7 December 2020
There is a job requirement that is coming to businesses around the world. The requirement will apply to employees, managers and even owners. While knowing Microsoft Office, or having experience is sure to still get you far depending on what industry you’re in, employers are chomping at the bit for workers who are “COVID Conscious”.
What Does “COVID Conscious Mean, Anyway?
A group of HR managers and professionals defined this as “understanding your potential effect on others and acting responsibly through good hygiene on and off the job, social distancing, wearing a mask in public and avoiding large gatherings.”
So, whether you’re a small business owner in Addison who’s hiring or you’re on the hunt in the job market, we’ve put together some tips to consider and keep in mind about being a “COVID Conscious” employee (or employer).
(Image Credit: BBC.com)
COVID Conscious Practices
Whether you’re in management or an employee, it is important to have an open line of communication when it comes to potential COVID risks. The number one priority and at the crux of being COVID-conscious is to make it a point (and even to be actively looking) to protect those around you whether they be coworkers or customers.
Recently, there was a report somewhere on the news about a worker at a Cheesecake Factory. Upon being informed that their coworker had come down with the virus, the worker shared that information with other coworkers. The worker was looking out for fellow coworkers. Right? What a great thing for an employee to do! Right? Not this time. Instead, the worker was reprimanded by management for sharing that information with other coworkers who may have come in contact with that individual.
The statement given by the corporation in response was that they were “balancing its obligation to protect private and confidential health information.”
Is This Right? Honorable? COVID Conscious?
Folks, although medical and health records should be private, being a COVID conscious employer or employee means self-reporting.
Over the past few months it is reported that businesses are on a “silencing spree”, working to minimize any exposure that could link them with the virus, whether that be through employees that have contracted it or even the perception of the company having “unsafe practices.”
Folks, let’s be frank, here. We all know what’s right, whether we’re willing to admit it or not. It takes honor and guts to step up and do what’s right… not just because of what someone else might think, but because it’s right. The only way to “mitigate” the problem is to self-report and be honest about potential exposure. Not only is that simply the right thing to do, but in the long run, handling it with honesty and integrity will be be rewarded. Especially here in Texas, people tend to remember companies who stepped up and did what’s right rather than being the sleazy corporation that slithered by on dishonesty. Around here, a company that stands up, sticks there chest out and does what’s right ultimately ends up being rewarded through increased trust by employers, coworkers, and staff.
One of the most important things you can really do to provide a COVID conscious environment in your business is to simply follow the guidelines for safe practices. It’s not only just the right thing to do. In most areas of America (as well as around the world), and certainly even here in Addison, it’s the law.
The CDC is continuously releasing new information and strategies about how to keep yourself and others safe. By staying up-to-date on the latest COVID information and statistics, you’re not just protecting yourself. You’re proving you’re a reliable and trustworthy member of your company, and of the Addison community as well!
Some of the most important (yet often ignored) safety practices include:
- Social Distancing
- Wearing a Mask
- Sanitizing Surfaces
- Proper Hygiene.
While these all may seem simple, doing these things is crucial to being a COVID conscious worker and establishment.
About Wearing A Mask In The Workplace As A COVID Conscious Employee Or Manager
On that point, we’ve all seen that person who comes into a business NOT wearing a mask. You know the one. They completely ignore the sign on the door that mandates wearing a mask in your business. They think only of themselves, and not the people around them. Many companies have the policy of putting that sign on their door for the sake of appearance. However, they don’t enforce it once a person is inside. Usually, this is because the business doesn’t want to lose the potential sale from a customer – even one as disrespectful as someone who won’t consider their fellow man.
Fellow Business Owners, this isn’t OK. Sure, we all need every sale we can make. However, by allowing someone to get away with this, you’re not just risking the perceived integrity of your business when you don’t enforce what is supposedly a rule in your business. By allowing someone to walk into your store and do business who isn’t considering anyone else in the community. When you let this happen, YOU are now complicit in unsafe practices. After all, it was you who allowed this person to potentially contaminate your business and everyone around them. Right?
Just because you and your employees are wearing a mask doesn’t mean you are doing business safely. By allowing the inconsiderate among us into your business, you may be avoiding upsetting that person. However, you’re also disrespecting everyone else who’s trying to stay safe in your business. Consider that as you think about how Addison perceives you in the future.
Why This Is Important
Being COVID conscious is sure to be the new standard of doing business in the days to come. Yes, it’s disappointing and frustrating. If you want to blame or be upset at someone, don’t blame our government officials. If we’re going to point fingers, as Americans, let’s focus on where this COVID virus came from overseas.
Business Reputation At Risk?
Meanwhile, incorporating a firm standard when it comes to COVID is important. When not adhered to, not being truly safe threatens the livelihood of everyone around us. Are you really willing to risk your life and the lives of those around you just to avoid a conflict with a rude individual who ignores your posted sign when they walk into your business? Is that the message you want to send to customers in Addison about who you really are?
Many areas across the United States are even imparting checklists, similar to the health grading scale in many major cities, to determine the COVID Consciousness of businesses. For example, the Alaskan State Government created the “COVID Consciousness” program for local establishments in order to set this new standard.
(Image Credit: State of Alaska)
Because this is our new normal (at leas, for now), it’s important that you set yourself up for success. This is true not just for you. It’s also true for your business as well as current or prospective customers as well. Showing in word AND in deed that you and your company are truly COVID-conscious may make all the difference between success and failure in the coming years!
COVID Conscious For Success!
We all know it’s tough having to live in this new COVID conscious world, Folks; and you’re right to not like it. However, safe practices by you as an individual and by your business is going to make all the difference as we move through this together. It could very well determine whether or not your business stays open and you stay working!