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On March 9, 2020 I found myself thinking about how I should address Coronavirus with my team. We’re a tight-knit group and even recently had our first employee baby (ever), which was a really special event for me. Let’s go over the approach I decided upon.

Immediately, I notified the team of two things

Firstly, that I would be addressing Coronavirus and our companies response to it within the next few days. I also stated that I was open to any suggestions, or that anyone could come to me with immediate concerns.

Secondly, I advised that my entire team review the symptoms of Coronavirus, that they should work from home and seriously consider self-quarantine and calling 811 (in Calgary, Alberta) to get tested.

This bought me some time to work on my…

Coronavirus Operational Business Plan

If it sounds official… it is… because this is actually pretty serious.

This is just what I am working to implement in my small business, the Government of Canada has much smarter people, read their workplace tips.

Here is how my plan broke down:

  1. Implement a day-to-day action plan within the business
  2. Ensure the team felt safe and secure
  3. Communicate with customers and partners

Implement a day-to-day action plan within the business

I’ll keep things short and sweet, focusing on important points which you can bake into your own plan.

  • Setup an optional work from home (WFH) policy. (Which may become mandatory.)
  • As many client or customer meetings as possible are to be conducted by phone or Zoom (web-conference).
  • Institute a daily surfaces clean (with the morning meeting).
  • Provide hand-sanitizer to every team member.
  • Encourage compliance by leading from example.
  • Place detailed hand-washing signs in the washrooms and be very direct about the importance of it.
  • Giving strict instructions that anyone who presents with the symptoms can self-quarantine and/or get tested (should symptoms persist).

Ensure the team felt safe and secure

All you need to do is browse the internet or turn the news on… there is a lot of panic and growing hysteria out there. From layoffs to concern for their health, my team has every right to be worried (and I am too)! Here is how I addressed them.

Having a plan for if everything goes to shit.
As a business owner, my main fear is that none of my clients are making money, which means that our company will definitely not be making any money. As a small business I only have so much reserve cash to float my teams salaries before there is no more money.

It turns out that my fears are very similar to my employees, just the other side of the same coin…

What I did is make sure my team was aware:

  • That I care about them and keeping our team together.
  • That a LOT of things would have to go wrong before anyone’s job was at risk.
  • That I would openly communicate with team as things unfold.
  • That there would be no ‘surprises’.

Communicate with customers and partners

There is actually a separate article about how to communicate about Coronavirus with your customers.

Anything else we should add? Let us know.