3 Post-Pandemic Meetings Your Company Should be Hosting
Coming out of the pandemic, a lot has changed, so it will be important for companies to reconnect with their employees to give them an idea about what to expect in the future. COVID created a whole new list of policies and protocols designed to keep workers safe from the virus, even as they remained productive.
Now, as we move into the post-pandemic era, we need to make more adjustments. The goals will be the same — productivity and safety — but because situations are changing, the way we achieve those goals will likely be different. We’ll need to share those procedures so everyone’s on the same page.
Hence the need for meetings and handouts on at least three different topics. At minimum, here’s what your company should go over in the post-pandemic period.
The pandemic brought emergency preparedness to the forefront of our awareness. We hadn’t experienced anything like it in our lifetimes, so we didn’t know what to expect, but now we have a better idea. We’ve developed mechanisms to cope, such as social distancing, masks, and hand sanitizer.
But viruses are just one form of disaster, and businesses have to be ready to meet a variety of major challenges. They include:
Natural disasters — Identify the kind of disasters most likely to strike your area and develop a plan to respond appropriately.
• Have an evacuation plan ready in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm.
• Know where to take cover in an earthquake or tornado.
• Have a plan to keep the lights on in the event of an extended power outage triggered by severe weather.
• In case of fire, make sure everyone has a map of your facility and knows:
• Where all the fire extinguishers are located;
• Where alarms are located to summon the fire department;
• Where all the windows and emergency exits are;
• Where to meet outside and how to make sure everyone is present.
Fleet safety — Go over proper protocols for checking out and driving any vehicles in your fleet.
• Make sure employees understand the key points of any owner’s manuals you have, as well as how to read important information on the dashboard and how to operate stick-shifts (if applicable), the emergency brake, etc.
• Conduct maintenance checks on schedule, including oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotation, filter changes, brake checks, and tire inspections for worn tread and bulging sidewalls.
• Brief employees on operating requirements, including the requirement that they wear seat belts: Vehicle occupants are 30 times more likely to be ejected in a car accident if they’re not wearing a seat belt. Seat belt use saved the lives of 14,955 people ages 5 and older in 2017.
Future health crises — These aren’t limited to virus threats, but they also can take the form of bacterial infection, environmental health crises triggered by poor air quality, etc. Make your employees aware of their health insurance options, as well as office safety and sanitation guidelines.
Cybersecurity threats — Educate your employees on the danger of phishing, and of opening suspicious emails, which can open them up to potential identity theft and your company up to the possibility of ransomware. Teach workers to recognize potential threats. Ransomware hackers can take your company’s proprietary data and hold it hostage until you pay a ransom. Then, if you pay, you’ll likely be targeted again.
Human resources refresh
Reinforce office policies that are still the same, even after COVID, and go over those that have changed.
• What health and safety protocols have changed, and how have they been revised? Provide handbooks and training if necessary, and go over how to report issues such as poor sanitation, dirty restrooms, poor ventilation, etc.
• How is your company handling flex time and remote work coming out of the pandemic? Make clear whether you’re going back to office-based work full-time, continuing remote work, going with a hybrid model, or offering employees various options. Will there even be an office, or will your business choose a virtual office address over a permanent physical space?
• Update employees on your travel policies, including car rentals, air travel, ground mileage reimbursement, and how you’re handling travel to any remaining COVID hotspots (especially relevant if your company does business overseas).
Address areas where employees may need help in their professional and personal lives. Go over how to use various forms of communication, including email, Zoom, Skype, text messages, and internal communication platforms like Slack or Facebook Workplace.
Provide information on programs designed to help employees with their health care and retirement. Consider partnering with a firm that provides financial wellness programs such as student loan, bankruptcy, and credit counseling. Offer resources for employees that can offer them ideas about how to access their credit report, understand credit scores, and build their credit, including the seven credit-building alternatives to traditional credit cards.
Talk to them about work-life balance. And detail any programs you may have available such as family leave, bereavement leave, and flexible spending accounts for child care.
Coming out of the pandemic, we’ll need to be prepared for another “new normal.” Getting everyone together to focus on a common strategy for meeting future challenges head-on is a great way to kickstart the process. These three types of meetings can help you do just that.