What you need in your Corporate COVID-kit

Is your business ready to ride the wave when the floodgates open?

January 25, 2022 | By Charissa Mitsikas-Beasley, Vitil People Solutions

What you need in your Corporate COVID-kit

Not a day goes by without a sense of growing anxiety and concern over what the coming months will bring when our WA borders are open to the world. Media focus has largely been on how the Perth healthcare system will manage the influx of likely Omicron cases, with advice being geared to the household preparation of 'COVID kits' should we fall victim.

Much the same can be said for businesses in Perth.

It is inevitable, that no matter the industry you work in, the location of your business, the product or service you provide; it is essential that you and your team are COVID-ready.

What the current world looks like for Perth business owners

  • Masks are mandatory at all public indoor settings in the Perth, Peel and South West regions
  • Proof of vaccination requirements will apply to a number of businesses across WA from January 21, 2022
  • In Perth and Peel, proof of vaccination is currently required for patrons at nightclubs, music festivals, major events and specified licensed venues with a capacity of more than 500 patrons or those that trade after midnight
  • Mandatory contact registers are required for specified businesses
  • Perth businesses should maintain hygiene and frequent cleaning
  • Businesses with venues need to update their COVID Safety Plans

What information do you need to provide to your human resources in a COVID Policy?

It is essential that business owners have a COVID Policy to maintain government-imposed regulations as well as providing your workforce with a level of security when it comes to their own health and employment.

Your COVID Policy must be agile enough to adapt to the constant changes in our health climate, as we respond to emerging variants of the Coronavirus pandemic. It can no longer be seen as a “phase” that businesses need to 'get through.' Rather, the mentality must be one of gearing your business for this new way of working in 'a new world.'

This brings about the concept of change and perhaps even transformation for businesses with a large workforce. Change is often met with resistance, fear and perhaps even denial. However, once the Perth border opens, change will be inevitable.

Eliminating the fear in your team is all about being prepared. Ensure your COVID Policy is reviewed and amended to capture any particular mandates applicable to your business or industry (for example, the mandatory vaccination requirements depending on the space you play in).

What are your core business Values?

If your business is not subject to government mandates, the question then becomes what your own Values are in relation to the type of workplace and workforce you wish to maintain and develop. Do you require your employees, contractors and clients to be vaccinated? Be careful though, if you do not fall under a government mandate, you may not be able to enforce vaccination, but you can still maintain a COVID Policy and clearly articulate what the expectations are and what the response will be if your team member has Covid.

Where is your workforce?

The nature of your business will dictate whether your team are required 'in situ' in an office, or on a work site; or whether they are able to work remotely. The biggest take-away from the 2020 COVID-19 onslaught was a need to adapt to a flexible working model where your business allows.

Much work has been done in the planning and strategy around a 'work from home' virtual workforce for many corporate entities and small businesses. Now, two years later, many businesses are able to continue offering their products and services without needing to have all their people power located in one place.

A remote workforce

If you are able to work within a 'virtual office' model, then the key considerations for your business are:

  • Do you have the appropriate IT hardware and software set up for your workforce to operate efficiently and interactively? For example, consider the provision of extra monitors to assist in large scale works; and ensure you have visual programs such as ZOOM and Microsoft Teams for team meetings
  • Do you factor in 'face time' (in person) where possible for a weekly or monthly meeting, team lunch or ongoing training and development?
  • Do you have an accurate way of measuring productivity and holding your workforce accountable? This is critical in ensuring the trust and confidence component of your Values is healthy and strong
  • Have you maintained critical operational HR processes such as performance reviews and reward and recognition discussions to ensure morale is high and motivation isn’t waning?
  • Have you reviewed and amended your Policies & Procedures to ensure they are fit for purpose as we now move into a larger scale environment of change and uncertainty?

If you don’t know what the industry requirements are for your business, or have not developed your Covid Policy or Plan, Vitil Human Resources is here to assist.

Vitil Outsourced Human Resources Consultants

Vitil People Solutions is a boutique HR consulting firm based across Perth and Australia, who offer flexible, reliable and affordable outsourced human resource support, people solutions and recruitment services, where your team is the key focus. Talk to the experts in these trying times. Our experienced professionals can objectively assess your environment and help with change implementation.

Contact us to discuss tailoring HR solutions to your business needs.

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