The coronavirus is impacting everyone. Many employers don’t know what they should be doing to support their employees—they don’t even know what they should be doing to continue to support their own operations. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and there will be a return to normalcy eventually. Between now and then, employers need to support their staff and limit their own business disruption.
Communicate with Your Employees
Now is a time of great uncertainty. Employees need to know that their employers are thinking about them and weighing their options. Make sure your employees know about changes that are going on; while you don’t want to alarm them, you do want to openly discuss their options. Take the time to learn about the initiatives in your area, and tell your employees what your plans are moving forward.
Above all, employers now have a responsibility to make sure that as many of their employees can work from home as possible. While some employers may be trying to conduct “business as usual” by marking themselves as essential, this does have the great potential to cause more problems down the line. Not only is it negative PR, but a sick workforce is not going to be a productive workforce. Go digital before your organization is forced to go digital if you want the best results.
Weigh Your Options
Some employers have already temporarily laid off their staff members so that they can claim unemployment. Other employers are considering the use of SBA loans to bridge the gap; SBA loans for payroll purposes are likely to be forgivable, per the upcoming bill. Employers should consult their legal counsel and their accountants to determine the right course for them.
Create a Support Network
Some staff members aren’t going to have childcare. Others are going to have a hard time making ends meet; perhaps their spouse is laid off, or perhaps they are operating on reduced hours. Create a support network for staff members who need a little extra help. Consider working with food banks, and make sure that employees can discuss their situations with HR. There may be areas in which employers can help.
Once the Coronavirus pandemic is over, people are going to remember whether their employers stood by their side. Customers are already taking note of which employers have stepped up to the plate, and which have faltered—and strikes and walkouts are starting to hit the news. It’s a hectic time, but taking proactive action to protect your employees is an excellent way to protect your business in the future. For more information and HR management tips, continue to follow our blog.