Published On 02/07/2020 TO Inside Facility Management

Talk to Employees About the Coronavirus

Talk to Employees About the Coronavirus

Since the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) has launched into the headlines, it has become an international health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). Tens of thousands have been infected and hundreds have died. Even though the United States is still considered at low risk, the coronavirus is probably on many of your employees’ minds.

Communicate with employees

You should take steps to communicate with your employees and all occupants of your facility. Empathize with their heightened concerns and discuss the extra precautions you have taken to ensure their safety. Include details about the ways you’ve intensified the cleaning regimen at your facility to reduce the spread of all germs, including the flu and coronavirus.

By not communicating and engaging employees on sensitive matters like the coronavirus, you could experience decreased productivity, increased costs, reputational risk and other performance challenges. It is in your best interest to let your occupants know that you are taking their health and safety very seriously.

Make sure employees and occupants know you are staying on top of the situation

  • Continually receive and share applicable updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the State Department about what is happening and how it is affecting your business, employees (overseas and locally) and facilities.
  • Remove hype from your communications and use an empathetic and encouraging tone of voice in your communications.
  • Share the additional steps you have requested of your janitorial company or facility manager in order to fight the coronavirus at your facility.
  • Implement an email or hotline for employees to call with questions or concerns.

Promote increased virus and germ prevention for employees and the facility

  • Provide employees with educational advice, visual signs or posters to keep them up to date and remind them of proper hygiene practices in order to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Promote workspace cleaning habits and supply disinfecting wipes, cleaners or UV wands for employees to use at their personal space.
  • Reach out to facilities sanitation experts to get the opinion of a skilled team of professionals and take advantage of their access to advanced services. They will have insight into additional germ maintenance and ways to quickly remove all surface and airborne germs in a room.
  • Implement and support work from home policies when possible, because it only takes one employee to undo hours of disinfecting.

Even in the United States and other locations that are at a low risk for the novel coronavirus, these germ prevention techniques and communications can serve as reminders that will help occupants avoid other more common germs, like the flu virus. While the flu does not drum up as much hype, each year it threatens your employees’ health and causes substantial losses to productivity and revenue.

When communications are not available, people tend to assume the worst. Don’t let your employees and occupants jump to the wrong conclusion. Keep them updated on the measures you are taking to keep them safe and healthy.

 

Since early January, Flagship has reported on the COVID-19 coronavirus and presented ways companies and airports can prepare and protect their occupants. You can access Flagship’s dedicated coronavirus information hub, which includes past articles, videos, printable materials, updates from the CDC and the World Health Organization.

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