Preparing to reopen your business after COVID-19 can be challenging. You want to protect your employees and customers, but you want your services to be accessible.
At Jobvite, we’re always thinking of new ways to help our customers make smart hiring and onboarding decisions, so here are a few recommendations you should include in your plan to reopen your business in a post-pandemic world.
As social distancing becomes more of a suggestion than a mandatory requirement, how can you balance the comfort and safety of employees and customers? The new normal can be especially difficult for employees who switched from an office cubicle to working from home.
The first step to creating a social distancing plan is to be aware of guidelines in your area. Research the most recent national, state, and city recommendations for distancing indoors. Additionally, research what similar businesses in your area are doing for their distancing plan.
Get feedback from your employees about social distancing, but be careful not to pressure individual employees. Whether you consult managers, create an online poll, or ask employees to raise their hands in a meeting, knowing how the majority feels can give you a baseline.
Understanding your employees’ feelings about social distancing can also help inform you about your customer’s feelings. If you can, research your customer’s opinions about social distancing practices. For example, you might create a survey on your website or have customers fill out a small in-store survey.
However, general questions about social distancing will yield limited results. Try to brainstorm what you want to do first. One example might be to install hand sanitizing stations around your business. Try experimenting with additional stations, for example, adding one to a host station or at cash registers.
Rearrange your space
Another idea that benefits both employees and customers is rearranging furniture. For example, spread desks further apart and limit seating areas. If you previously had a customer waiting area, create more distance between seats.
If it’s already a crunched space, you might need to rethink how you furnish the area or consider an alternate reception process. Redesigning your layout might be the best way to keep your employees safe and your customers interested.
Retailers might widen walkthrough areas by moving or eliminating displays. It can be frustrating when you need shelf or rack space, but it’s necessary to improve customer comfort. Also consider marking out distanced spaces for waiting, shopping, or eating.
Wearing and installing PPE (personal protective equipment) can help both employees and customers feel safer. PPE becomes especially handy in offices and stores with limited space.
Many grocery stores and restaurants have installed plexiglass, but offices can also benefit. It’s easily wiped cleaned and allows for visual contact. In addition, you can use temporary plexiglass barriers to separate desks, divide hallways for one-way traffic, or divide breakroom or conference tables.
Consider keeping the mask requirement. While some are celebrating losing their masks, your employees and customers might feel safer with them.
Your customers might appreciate that employees continue to wear masks or face shields. Even if the customers lose their masks, you can help wary customers feel more at ease with an employee mask policy.
As recommendations change in your city or state, you’ll need to be flexible with your PEE policies. Whatever you decide, have a plan for different stages. It helps to prepare a backup plan for any backsteps or steps forward.
Restrictions have lifted on capacity in businesses of customers and employees allowed in spaces. With a new rush of customers, you might be ready to hire new employees to reopen your business successfully.
Hiring can be challenging at the best of times. You want employees that will help your business thrive and will fit in with the team. You also might need to hire quickly to prevent your services from stalling or being overwhelmed by the increased customer interactions.
If you’re considering multiple positions, you might engage the services of a recruiter. Organizations with numerous new hires in the game plan will benefit from real-time recruiting analytics.
As restrictions lift, more people are comfortable re-entering the job force, and more businesses compete for qualified candidates. There are plenty of companies hiring right now, and your business needs to move quickly to secure your preferred candidates.
A hiring dashboard aids businesses in moving candidates through the hiring process. You improve communication with hiring managers, monitor the progress of filling critical roles and discover which steps are causing bottlenecks.
Create a more efficient hiring process and move quickly to hire the best candidates.
If reopening requires new hires, or maybe you need a refresher for bringing current employees back into the fold, consult an onboarding checklist. A checklist gives guidance on ways that you can quickly bring on new employees and set them up for success.
Onboarding is about more than orienting employees on their first day, but rather a plan for comfortably exposing them to their work environment. Having a plan in place will go a long way when you need to protect your employees.
Keeping a space clean will protect your employees and bring peace of mind to your customers. Use the CDC’s guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting and check for updates.
It’s best to decide how to incorporate cleaning and sanitizing before you reopen your business. If you don’t hire out cleaning services, you are responsible for ensuring that you and your employees have up-to-date information.
For example, do employees clean plexiglass barriers every hour? Are your employees tasked with sanitizing the storefront door handle daily or hourly?
Your cleaning and sanitizing rituals will vary depending on the type of organization and frequency of customers. But, having a plan or schedule ahead before the date you reopen your business is essential. It ensures safety for returning employees and customers in your space.
Final reopening insights
When it’s time to reopen your business, the best advice is to remain flexible. Companies have faced many changes, and there are likely many more to come. Listen to feedback from employees and customers. Look to other businesses for concepts that work.
With a flexible and thorough plan, you can successfully reopen your business.
Get in touch with Jobvite today if you want to start getting faster and better and identifying and hiring the best candidates for your company’s roles.