EVENT RECAP: RECOVERING FROM THE GREAT PAUSE
Fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic affected almost every aspect of our professional and personal worlds, instituting lasting changes on the way we live and work.
For business owners, recovering from this Great Pause will require not only strong business practices and financial finesse, but strategic investments in employee relations and retention.
Last month, in conversation with Alicia Shaw, a labor and employee relations lawyer at Carlile, Patchen, and Murphy, Gerber LLC outlined a plan for the actions business owners need to take in order to get their businesses running closer to normal.
If you missed the webinar, you can view the full video here or read the key takeaways below.
Do’s and Don’ts for Recovering from the Great Pause
DO Prioritize the mental and physical health of your employees.
Specializing in employment law, Alicia revealed that complications with the pandemic amplified movements prioritizing the mental and physical health of employees that existed pre-2020.
Currently, employers can still receive Paid Sick Leave/Paid Family Leave funding and tax credits through the federal government, which Alicia recommends for companies who could have employees out of work due to physical health issues.
When dealing with these matters, remember that employees are individuals, and practice sensitivity to generational differences.
DON’T Ignore state and federal mandates.
In Ohio, employers are required to test their employee’s temperature regularly, as well as monitor their COVID-19 symptoms. Though employers may not feel it is their place to do these things, Alicia detailed an example of a company being shut down by the local health department for not following protocols. Following mandates will ensure you thrive through this continually uncertain time.
DO Consider how you want to navigate internal health mandates.
In Ohio, employers are allowed to mandate their employees receive the COVID-19 vaccination. However, with a few exceptions, Alicia suggested against mandating employees to get the vaccine. Rather, employees can encourage employees by allowing paid time off.
This PTO falls under the Paid Sick Leave federal guidelines for employers who opt-in to this program. Alicia cautions against the use of incentives to encourage your employees to get the vaccine, as this could be potentially discriminatory to those who cannot receive the vaccine due to health or religious reasons.
DON’T change your handbook every time you institute a new COVID-19 Policy
Though modernizations of your handbook around Personal Device use and Social Media Policy are important to make when your workers are remote, COVID policies change fast. Keep in communication with your employees, but don’t change legal policies each time.
Most importantly, DO Practice leading with empathy.
If the number one asset of any entrepreneur is their business, the number one asset inside that business is their employees. The ultimate goal must be to keep employees as safe as possible and cultivate an environment of respect.