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Business Strategies for a Safe Restart

As businesses develop the steps for the “temporary normal,” leaders will play a critical role in ensuring a smooth transition. 

What’s the next phase for business during an ongoing global pandemic? 

Business leaders are asking themselves this critical question while navigating the sudden changes in the workforce and the need to continue operations amid a world that looks very different from a few months ago. 

To develop much-needed answers, ManpowerGroup partnered with global HR service companies to develop best practices and move forward in uncharted waters. ManpowerGroup’s collaboration with Randstad NV, Adecco Group, Recruit, ASA and WEC and others are helping shape this next phase to safely restart business and care for a resilient workforce. Below are the developing best practices that businesses can start to implement. 

Leadership owning communication before returning

A company’s most senior leaders need to own the pandemic response effort and set clear guidelines. Some businesses will choose to continue to lead remote workforces, perhaps even indefinitely. Other businesses operate better or more efficiently in person, and returning will require clear communication about safe transitions and any new protocols in place. The importance of leadership engagement and communication with their people, customers and other stakeholders on the company’s pandemic response should not be underestimated. 

New health protocols developed or updated

In the past, businesses would simply rely on employees to self-report when they were feeling sick, and expect them to stay home. Now employers will have to be more proactive through new testing and monitoring employee health protocols. A company will also need to ensure its health monitoring, testing and surveillance protocols adhere to government workplace and privacy rules and any activities should preferably be in response to government requirements to monitor employee health. As a first step in setting up the protocol, the company may want to seek the advice of a qualified occupational health physician. 

Adjusting for a temporary normal 

The phrase “new normal” has been used to describe this period. But the reality is there will be changing phases, with continual adjustments as businesses approach what was once considered “normal” workforce conditions. That’s why communication needs to continue at each step of the next “temporary normal,” with leaders providing insight into how each chapter will unfold. As a rule, people will be hungry for information, insight and advice, so businesses need to over-communicate.

Today more than ever, leaders and businesses should set the tone from the top, be clear about their expectations and changes and help mitigate uncertainty for their workers.