Living with Covid? An Opportunity
Posted on 12th April 2022 at 23:52
The government has recently changed the law and guidelines for managing Covid at work. So, what does it mean for companies, particularly smaller ones? Well, it’s now over to employers and individuals themselves to take responsibility for managing Covid in the future. Covid is managed like other respiratory illnesses, in the current context, for now anyway.
Sounds easy? You might have read the changes and think, that’s it. There is now no need to self-isolate as it’s not a legal requirement. Get back to work!
Except, there is duty of care, a duty to make reasonable adjustments in certain cases, and a moral responsibility to take steps to manage Covid as best we can.
Role models are important - your team are watching how you deal with this. Your actions and policies show how much you care about their wellbeing, how considerate you are, and if you are putting profit before people. It showcases your culture – the ‘how we do things round here’. What you do matters.
Put it this way, if you don’t do the right things, you may have issues grumbling away, you may demotivate, and you may lose people as they seek another job with more supportive leadership.
My advice, look at this as a great opportunity to show your company as the best company to work for. Build your reputation, your brand, and do the ‘right things’. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Acknowledge things have changed, review what you do, including policies, and staff handbook.
- Take the lead, and communicate what’s changed. Ask your people how they feel, and how they would like to see Covid managed? What’s important to them?
- They may have concerns about pay – a transition period might help. If your business can perhaps try introducing well-being days.
- Offer one-to-one time, it says such a lot about how you treat your people.
- Consider the vulnerable and test kits.
- Use your HR systems to message your team and ask for anonymous suggestions.
- Acknowledge that this isn’t the end of Covid. It’s a new phase of managing it.
- Understand that people may still be concerned about Covid, and future consequences, so create a regular ‘wellbeing space’ where people can share information, communicate the latest advice from credible sources, and raise concerns.
It's important to acknowledge that government policy has changed, and importantly, that you are still open to talking about Covid. Show that people’s well-being & safety is at the top of the agenda.
Understand the impact you have as a leader; realise the power you have to build trust and strong relations, at every step. Ignore this at your peril.
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