Posted originally to Unleash The Monster
H1N1 is causing great concern across the board. Many have been seeking vaccinations against the virus, while others have already showed symptoms of having the virus. Whether employees choose to get the vaccination or not, this virus has quickly become a pandemic and will impact your organization.
Agencies of all sizes must have a plan in place to ensure that they are prepared for the inevitable impact of H1N1. Since April of this year, 10,000 have been hospitalized and about 1,000 people have died from the virus. The numbers continue to rise. If your agency does not have a plan in place, your workforce may come to a standstill.
Human Resource departments must work with management to make the tough decisions to put a plan in place. When developing a plan, consider the following:
* Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: ensure that there are several channels to communicate with employees including newsletters, emails, intranets, phone. Using multiple channels ensures employees are fully aware of the situation and can plan accordingly.
* Promote Telework: When employees feel like they may be coming down with cold or flu-like symptoms, encourage them to work remotely to lower the chance of spreading any potential viruses.
* Expect downtime: No matter how well you plan, there will be some downtime within your agency. Make sure that your employees know how to report absences and that there is a plan in place that transfers the workload to others when these absences occur.
When it comes down to it, there is not too much an organization can do to avoid the spread of the H1N1 virus from employee to employee, but you can take proactive steps to ensure that a plan is in place for when downtime does occur. By planning, you ensure that your agency is still able to achieve its mission without compromise or surprises along the way.
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