teams join the gathering through a conference or web call. Also, set up remote meetings for those who still work from home. In-person meetings are an option providing you have the space to accommodate everyone safely.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, you should maintain a distance of at least two arms' length from others at all times. When returning to work, limit the number of employees who can enter the cafeteria at one time by spacing breaks. Use technology to communicate with coworkers as much as possible, and avoid handshakes. If money permits, provide employees with face masks.
Hire an outside agency or encourage employees to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Wash hands often with soap and water, or use a hand sanitizer that's at least 75% alcohol.