Preparing HR for Future Health Crises


The COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call for HR departments in 2020. Suddenly, employees were looking to HR teams for guidance in areas not typically considered their responsibility.


This article outlines four ways HR teams can prepare for future public health crises. Employers can use this information to help cope with the current COVID-19 pandemic fallout and beyond.


1. Assess the Risk


One of the first steps during a public health crisis is to assess the risk of the organization. To do this, employers should first educate themselves about the crisis in general. This means staying updated on federal and local health guidance to help inform organizational strategies.


An assessment should consider the impact on workers, and can help prepare employers to make informed choices.


2. Adapt Quickly


Based on the risk assessment, employers should prepare to adapt to the crisis. Employers must ensure safeguards are in place so that employees don’t need to choose between their jobs and their health.


3. Communicate Thoroughly


At every stage, employers should keep employees in the loop. This means sharing the outcome of the risk assessment and clearly communicating any new workplace protocols. Employees should never have to wonder how their workplace is handling a crisis.


4. Welcome Change


Employers should be ready to make these decisions swiftly, and must embrace the changing landscape. This might mean having some employees work remotely while others remain in the workplace. Employers should think about such contingencies and be prepared to follow through if a public health crisis necessitates it.


Employer Takeaway


Responding to a health crisis will be much easier when an employer plans for such an event ahead of time. Reach out for more workplace guidance to help in this effort.

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