Many businesses are eager to get their employees back to work as soon as possible. How can you encourage your employees to get on board with your precautions?
COVID-19 is hitting many UK sectors hard. Although contributing 6.7% of the UK’s GDP, multi-million pound construction firms are among many businesses going into administration almost daily, along with countless small or self-employed businesses struggling to keep afloat.
As lockdown begins to ease, many businesses are eager to get their employees back to work as soon as possible, without compromising their safety or privacy. But how can you encourage your employees to get on board with your precautions?
Communication is crucial. Involve your employees as you decide how to re-open and get back to work to make sure they feel comfortable with the process and that they’re not at risk. By putting the trust in your employees, communicating everything you’re doing to ensure their safety, and asking them to be involved in the decision-making process, you’ll help to instill a culture where employees respect and engage with any measures implemented.
Set up movable hand-washing stations around your sites with disposable tissues, sanitiser spray, fresh gloves and alcoholic hand gel, as well as bold, engaging posters reminding workers about social distancing and hygiene practices. Attach the posters to anything that can be moved - fold up chairs, timber, buckets - or if you’re able, purchase small poster holders. Place these around the site, especially in particularly in high-traffic areas, such as next to portable toilets or entryways.
Providing easy access to cleaning supplies and keeping visual reminders close by, your employees will feel safer and are more likely to engage in preventative cleaning measures. Some businesses are going one step further to keep their employees safe and are trialling wearable social distancing solutions. These provide vibration alerts if they come too close to colleagues and act as a further precaution beyond visual reminders.
Set up a meeting with your Project Manager or Ops, union representatives, HR and any volunteers from your teams. Work together to adapt a plan from your traditional working patterns. Organising small teams of people who always work together can help minimise the chance of COVID-19 transmissions, and staggering shifts or working days and hours are a good starting point. Involving union representatives and volunteer employee leaders can help encourage the team to get onboard with your distancing measures and take the lead by being on-the-floor champions of good practices and keeping a minimum of 2m apart when possible.
As lockdown is slowly lifted in the UK, it’s important for businesses to get back to work safely. Following basic safety precautions, adapting them to suit the challenges of your sector and individual business, and listening to employees will help get you back up and running as soon as possible. Engaged and respected employees are more likely to come back to work and feel comfortable, happy and help support your COVID-19 measures. So communicate and get your employees involved so that they can become champions of your Health and Safety policies.