Is your organization suffering from COVID fatigue?
Are your staff starting to cut health and safety corners and getting away from the best practices the organization established when many of us went back to work last spring?
If so, your organization is not alone. We’re starting to see “pandemic fatigue” right across the province, with many safeguards being left behind as the COVID-19 situation threatens to become the new normal.
Likely, though, the honest answer you’ll provide to the above questions is “I’m not sure.”
That’s because much of the healthy practices staff and volunteers engage in within the workplace are undertaken behind closed doors or outside the purview of the organization.
It might be time for a quick reassessment of what’s working now — and what has fallen by the wayside as your team starts to view relentless handwashing, mask-wearing and other COVID-related practices as a bit tedious.
And, perhaps, it’s time for some renewed communication.
Your organization should use a variety of tools to maintain constant COVID-19 communication with employees, volunteers and visitors. You might want to renew your posters and visual cues — like floor markers — to continue to remind people of your organizational environment’s daily routines.
Emails, newsletters, scheduled meetings and verbal reminders can also help with your efforts to provide new information and reinforce health and safety messages and protocols.
As a start, we encourage you to assess communications tools you use now and measure their effectiveness. Determine the best communication channels to alert employees to new procedures or reporting an outbreak. And, most importantly, ensure you’ve established two-way communication tools that allow your team and visitors to report health and safety concerns or share their questions.
And don’t forget about your remote workers — those who spend most of their time in the field or work from home. They especially need the constant reinforcement of health and safety messaging.
For the short-term, it appears COVID-19 isn’t going to go away. In fact, with the colder season approaching, the expectation is for a second wave and more infections and potentially more life-threatening conditions.
That makes it even more important that your organization continues to reinforce established health rules and practices and ensure everyone remains vigilant — and safe.