No matter your views on ‘Fortress WA’, it’s time to plan for the inevitable surge of Covid-19.
This is not just about keeping on our toes as the ‘rules’ adapt to keep pace with mandatory vaccinations, proof of vaccination and who is a close contact (and thus who needs to get tested).
Instead, it’s about creating a practical guide to how your business will continue to operate while keeping your humans safe.
The following is based on actual plans we know businesses are using and balancing Human and Business needs. With any plan being a good plan from there, we trust they can help you prepare for your teams to continue operating in the event that the impacts of Covid in WA reflect what is happening to our eastern states cousins.
Decide when you will enact the plan. Is it when the borders open, right now as there is community transmission or another type of event?
Either way, your team will know when this plan comes into effect even in your absence.
PS: We also tested our plan before we set it in place – just to make sure some of the bugs were identified [pun intended].
Consider the types of scenarios you might face and let that guide how you will plan and react – from key members of the team becoming incapacitated for a lengthy period of time through to how people will work from home while waiting for a Covid test response.
The rest almost falls into place when you identify the likely scenarios you will face and how you will deal with each one in turn. Often, the response you have for one scenario will apply to another.
3. Key products and services
What elements of your business provide your greatest cashflow and income? Which of your key customers need to be supported in the event of a team member not being available – and is their backup (and their backup) ready to step into the gap created due to an absence?
By identifying which parts of your business will be most impacted in the event of lockdowns (or individuals in the team contracting Covid), you are one step ahead in closing gaps well before any surge hits your business.
4. General strategies
These are not scenarios per se, more some of the information, actions and awareness needed to keep a team functioning. They include matters such as:
- maintaining hygiene and infection control
- the layout of your workspaces
- having contact information available for key members of the team
- general awareness on Covid symptoms
- ways to keep communications flowing internally
- out of office contacts ready to go
- when to get a Covid test, do you need rapid antigen tests (RATs) and what happens to work while waiting for a test
- how to take personal leave to care for others, what other leave applies and when does it stop
- rules around self isolation
It’s great to see many organisations already practicing key ‘sub-team protocols’. You know the ones like the President and Vice President never travelling together or a team being broken into sub teams to share knowledge and keep some semblance of knowledge available to support customers/clients.
Seems overkill to some, but it depends on how likely you think your business would suffer in the event that the entire team became infected or, worse, the owners/Directors of the business became very ill at the same time.
Given that you may not know how long you will have the plan in effect for, we recommend thinking about how you will not only keep your teams connected but also being developed and trained. Do you need to change how you deliver your training or adapt plans around how you use a sub-team (see above)?
A friendly message of hope
Before we share a link to the information on this topic freely available through the government, please remember that ‘keeping calm and carrying on’ is in direct proportion to how well you plan.
Even with just a short, sharp and communicated plan available, you’re well on your way to carrying on.
The government have a helpful website here that already has a business continuity plan ready for you to use. It’s a great step and remembering that 80% of 100% is good enough, don’t feel as though you have to have the entire plan ready before you enact it.
And if it’s all still confusing?
Click the link below and reach out to one of the QHr team and we’ll be happy to speak to you briefly about any issues this article has raised for you and your team.
Thanks for reading!