Suggested Best Practices for Dealing with Unhealthy Workers and Worker Shortages

Feel like your business has been hit with a one-two punch in 2020?

At the start of the year, record-low unemployment and talent shortages had already made it tough enough for you to find qualified workers. Now that the coronavirus pandemic is sweeping across our nation, you’re faced with another new threat to keeping your business staffed: mass employee illness.

First and foremost, we realize that your primary goal is to keep your employees healthy. While implementing social distancing measures in your workplace will help, it’s still highly likely that some of your employees will fall ill. And, whether out of necessity or a sense of obligation, some of them may even come to work sick.

In a time when employee health is critically important, how can you balance the needs of your people with the needs of your business? 

Today, our national temporary staffing agency shares a few best practices for dealing with unhealthy workers and worker shortages:

  • Be proactive. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that it expects COVID-19 to continue spreading across the country. Even if everyone in your organization is healthy, begin planning for how you will address employees who fall ill and the resultant staff shortages. Be mindful of employment laws that apply to your organization and staff.
  • Follow CDC and OSHA guidelines. Both government organizations offer guidance for preventing workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. We provided a summary and links in this post on social distancing.
  • Educate employees and over-communicate. Information is critical for keeping employees healthy and helping them decide when to stay home from work. Provide clear policies and guidelines for reducing illness transmission, as well as determining whether individuals should come on-site to work. Review this information with all employees; provide multiple ways for people to access this information; and communicate changes when and if you make them.
  • Encourage telecommuting, when possible. While many jobs are not suitable for remote work, evaluate which jobs could be performed from home. Consider adding technology that would facilitate the transition. When you make it more feasible for employees to telecommute during this time, individuals who are ill will be less likely to come into work – helping everyone to stay healthier.
  • Look for ways to increase healthy workers’ efficiency. With fewer hands on deck, it’s critical to make every employee more productive and efficient. Staffing firms like PrideStaff can help maximize both individual and team productivity, by offloading non-essential tasks to qualified temporary associates.
  • Partner with a national employment agency like PrideStaff. Now is the time to create a plan to manage staff shortages, and a qualified staffing firm is an indispensable ally for creating yours. Schedule a free workforce consultation with your local PrideStaff office to: 
    • improve your access to talent
    • provide just-in-time coverage for employee illnesses
    • offload non-essential tasks to improve your core team’s productivity and efficiency
    • flex your workforce to match changes in demand
    • keep your business running smoothly during this uncertain time