The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is forcing organisations to make rapid decisions concerning their workforce. StaffConnect is conscious of the fact that our users operate in sectors that are particularly vulnerable to both the virus and its economic impact, including:
- Travel & Transportation
These often have large, dispersed workforces that may be in regular contact with the general public and cannot complete their frontline work remotely.
With as much as one-fifth of the UK workforce set to be off sick at the peak of the outbreak and many premises and sites forced to close to limit the spread of the virus, our users are facing unprecedented challenges
StaffConnect is committed to supporting our existing customers in whatever way we can. We’d like to provide you with some practical information about using our app to communicate with your workforce at this extremely volatile time.
Limiting the spread of the virus
The basic hygiene and risk prevention information is the same in the workplace or outside of it and you should continue to refer to government advice and leading healthcare organisations such as the NHS or the World Health Organisation.
It’s your responsibility to ensure that all members of staff are made aware of these instructions and that they are updated regularly. You can do this using StaffConnect’s targeted push notifications, which send the information directly to an employee’s mobile device.
Providing guidance that is tailored to your operations—such as disinfecting surfaces more regularly, protecting customers or patients and maintaining distance between workers—will further safeguard your organisation at this stage.
Keeping essential operations running
Large-scale business closures are becoming increasingly commonplace in the UK following the government’s advice to avoid public spaces, work from home and practice social distancing.
Of course, some industries are essential and can’t cease operations and, as a result, are experiencing overwhelming demand. These include but are not limited to: healthcare, manufacturing, and logistics. If you need to continue providing services to end users, potentially with a reduced workforce, your staff will need more support than ever.
As it stands, all employees that can work from home should be doing so. For those that can’t—likely the majority of your deskless workers— the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development suggests altering shift patterns to minimise the amount of people that are in contact with each other at any given time and quickly re-training staff that have transferable skills.
This transition is unlikely to be entirely smooth. Those employees that remain on shift should be able to access a knowledge base to complete tasks they are unfamiliar with and feel supported by the senior team. Through StaffConnect, this could take several forms:
- Direct communication between staff that are on shift and colleagues that are self-isolating
- Video-based eLearning to quickly reskill or upskill key workers
- Access to company manuals through our mobile intranet
- Using surveys to check in with staff and ensure there are feedback loops in place
- Making sure key hotlines and help desks are available to employees through the app
It’s extremely difficult at this time to provide your workforce with a sense of security—whether that’s about their risk of infection or the future of your organisation. Sectors like hospitality and retail could face months of hardship, with the most affected businesses forced to make job cuts or even close indefinitely.
The most important thing you can provide is leadership. A recent survey by People Management and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that 10% of organisations had yet to send any communications to their staff regarding COVID-19 and 71% had sent just “one or two communications but did not want to cause undue panic”.
Regularity is key. Staff that continue coming to work are at risk of overwhelm, while those that are self-isolating may find that their wellbeing suffers as a result. The importance of being visible cannot be overstated.
Leadership communication is about establishing trust and being transparent about the situation at hand. StaffConnect enables you to check in with your workforce directly via two-way messaging or by leveraging video to ensure you communicate the right tone. To monitor their wellbeing and how they are finding their altered working patterns, you can also encourage people to fill out feedback forms.
Here for you
COVID-19 is a developing pandemic and it’s impossible to make concrete predictions about how individual organisations will be affected in the long run. That being said, StaffConnect will continue to support our existing customers in confronting these unprecedented challenges in whatever manner possible. If there are any organisations facing fresh challenges in managing a dispersed workforce who are interested in operationalising our platform to communicate with your workforce during the pandemic, you can request a product demonstration of Staff Connect with a member of our team to get started.