Three VERY powerful words in light of today’s pandemic. I remember the first day we opened our business. It was a day filled with many emotions- excitement, fear, and uncertainty. Were we really ready? But we did it! Now businesses are re-opening and all of these emotions are flooding back with an added twist like nothing we’ve ever imagined.
One of the most important parts of your business’ re-opening strategy will be consumer and employee confidence. While uncertainly looms across American businesses, the best thing we can do as an economy is be well-prepared to reopen. At HighNote, we make things, so we like checklists. I thought it would be helpful to provide one for you to help relieve the stress as we begin to reopen!
- Make a set of “no personal contact” rules – Limit handshaking, closed meeting spaces, hugging or any other physical contact.
- Encourage “no item sharing” when possible – Limit exposure to shared objects, like pens, staplers, notebooks, desk space, computers, and anything else that can be assigned to individual workers and not shared. Add name labels to objects that might be mixed in with others.
- Reorganize your floor plan – Reconfigure workspaces to maximize 6-foot distances between workers, customers and visitors. That includes common “gathering” areas. Post signs reminding people to stay 6-feet apart when walking throughout your business.
- Limited the number of people in closed rooms – Post the maximum number people allowed in each office, meeting room, breakroom, restroom, elevator etc.
- Break the 9 to 5 – Adjust working hours if you can to accommodate business needs, safety requirements and employees working from home.
- Create prominent hand sanitizing stations, complete with cleaning supplies – Invest in sanitation supplies for both workers and visitors. Purchase hand sanitizers and place them in designated areas across your office as well as antibacterial wipes or surface sprays. Use signage to point out those sanitization stations to employees and visitors.
- Post communal equipment cleaning rules – If your business has shared equipment of any kind, copy machines, industry specific tools/equipment, cash registers, credit card machines, shopping carts etc, make sure to post clear directions about how to clean equipment between uses to keep multiple users safe.
- Keep your internal door open – Limit the touching of door handles by propping open as many of your internal doors as possible.
- Create appropriate face mask rules – While heeding federal and local regulations, create face mask rules that are the most appropriate for your line of business, especially in areas where many people are expected to gather to work, visit or shop.
- Share your plans to reopen – Employees and visitors both could feel reluctant to return to your business. So, it’s crucial that you anticipate their needs and share you plans for reopening. Post your reopen date and new hours of operation (if applicable) on your website. Use external and internal signage to communicate your “new normal” safety protocols. Use direct mail for announcements, new or changes in products/services, reopen plans, safety initiative etc. to consumers and prospects. Utilizing multiple communication channels, like email, direct mail, and social media ensure that people don’t miss your announcements.
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