As your employees begin trickling back into the office, there are several important questions you should ask yourself to make sure you are doing enough to promote the safety of your employees and business as a whole. Take a moment to ask yourself these five questions.
Are You Practicing Social Distancing?
Social distancing in the workplace requires maintaining six feet of physical distance between employees at all times. This can mean having to make significant changes in how you run things. You may need to implement a new, more flexible work schedule, such as one with staggered shifts to prevent overcrowding, or increase the flexibility of the worksite, like providing more opportunities for employees to work from home.
Something that can help your employees with social distancing is requiring (and even providing) face coverings for your employees to wear while in the office to slow the spread of germs. You can also mark six-foot distances with tape to illustrate to employees where they are allowed to stand or sit in the office.
Are You Doing Enough to Clean?
You should ask yourself about the cleaning standards in your workplace and whether they are enough. When it comes to cleaning surfaces, for example, are your procedures effective? You should be cleaning surfaces in your office every day. If you are outsourcing, ask things like, are cleaners wearing disposable gloves while cleaning? Are the products that they are using effective against COVID-19? Surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water, then with a disinfectant in order to kill all germs. The most frequently touched surfaces should be routinely cleaned even more than once a day. These surfaces include light switches, door handles, desks, phones, keyboards, etc. Check to see if you are following pandemic-specific recommendations for keeping your office clean. There is often local guidance that should be followed.
Are Your Employees Staying Home When Sick?
Thankfully, gone are the days of bravado, forcing yourself into work even when you feel absolutely awful. Your employees should not come to work if they feel ill and/or exhibit any coronavirus symptoms. Make sure employees are carefully monitoring their state of health. You could enforce this through mandatory temperature and symptom checks, or you can ask them to keep track of their health on their own.
Do your employees feel comfortable staying home if they are sick? Do you have protections in place such as paid sick leave and the option to work from home to ensure your employees do not feel pressured to go to work when feeling under the weather? You do not want one sick employee to risk the health and safety of your entire office.
Are You Providing PPE?
I’ve seen the wild debates about making employees wear masks and for me, there is no debate. Wear a mask. Require that your employees wear a mask. Provide masks. It is important that you train your employees on the proper way to handle and wear masks. Pay attention to any local laws and guidelines. If employees don’t want to wear one or have a disability and can’t wear one and they can work from home, allow it. If they can’t, remember to use the interactive process for looking into reasonable accommodations. Now isn’t the time to bring down the hammer, try to work through things. Ultimately, you have to do what is right to keep your employees safe and healthy. Have you put the right policies and procedures in place with PPE in the workplace?
Are You Putting Employees First?
Other than just the risk of getting ill, employees may be worried about their financial stability, social injustice, homeschooling their children, and a myriad of other issues. This is most often the part that leaders forget to address, but it can make or break your entire organization. Treating people as people and helping them be OK with not being OK is important. One great resource to put in place is an Employee Assistance Plan. These are typically inexpensive plans that help your employees by giving them free access to counseling and other services that can help with some of the major issues that they are facing in and out of work. What are you putting in place to help ease the burden that your employees are facing right now?
Think carefully about your responses to these five questions. Are there things you need to add or change to your business’s procedures? Making sure your employees are protected through PPE, social distancing, cleaning, staying home when ill, and helping your employee’s mental well being will benefit your office as your employees begin to return.
Most things in life run circularly. This is especially the case during these unprecedented times of COVID. If you take the right steps to protecting your employees, they will ensure the safety of your customers. If you ensure the safety of your customers, you ensure the safety of your company—and ensuring the safety of your company ensures YOUR health and success. You can do this by following these protocols:
Increased Safety Protocols
One of the best ways you can ensure the safety and health of your employees is to increase safety protocols. You can do this in a number of different ways. First, make sure that your employees are kept physically apart from each other as much as possible. Only bring employees into your physical location when essential.
Encourage cleanliness amongst your workers. Companies should use signs that alert employees to new rules and hygiene practices. You should also set up hand sanitizing stations or provide each office space with cleaning wipes to remind your employees to frequently wash and sanitize themselves and their areas. Furthermore, provide your employees with masks and gloves, especially if they frequently come into contact with customers.
Stagger Employee Shifts
To best follow safety protocols and social distancing during COVID, choose to stagger your employees’ shifts so that there are not too many people working within the same area at once. Since business is slower than usual anyways, there shouldn’t be much of an issue in decreasing your number of employees on shift. However, if you are still receiving influxes of customers, you can always implement different systems that either encourage customers to shop online or enforce only a certain number of customers in your physical location at one time. This will help reduce traffic while maintaining business and low employee numbers. It’s time to be innovative and creative!
Many of your employees may feel stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to beinghonest about their health. Many employees fail to request sick days until after it is too late, either because they don’t understand the severity of the situation, minimize their symptoms, lack of paid time off, or fear losing their job entirely.
For this reason, you must take the time to educate your employees about the current situation and ensure paid sick days if symptoms arise—especially if an employee is found to carry the virus or is showing virus symptoms such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat. While it can be frustrating losing hours and employees over false alerts, it is worth the extra precaution and associated costs to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Keeping your employees safe is your number one duty as a business owner and leader. The consequences of not taking COVID seriously within your company can be devastating—not only for your employees, but for both you and your customers. Implement these safety protocols and take employee safety off of your worry list.
It’s always good to keep learning about how to be a better leader so you can better serve your employees. For more leadership advice, try one of our coaching programs!
It’s incredibly important to have goals as a company. Goals are what will help you get to that next level of success. If you reach a goal, setting your next goal will keep you moving through the ranks. There are many different ways that you can reach your goals as a company. Some involve the internet, SEO content, and different marketing techniques.
Find Capable Leadership
You may have great intentions as the company’s leader and owner. You’re only going to be as successful as the people who work for you. Hiring the appropriate talent for your business will help you reach your goals as a company. Everyone needs to be on board as the motivation level reaches new heights to bring passion and success to a company. Finding great leaders is the first step to making that happen.
Get Your Employees on Board
There are far too many companies that set goals at the corporate level but don’t include employees that work for the company. A goal should be shared with everybody within a company. Employees should understand what the main objective is. This will keep everyone on the same page. Information can be shared with employees through periodic meetings, newsletters that are released monthly, etc. You can even initiate some sort of reward program that will praise employees for the work that they do for the greater good of the company. There are lots of great methods of uniting your team toward achieving company goals.
Once a goal has been set, appropriate tracking will help when it comes to seeing how success is achieved. You can track progress to monitor if a certain technique is working. If something isn’t working, there are plenty of things that can be done to change the course of action. A goal doesn’t have to be scrapped if the journey to get there isn’t working out the way it was intended. Track search engine results, followers, sales and more. This is useful information that can be shared with everyone in the company.
Certain goals will inevitably be easier to achieve in a short amount of time. These short-term goals can really teach you a lot so you can go on to achieve larger goals. It’s ok if goals aren’t being achieved as quickly as intended. There should be an upward climb to success in order to determine if something is working properly. Don’t be afraid to change things up a bit to accommodate what is affecting your strategies. It’s normal for things to ebb and flow over time.
If you need some extra help reaching your goals, try some coaching! Learn more here about what options we offer.
If you are a business owner, you probably know that customers like to know about the people behind the company. They trust individuals, but they may not be so sure about trusting a corporate entity. I recommend that you use personal branding to personalize your company’s website so that your customers can identify with who you are.
Establish a Presence
The first thing that you need to do is establish your presence across the internet. Getting a LinkedIn account and regularly updating it with articles that you write is a great place to start. You also should have social media accounts with your name on it where you connect with your target audience. You should also join industry groups and take on leadership roles. If you do business in a particular geographical area, connect with local groups.
Get Professional Headshots
You need professional headshots because customers want to see your face, and selfies don’t exactly portray a professional image. Before starting your portrait session, you should follow some tips to get the most out of your headshots:
Make sure that you get your hair done and that it looks great. In AZ? I know someone.
Think about what colors resonate with your audience, and choose clothes in those colors, even if it is just an accent piece.
Choose a wardrobe that will resonate with your target audience. For example, if you are a sporting goods manufacturer, then you may want to get your headshots taken while you are wearing athletic clothes. Lawyers will typically want to get their headshots done in corporate attire.
You should also choose a location for your headshots that will resonate with your target audience. For example, if you are a dog trainer, you might want to have them taken at a show. If you are a doctor, consider having them taken in your exam room.
Create an About Me Page
Your website should contain an about me page that shares why you are an expert in your field. This is the place to show off any related degrees that you have earned. It is also the place to tell readers why you are so passionate about helping them. If there is a story behind why you founded the company, you can share it on this page. You should also provide a sentence or two about your family and what you enjoy doing when you are not at work. The trick in creating about me pages is to tell a little about yourself but put the primary focus on why you are the best choice for helping customers solve their issues.
Following these tips is a great way to show your target audience who they are dealing with when they choose to use your company. Pick your favorite idea from this list and get started putting it into action today.
Do you want to improve your professional presentation? Click here to learn about our professional development coaching programs!
Cubicles are a great way to define a workspace. They can provide workers with privacy and designated space to focus. To make sure cubicle space is both comfortable and functional, consider adding some of these extras.
The addition of an extra monitor or two can make it much easier for your employees to handle multi-step processes. While multitasking isn’t much of a time-saver, many workers find that having a spreadsheet open on one monitor makes the task of populating a report template much more efficient. For employees who need to communicate with clients in real time the ability to move from conversation to comments on a second screen greatly increases productivity.
Sitting for long periods of time is hard on your spine. Over time, too much sitting can increase the risk of obesity and back problems. Installing standing desks can help your employees build core strength while increasing their focus on their tasks. Consider installing a desktop lift that can be easily elevated by the employee so they can move from a standing to a seated project as needed.
Employees should be able to display a few personal items within sight of their monitors. Pictures of their loved ones can easily go on a bookshelf or a corner of the desktop. While the employee’s space shouldn’t be cluttered, the addition of personal items can brighten a long workday and lift the spirits of a dedicated employee. Experts would advise you to consider the benefits of workspace decorating. Of course, nothing should extend above the height of the cubicle wall or impede the ability of the employee to get work done.
The addition of a green plant can add a touch of home to a cubicle. A green, leafy plant such as sansevieria, also called snake plant, can actually freshen the air in the office. Even better, the snake plant can flourish under fluorescent lighting. To avoid allergies and discomfort, ask employees to avoid flowering plants. Make sure that plant pots are required to include a drip tray to avoid water damage to desks and carpets.
Cubicles are supposed to be uniform, but this can make the office space a bit bland. It’s a good idea to keep things energized and welcoming. The addition of personal items and plants can brighten the space for all employees and encourage personal connections and a culture of being inclusive.