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Today, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy unveiled a visual roadmap for the path to reopen New Jersey and to get towards a “new normal.”

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued six decision trees intended to offer guidance to  workplaces/businesses and restaurants, along with schools, camps, childcare programs, and mass transit, in order to ensure a safe environment for employees and customers in a COVID-19 world.

So, at this time, businesses are getting more and more information they should be taking note of as they prepare for the future.

It’s important that employers have in place COVID-19 policies to address issues that very well may arise at their places of business.

How do you plan on handling the employee exhibiting signs of the coronavirus who you have asked to leave the workplace but refuses? What about the employee who refuses  to come to work fearful of catching the coronavirus?  If someone from your business tests positive, what will you do to ensure the health and safety of the other employees?

Communication and transparency are crucial. Meet with all of your employees and tell them what the company has done to ensure their safety.   If possible, send a communication to your employees before they return to the workplace, explaining to them the company’s focus on their safety and what the company will expect from them. Provide employees with information on who to contact with questions or concerns related to COVID-19.

It’s very important to have processes in place for handling the different scenarios that may arise, and ensure your management team is well versed in what their roles are.

Since many companies have been operating over the past few months with a remote workforce, consider allowing workers to continue working remotely for a period of time.  Hopefully by now, you have developed a process to measure the performance of your remote workers.  If not, now is the time to communicate expectations to your remote workforce, along with the process you will utilize to ensure continued productivity.

For those employee’s whose jobs require them to work onsite, understand that most employees will be dealing with a tremendous amount of anxiety as they develop a new routine, which will include heightened cleanliness and social distancing.

It’s important to note that employers need to focus on the well-being of their employees. If possible offer benefits that will help alleviate the stress some working parents may have, such as child-care incentives or flexible hours.  Consider providing access to a wellness practitioner that employees can utilize to help them with their anxiety.

At the end of the day, employers that truly show they care about their employees will reap incredible rewards in the form of loyalty and increased productivity.

Marzano Human Resources Consulting has been working with businesses throughout this pandemic, helping them through many challenging situations.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

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