Managing Employees in Uncertain Times

Storefront locations across the country are experiencing the challenge of maintaining business while keeping employees safe. With the changes in day-to-day operations and the amount of staff that can work, it’s important to take precautions to keep everyone safe during COVID-19. Whether you are a restaurant, bakery, florist, or ice cream shop, you’ll want to consider implementing new guidelines and practices that can keep your frontline employees safe as they interact at work and with customers.

Here are tips you can adopt to manage your employees in uncertain times.

Implementing Clear Safety Standards

  • Enforce strict social distancing protocols by enforcing 6 feet of distance between employees within your store that adhere to the recommended CDC guidelines.
  • You can measure out 6 feet of distance and create floor labels within the store for any employee and customer interactions.
  • Position an employee behind a table as “check-in” for any curbside orders or to-go pickups. This ensures the employee maintains a safe 6 feet of distance at all times from customers.
  • Reduce the number of people in-store at all times.
  • Designate a “door person” who regulates how many people come into the store at any given time. 
  • Develop a frequent and established cleaning routine.
  • Change or adapt any current shifts or schedules to reduce the total number of employees in the store at one time.

Keep Your Employees Informed

  • Create a newsletter or blog for employees that can keep them informed of any updated safety protocols, new services offered, and best practices for communicating with customers.
  • Use Slack or Trello instead of email for real-time communication with your team.
  • Minimize any contact within the store by hosting team meetings using video communication like Zoom or Skype. Nothing can replace face-to-face interaction, but video chats can help with social distancing.
  • Communicate openly about any change within the business and how management/leadership are working to adapt to the changes.

Create COVID Policies and Procedures

  • Write out protocols and procedures for employees who may be sick or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Employers should keep employees informed of any new policies or changes to the Paid Time Off (PTO) or sick day policies due to COVID-19.
  • Create guidelines that inform employees on how to self-check or identify any potential COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Adhere to the recommendations to Clean and Disinfect Your Facility as listed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
  • Follow any state mandates or recommendations for protective gear like non-surgical face masks and gloves.

Be Flexible

  • Work with your vendors and supply chains who are probably in a similar situation of adjusting their business practices.
  • As the new shelter-in-place mandates are changing in each state, be aware and informed of how this affects your business going into the spring/summer months.
  • Be conservative with your cash. Lay the groundwork for your next move now.
  • Change your hours of operation to help give your employees a break and time to unwind.

We’re all acclimating to new policies, procedures, and how we can interact with each other since the quarantine has been in effect. Managing your business during these changes can be challenging, but with a clear plan of action, you can keep your employees safe.

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Desiree Johnson
Desiree Johnson | Content Specialist
Desiree Johnson is a Content Specialist at Bluehost where she writes helpful guides and articles, teaches webinars and assists with other marketing and WordPress community work.

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