Preparing teams as Covid-19 fears grow

Sponsored post by Nicky Chenery of SafetyCulture

As Covid-19 continues to disrupt the way that businesses operate, team morale and autonomy has moved from the periphery into focus.

Business owners and entrepreneurs are feeling the heat as uncertainty colours day-to-day operations and pandemic fatigue grows. While it’s crucial to take precautions for your business operations, it’s equally important to recognise this time as an opportunity to protect the people on your team and consider the role each team member can play in safe and effective operations.

While this sounds simple, many entrepreneurs and leaders struggle to implement new operational procedures in a practical and scalable way. There are a few ways to empower your teams to feel heard, and help them feel in control over their work.

Lead with action

The evolution of the virus continues to increase the pace and flexibility around workplace operations. This newfound sense of urgency has resulted in many organisations experiencing a cultural shift. We see accelerated demand for effective alternatives to manage constantly changing safety and compliance requirements. Now more than ever, there is a need for teams to feel empowered to confidently report issues.

Management cannot be everywhere at once — employee-led interventions are now a cornerstone of business operations. To do this effectively, issues raised need to be met with action.

Technology can help by making it easier to keep tabs on whether procedures are being followed and ensure action is taken where needed. Moving issues reporting from paper to digital through a platform like iAuditor helps drive accountability with actionable tasks and validation. Digital checklists can effortlessly streamline the whole process – from collation to analysis to action.

Speaking-up during Covid-19

You’ve probably witnessed instances where a problem that disrupted operations could’ve been avoided – only if someone had spoken up about it, sooner. Well, speaking up about Covid-19 concerns and safety is even more critical with greater knock-on effects.

Our new research in partnership with Yougov suggests a relationship between fear of retaliation and under-reporting, meaning that frontline workers are far less likely to come forward about issues if they fear job loss as a result.

To allay employee concerns, consider technology that allows for anonymous issues reporting. Equip teams with the right tools to make Covid-19 related reporting easy – such as scannable QR codes that instantly notify the right people.

Be firm about preventing retaliation – it’s up to SME owners to set the tone at the top and make it clear that team members have a right, and a duty, to speak up not only about Covid-19 concerns, but all potential threats in the workplace.

It’s imperative that your team understands there are robust compliance, safety and legal policies in place – and that their report will be addressed. Do this by demonstrating that reports are taken seriously – by acting on each issue in a timely manner or praising teams for being vocal.

Small, daily acts pave the way for larger change. With the right tools and processes in place, you’ll be able to foster a culture where everyone is unafraid to speak up and report potential issues.

Nicky Chenery is General Manager for EMEA at SafetyCulture, a global technology company helping working teams get better every day.