In the age of COVID-19, the health and well-being of our workforce has never been more important, particularly in retail shops, grocery stores and restaurants where our employees interact face-to-face with customers every day. We’re all hyperaware of the pandemic and the consequences of carelessness.Many of these businesses are providing PPE (personal protective equipment), plexiglass shields and taking other steps to ensure the health and well-being of their workforce.  

But what else can be done? How can you ensure that your new procedures are being followed and employees are healthy and comfortable coming in to work every day?  

Health Checks 

The most obvious way to ensure your workforce is healthy is by simply asking them. When an employee walks in the door, many employers are asking employees if they or anyone in their household have had a temperature or flu-like symptoms. Others are asking employees if they’ve been made aware of new health procedures and received any company-supplied PPE.  

There are several ways organizations can implement health checks. For example, a supervisor can be responsible for asking employees upon the start of a shift or the employee can be asked to fill out a survey before or after each shift. If you use Kronos, attestation can provide an automated, trackable way for employers to verify health checks right through the interface. 

Communication 

Constant communication is critical in times like these, but more than just corporate communicating to employees, organizations need to develop strong feedback loops throughout the organization. During this pandemic, and as we slowly start to reopen, transparency is key between corporate decision makers and those on the front lines responsible for implementing decisions.  

A few ways to communicate within your organization: 

  • Send out a weekly newsletter from corporate to employees with a public email address that employees can respond to 
  • Leverage existing social media to set up a dedicated group for your team to communicate with each other
  • Integrate platforms like Shyft or Crew into your existing Workforce Management Solution to facilitate communication and transparency throughout your organization  

Micro-Trainings  

Microlearning is a proven approach to effective employee training, and never has training been more important. Your organization is likely implementing new policies and procedures regularly in response to this situation. Maybe your restaurant has hopped on the curb-side pick-up trend and now your employees have a whole new set of procedures to follow. Maybe your grocery store has developed new cleaning and sanitation methods that are critical for the safety of your employees and customers. Microlearning solutions like Axonify are specifically built to provide the frontline employee with short, bite-sized learnings that can be accessed right from their mobile device.   

Task Management 

Now that your employees have taken their micro-trainings and are fully versed in the new policies and procedures, how do you assign specific tasks to specific employees? Then how do you validate that those tasks have been completed up to your new standards? Kronos Task Management can help corporate teams prioritize and assign tasks to employees and provides a feedback loop for frontline employees to validate the task has been done properly.  

Pulse Surveys 

So, how is your workforce feeling these days? Do they feel confident that the leadership team is doing everything they can to keep employees safe? Do they feel like they have everything they need to perform their job? Are they able to practice social distancing while on the job? 

The COVID pandemic has brought wide-ranging concerns, questions and responsibilities to our employees that, just a few short months ago, would have been unthinkable. Pulse surveys are a great way to get a quick gut-check on the well-being of your workforce. This can be done via email through a free tool like Survey Monkey, or right through your WFM solution with a partner like Butterfly.  

Contact Tracing 

Contact tracing has been touted by the CDC as one of the most important methods to limiting the spread of COVID. If one of your employees has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is showing symptoms, it’s likely others at your store or restaurant have been exposed. You could talk to the employee and try to get an understanding of who they’ve worked with over the last 2 weeks, but that can be a very manual and daunting task.  

If you’re a Kronos customer, you can quickly identify employees that have worked with the diagnosed individual and others who have potentially been exposed to the virus. Our newly launched Employee Contact Tracing Tool will look at the time and attendance entries collected via Kronos and use that data to identify potential contacts who were working at the same time and location as the diagnosed employee.  

Keeping Employees Safe 

Our employees are on the frontlines of this pandemic. They’re critical to the survival of our businesses and to helping our customers manage their way through this challenging time. Our grocery store employees, hardware store employees, restaurant employees and everyone else working the frontline at ‘essential businesses’ are just that – essential. Their health, safety and well-being are paramount, and we should do everything we can to keep them safe.  

Published: Wednesday, May 6, 2020