What you can do right now before employees start having to miss work

April 8th, 2020

This post  is meant for the businesses and organizations that are still operating a physical space, although it can apply to a virtual work space.  Communication and documentation of processes are important at all times, but even more so during a crisis such as we are facing. To keep employees safe and support continued work at an essential business operating on-site or a newly remote team, a few strategies are key.  These include: 

  • Document all essential procedures.   Essential procedures document the key activities needed to maintain your business. As an example, if you are a small manufacturer or supplier, you are likely reliant on one or two people to handle administrative tasks like time cards, payroll, billing.  Get all of these processes written down so someone else can pick up if this person has to miss work for an extended period.  Opening checklists, cleaning protocol, client communications are other examples of essential procedures. Review your operations and determine what key activities are needed to keep your business running.     Keep documentation easy to read in step by step format, with pictures and other key information.  Post in visible places and distribute to all staff, electronically or hard copies. Excerpt of an example is included below.

  • Cross train on essential functions. With fewer people coming into a physical space, it is important that staff are trained and knowledgeable of the essential functions that you have documented. Train your front of house staff to do production work or essential support work.  Have non-technical staff support technical staff to prevent layoffs. Creatively rethink your operation to address essential functions so that no team members are overloaded or conversely not working.


  • Move administrative tasks offsite. Work with your team to digitize paperwork. Scan records that are likely to be needed so you have access to them at all times. Procure IT assets as needed.


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