September 13, 2018
With Hurricane Florence on the horizon, we’ve outlined 5 steps to keep your employees safe and supported during a natural disaster. In the wake of a crisis, your staff is left dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath into the future. The way you and your team prepare and react to the crisis will have a profound impact on all facets of your business.
1. Create an Emergency Response Plan
If you don’t already have an emergency response plan, now is the time to make one. This preparation can make all the difference when disaster strikes. The Center for Disease Control has a helpful template which makes it that much easier.
2. Relax Your Vacation Policy & Encourage Remote Work
Your business may normally require notice for requesting time off or have a cap on the number of vacation days an employee can use. Consider relaxing these policies and encourage remote work during and immediately following a natural disaster. Your employees shouldn’t have to put themselves in harm’s way just to get to the office.
3. Provide Childcare Solutions
Some employees with children may find that their office reopens before their children’s schools or daycares. If working from home isn’t an option for your business, think about turning an unused office or conference room into a temporary childcare center for your staff.
4. Ensure Safety
Before reopening your business, make sure you enlist your facilities teams or other professionals to evaluate the safety of your workplace. It’s important to welcome your employees back to work with a safe workspace that they feel comfortable in.
5. Provide Long-Term Support
There are many mental and physical challenges that come with a natural disaster. It’s essential that you offer your staff long-term support following a crisis. Fundraise for a staff member who may need additional resources, open the dialogue with your individual employees to figure out what you can do to better support them, or plan an office activity that focuses on de-stressing. Whichever way you choose to support your employees long-term, make sure that you’re making their needs a priority in the workplace.