Managing Risk and Empathy in Your Return-to-Work Plan

Man on computer thinking about COVID return to work

HR and business leaders are torn these days. On the one hand, you want to protect your company from risks associated with reopening. You have to juggle shifting demand and unpredictable forecasting for your products and services, as well as your ability to provide them.

On the other hand, you really care about the health of your employees. You want to support those who are rightfully concerned about their own health and well-being. Some employees may not be comfortable with the increased level of risk being applied by the new guidelines as we reopen the economy. Employees who have a health condition, or who have loved ones with a health condition that make them more susceptible to COVID-19, may be understandably hesitant to return to a front-line or on-site position.

You’re of two minds – what can you do?

There are various ways for you to keep in mind legal and operational concerns, while also expressing compassion and empathy towards employees. Here are a few:

Employee Health Screening

One solution is to implement employee health screening. Having employees self-screen from the comfort of their homes before they report for a shift minimizes exposure versus taking temperatures on site. A health screening chatbot provides an easy, non-intrusive, three-minute health assessment to fill out. This helps build employees’ confidence, while you’re doing what you can to minimize the spread of illness. In addition, it enables you to communicate important information quickly through SMS/texting – to send proactive reminders before a shift, or to answer policy related questions, for instance.

An employee health screener can also help you protect your company. Since most states are requiring or strongly recommending health screening, this helps you comply with government regulations. It also provides an audit trail of all self-screenings, which makes full reporting a snap. Digital health screeners can send you alerts when an employee fails a screening or neglects to fill out a screener before they’re scheduled to work. It can provide threshold alerts so you can respond quickly if a situation arises. Because no one outside of the administrator has access to employees’ responses, and personal data can be stored safely and securely, this solution is HIPAA and PCI compliant. Check v … employee health screening actually does help manage both empathy and risk!

Other Actions You Can Take

  • Establish specific protocols that should be followed when local, national or global health emergencies occur
  • Create corporate procedures around employees working from home and/or relocating employees to replicate their workflow at another location
  • Identify alternative sources of supply in advance that may be implemented on short-notice
  • Institute social distancing and cleaning protocols for on-site safety
  • Provide PPE and monitor its use
  • Communicate your new policies and expectations frequently, both internally and externally
  • Encourage the use of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to deal with any personal issues

You might also look at how other companies in your industry are handling the return-to-work situation.

At the end of the day, reopening will still not be an easy transition. This may have a broader impact on the culture of your organization. Be cognizant of your corporate values and how you go about making these decisions and assisting employees through difficult times. A health screener is a no brainer.

Click here to try for yourself the Astute Health Screening Chatbot. We also offer other SaaS solutions aimed at helping companies through the crisis of this pandemic, including a Crisis Management AI solution that helps you communicate your changing policies and information among consumers, customers, or employees.