More Dallas based companies are returning to work. As CEOs and business owners seek to reopen and start safely, it’s important to evaluate best practices. Here are 6 best practices for planning a safe and healthy return to work.
1. Evaluate Vaccination Policy
One of the top issues is whether an employer can require employees to get vaccinated. As this complex issue unfolds, consider the implications.
Legally, experts agree that employers can mandate vaccinations. However, there are exceptions and ethical reasons to not make vaccination compulsory. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employees may have a health condition that prohibits them from getting the vaccine. Some employees may have a religious belief that prohibits them from getting immunized. Additionally, some employees may have concerns about the efficacy of the vaccine. Employers are looking ahead to protect the rights of employees by offering incentives for immunization.
Business, legal and medical experts suggest that employers may prefer to encourage rather than mandate participation in vaccination programs.
2. Encourage and Motivate Employees
Many companies encourage participation with incentives. They are offering cash gifts, paid-time-off, and travel vouchers for vaccine appointments.
Innovative organizations offer creative incentives to inspire employees to get vaccinated and reward good behavior. In other parts of Texas, Houston Methodist is offering $500 for employees. The CEO calls it a “hope bonus” for employees who receive a COVID-19 vaccination. It is given as a gesture of thanks for persevering through the recent challenges.
In Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) offers prizes to firefighters for getting immunized. Prizes such as home security cameras, entertainment systems, bicycles, and gift cards motivate firefighters to get vaccinated.
As you’re considering incentives to inspire good behavior, you are in good company. You don’t have to invent a program by yourself. You can ask your workers and involve employees in designing the incentive program.
3. Establish a Communication Plan
It’s often said that in business, communication is like air. We all need air to breathe, stay healthy, and stay alive. The same is true for communication.
In times of crisis, communicating is even more critical. A communication plan is a great step in the right direction. With a plan of action, it’s easier to keep everyone up-to-date, and informed. Many business experts advise actively updating policy statements on your organization’s website. Spell out your company policy regarding doing a background check for employment. Show policy amendments regarding paid time off and vaccination bonuses. Note any changes about remote working, sick time, and new guidelines.
Make the effort to help employees know exactly what to expect in the workplace.
4. Involve Employees In Protocols
Involve employees in the design and delivery of new practices and procedures. It’s been a long year with a lot of lessons from Coronavirus for every individual, family, and team. Ask for ideas and suggestions for how your employees would like to honor the past, respect the present, and prepare for the future. By taking these steps, you’ll build a culture of trust.
Share details of the return-to-work plan with managers, supervisors, families, and support staff. With this proactive approach, employees are likely to actively participate.
5. Model Health and Safety Practices
How do you feel about health, hygiene, and social distancing? Are you modeling health and safety practices for your reports, staff, and teams? Many CEOs are leading the way to active health and safety practices. CEOs are creating videos about getting their vaccination shots. Some are giving television interviews, radio broadcasts, and sharing their personal experiences in public forums.
As a leader, you can influence behavior and inspire your employees by modeling good behaviors. For many employees, you’re inspiring them to be proactive.
6. Support Health And Safety In The Workplace
To support health and safety in the workplace, many CEOs designate health and safety initiatives to one point person. This person will become the face of the program and be responsible for overseeing a health-and-safety program. This person may need to give frequent updates, set policy, and guarantee workplace initiatives are relevant and practiced.
As the pandemic continues, stay updated with the CDC for health and safety protocols.
The most recent guidelines encourage ongoing vigilance. Workers are encouraged to continue wearing facemasks, washing hands, practicing physical hygiene, and maintaining social distance.