Be prepared to answer these 10 questions
HR leaders can’t wait for a crisis to develop to start responding. You need answers now to questions you’ll face in the event of any large-scale outbreak.
Prepare to answer basic employees questions about the threat: What is the nature of the disease?
How is it transmitted? What are its symptoms, and what healthcare precautions are appropriate? Have answers for logistical questions, such as whether employees can work from home or what to do if an infected employee comes to work .
More broadly, to ensure that employees, shareholders and other stakeholders believe the organization is prepared to handle a crisis, make sure you can answer these 10 questions:
- Can our company operate with 25% or greater absenteeism?
- If illness causes high absenteeism, are employees cross-trained and able to perform multiple duties?
- Can our employees work remotely?
- What infrastructure support is needed to support a shift to an at-home workforce?
- Will our company monitor, or even restrict, travel to high-risk regions?
- What procedures do we have in place to decontaminate the facility and its heating, ventilation, air-conditioning systems, electronic equipment and soft materials (blankets, curtains, etc.)?
- What assurances do we need to provide to the facility staff members so they feel safe at work?
- How will traveling employees be brought home, particularly if they are sick?
- Are there escalation procedures to get additional resources?
- Is there a trained and representative crisis management team that includes on-call staff, and do those team members know what is expected of them?