As the country takes slow but steady steps along the road towards the normality of pre-pandemic life, there is mixed opinion among many UK employees about the physical act of going back to work. While working from home has become accepted by millions, 44% of workers were anxious about returning to their workplace, when surveyed at the end of the first lockdown in 2020, according to results published by the CIPD.
Whilst statistics around the current lockdown are still being collected and collated, it is inevitable that concern will remain among a substantial number of people. As an employer and business owner, what can you do to help your staff and customers feel more confident about crossing your threshold?
Letting your employees know what you are doing to keep them safe. Whether by email, a chat with a manager, or even via social media can ensure trust and build confidence.
By keeping the channels of communication open, and asking for feedback about specific concerns, employees will know that you value them and their safety. Getting in touch with your customers via email or social media, with regard to the precautions you are taking, will also help extend that confidence to your patrons.
Publishing details of the cleaning that took place before you asked staff to return to work, including photographing any deep cleaning, where possible, will help you communicate what cleaning you’ve carried out, and why. Talking about the additional measures your contract cleaners will continue to take, and what is expected from staff to support the increased regime, again reinforces your commitment to staff and customer safety.
A major benefit of employing a contract cleaner is that you can leave the day-to-day management of cleaning, as well as the accountability for the standards, to a trusted service provider. A responsible contract cleaning partner will be also able to provide regular reports and management inspections so that you can reassure your staff and customers of compliance.
Don’t underestimate the reassurance that things are being done properly that an efficient operative dressed in a recognisable uniform will give people.
Whether you have an established cleaning company or employ your own cleaners, making sure they are visible to your staff and customers can highlight that your cleaning processes have been enhanced.
Ensuring a plentiful supply of hand sanitiser is currently one of the most important steps a business can take. Likewise, an abundance of soap in the washrooms and cleaning products in any shared areas such as kitchens, clearly displays that you are operating best practice. Adding posters or literature encouraging good hand hygiene will add further weight to your message.
In any business, culture is built from the top down. Therefore, ensuring all management staff are seen to be applying hand sanitiser, wiping down their keyboard and generally practice good hand hygiene is crucial.
Setting the right example from the top encourages all staff, and visitors, to take responsibility for their own and everyone’s safety, making the transition back to the workplace that much easier and less stressful for everyone.