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Your employees need clear expectations of what it will be like to return to the workplace. Work through all scenarios and communicate as much as possible so they can best prepare for what may be a very different daily routine. It is your responsibility to teach people how to come to work. Empower your employees to protect their own safety and create safety around them as much as possible.

  • Employee must be well to come to work.
    • How is well or unwell defined? Define that and communicate it clearly.
    • Ensure you have a zero-tolerance policy and are applying the same criteria without exception.
  • Define the process for access.
      • For businesses with badged access, many are tightening the requirements and prohibiting anyone from “talking their way in”. Clearly communicate that process well in advance so employees know what to expect when they return to work.
      • Ensure you have considered access for customers, vendors and deliveries in addition to your employees. Communicate ahead of time so employees interfacing with these audiences understand how to engage. Will trucks be allowed to pull up to your docks, what will the process be for unloading? Will materials be disinfected? Are visitors prohibited?
  • Consider a hotline for employees and managers to report. This allows qualified individuals to follow up with the individual in question in a productive way and connect them with any potentially needed resources. When that is an established, clearly communicated process, employees respect and appreciate it.
  • Communicate the expected process for quarantining following any travel or exposure.
  • Document your plan for a positive case.
    • Who has been in contact with the individual and how will you notify them and send them home?
    • Identify a service that is able to clean and sanitize the necessary areas.
    • Outline the criteria for an approved return to work.
  • Be prepared to answer whether coming back to work is voluntary. How will you handle employees who do not feel it is safe to return?
      • Many employers have determined return will be voluntary and to return certain criteria must be met. This puts the burden on the employee to meet the criteria and it honors a company culture in which people are priority.
  • Communicate your position on all of these things proactively.